White asparagus with feta cheese, micro greens & truffle vinaigrette.
If you're in Seoul, you will quickly notice the number of Italian restaurants everywhere. Most western dining experience in Seoul includes pasta and pizza. Okay, I stopped asking myself why...the the first few months of my arrival, haha. Do Koreans really love their noodles and cheese or what? However, with this said not every place that serves Italian does it well. After being disappointed countless of times, I started making/eating Italian at home. Then you might find a few good restaurants ones here and there...
When I was invited to dine at Peninsula at the Lotte Hotel, I suppressed my expectations. However, the lunch was such a nice surprise. We started with a white asparagus appetizer with feta cheese, and I think this was the first time I had white asparagus in Korea! The drizzled truffle vinaigrette was an amazing balance. I was skeptical to order their ravioli, but this was my favorite part of the meal! The genovese pesto ravioli was perfectly cooked, and the pesto reminded me of home. Chicago that is. Their porcini mushroom soup was fantastic, but wasn't a huge fan of their rucola/prosciutto pizza nor their lasagne, which was a bit dry. We had the lunch option B-4 course meal that starts at 69,000 won. The ravioli was on their a la carte menu for 35,000 won. A bit pricey but well worth it.
Words with the chef...
I had a nice chat the Chef de Cuisine Lee Jae Sang, and it's encouraging to hear that even chefs at his level continue to do intense research on food, and constantly challenge themselves to strive for the best. Chef Lee adventures to the markets himself, participates in some crazy bidding, seeks the most fresh ingredients, and does a quite bit of 'benchmarking' to see the latest trends on cuisine today. Although Peninsula has a somewhat traditional Italian menu, they play with the idea of Korean inspired Italian dishes (such as hanwoo beef carpaccio), but unfortunately only offer this menu for special promotions. I will definitely have to check their next event soon~
1, Jung-gu, Sogong-dong 100-070, Seoul, Korea/ 서울특별시 중구 을지로 100-070
Inside Lotte Hotel-Myungdong, 1st floor
Euljiro 1-ga station, (line #2)
Exit 7 or 8, you will see Lotte hotel to your left
Homemade smoked salmon with condiments, San Daniele prosciutto & melon.
Homemade ravioli with minced meat & vegetables, served with genovese pesto.
Oven baked lasagne with minced meat & porcini mushrooms.
Grilled Hanwoo Korean beef tenderloin served with seasonal warm vegetables.
Pomagranate jelly on pistachio parfait with seasonal fresh fruits.