We had dinner here last Sunday (so, again, I’m stretching the “Lunch” part of this project), but this was the find of the season. Bon Palate is a French restaurant that (even with the hill) is so close I would walk there… and having eaten there once, I can safely say that I’ll do exactly that.
I only noticed it a little while ago, being distracted by the profusion of small (and very nice!) Korean restaurants across the street, a few of which I have tried. And speaking of Korean, the interior of Bon Palate appears to be that of a traditional hanok (한옥 ) house (well, three sides of one), the interior walls removed and the whole thing roofed over above the original roof top.
Looked at from the street, the left side of the hanok is basically the entrance & toilets, the back is mostly the kitchen, the right is dining, and the front is modern, slightly raised with a picture window overlooking the street. I found it hard to get a picture that showed that, but when you’re there it worked very well. I wonder if it was a hanok or if they built the restaurant this way?
We were three for dinner, and ordered chicken, lamb and steak. Each was extremely good, but what really made the meal for me was both the ‘extras’ — an amuse-bouche, warm rolls, a salad – and the pacing. After 5 years in Brussels, where a very long, well paced dinner is the norm, it was lovely to have a meal that didn’t feel like it had been rushed, that instead proceeded from item to item in its own time (but not too much time either). Needless to say when the pacing has been spot on, the service was excellent. And, a nice wine selection with both reasonably priced decent wines and (surprise!) a pretty good selection of Spanish wines, which we love.
Conclusion: My new favorite restaurant in Seoul.
Location: (link to Google Maps)