Nestled within the very hip and happening Sinsa-Dong, which is remisnicent of a more compact Omotesando in Harajuku, lies Ryunique, which is probably one of the best restaurants in Seoul. The style of cuisine is very much Modern French with Asian accents. This is my first fine dining experience of sorts in Seoul, and very much intrigued to see what’s there to offer.
First off was an Amuse bouche of soy sauce infused shrimp, which is then pipetted with a pepper sauce. The shrimp was very flavourful with an almost creamy texture, and pepper added some sweetness to the dish.
Next, was a “forest floor” of three dishes. Flavours were interesting albeit not particularly memorable.
Bread came with a very addictive and umami-packed seaweed infused butter. Probably one of my favourite elements of the meal.
Subsequently, we had a rather refreshing dish of cooked salmon with cherry tomatoes, and soda water. The combination was quite bizarre with the addition of soda, but somehow worked and was a summer appropriate dish. I particularly enjoyed the sweet cherry tomatoes.
For the next course, we had a slowly cooked foie gras with chocolate covered Anago (salt water eel), burnt carrot puree, and fresh cherry. A very good combination of flavours with the unctuous foie gras, sweetness from the cherry and burnt carrot puree. The anago with chocolate was a surprising element, which had the lusciousness of eel melding with the sweetness of the chocolate.
For the main, I had the beef tenderloin with bacon wrapped Korean rice, and some sort of jus. First impressions of Korean food is that there’s a definite element of sweetness to some of their dishes, and this is no exception. Flavours were quite Asian and the beef was well cooked, the bacon with rice was also a nice touch which added some a pleasant chewy texture reminiscent of sticky rice to the dish.
I must say the dessert was quite a success, which consisted of caramelized rice ice cream with watermelon (which is quite a commodity in Korea), and some gelee of sorts. The ice cream’s texture was quite different which was a tad coarse, but the flavour was incredible. Something had been done to the watermelon to give it a more uniform texture, which was interesting but more importantly, refreshing.
Overall, we had a very good meal and definitely one of better restaurants in Seoul according to my local mates. In retrospect after tasting a few more restaurants, I would concur as the flavours were mostly spot on. The chef also was kind enough to greet us on the way out. Definitely a good spot for lunch if you’re ever in town, with friendly staff and a relaxed ambience to boot.
Location: 40 Gangnam-daero 162-gil, Sinsa-dong, Gangnam-gu, Seoul. +82 2 546 9279. Website