Dining out in Seoul : Traditional Korean, world cuisine, casual dining, fine dining, royal cuisine – whatever your taste buds seek, all can be found in Seoul. This post is part of the restaurant review series here on the Korea Blog.
Even in the land of fabulous galbi and bulgogi, there are times when you just want a good steak. And when I say a “good” steak, I mean steak that is not overcooked (like the steak you find in many “family restaurants”), delectable, juicy, perfectly seasoned, and capable of standing on its own without being overloaded with a lot of side dishes.
The Steak House, located on the 4th floor of the dining café The Place in Cheonggyecheon, is one of those establishments that deliver a good steak.
Various cuts of steak are available at The Place: Porterhouse, tenderloin, rib eye, and New York Strip. All come in prime or choice cuts, cooked to your liking. Their medium rare is a true medium rare, just the right amount of pink in the middle.
The above is New York strip with additional garlic and a dollop of mustard.
You can tell whether a steak is perfectly cooked when cutting it. Other grilled vegetables accompany the steak as well: bell peppers and eggplant. Some people like the restaurant’s sautéed spinach as a side dish, along with a variety of potato dishes whether fried or mashed.
One of the main reasons why the restaurant has a fine reputation for steak is because they also serve dry aged steak. The steak to which most of us are accustomed is wet aged beef, i.e. beef aged in a vacuum sealed environment to retain its moisture.
Dry aged beef is aged by traditional means – left out to dry. Consequently, the moisture dries out, the dried out parts are removed before preparation so only the choicest cuts of meat are left, with a high density of flavor. The meat is also extra tender.
I usually describe the taste differences between wet aged and dry aged steak by saying that the former says, “I am steak”; while the latter yells out, “I AM STEAK!!!”
FYI, The Place offers only 10 portions of dry aged rib eye steak each day, so checking the availability when making reservations is a must.
Other dishes to enjoy with your steak:
The restaurant’s Chef’s Salad consists of shrimp and grilled porkbelly bacon on a bed of crisp greens. I wanted a lot more greens; a problem quickly solved by a request to the kitchen.
Their Caesar’s salad is standard and when well ripened, the avocado salad is also worth a try.
Fried calamari for those who want to balance out the beef. It’s a good starter. Other starters include soup of the day, stuffed mushrooms, and escargot.
Chopped steak with pasta in a gorgonzola sauce is a popular dish. As with most pasta dishes in Korea, the pasta is drowning in sauce. Which doesn’t matter really, the excess sauce tastes even better when lapped up with a piece of bread.
The bread they serve is almost like a pita or a slice of empty calzone. Crisp and freshly baked, the bread is seasoned just enough for a light salty taste.
The restaurant has a decent but not extensive selection of wine to accompany their dishes. Unless you’re a picky oenophile, you’ll find something suitable to go with your meal.
The atmosphere of the dining area resembles that of a private dining room, without any pretentiousness, low lit and warm. There is also a cozy corner bar for those who enjoy exchanging pleasantries with the bartender before dining.
- Lunch 11:30 ~ 14:30
- Dinner 17:30 ~ 23:00
Tel : (02) 734-1344
Address : Seoul, Jung-gu, Ssangrim-dong 292
Parking available at the Industrial Bank building next door (free for 1 hour)
Metro station Jonggak (line 1, exit #4), walk towards Cheonggycheon, turn left when you meet the stream, walk almost to the Samil Bridge crossroads and it’s on your left.
If you’re in the Jongno area, the easiest way to find it is from the Tapgol Park and Giordano crossroads. Walk towards Cheonggycheon, turn right when you meet the stream bank.