Seoul

Restaurants in Seoul

50

At the new hot spot called 50, that amount of dollars will buy you exactly half a bottle of unremarkable Kendall-Jackson wine.

The specialty here is gamjatang stew, a mash of pork and potato covered with sesame leaf. Korean cuisine is all about taste, not presentation.

At Budnamujip restaurant, in an area far south of the Han River and the city’s center, the specialty is galbi, short ribs traditionally seasoned with such flavors as Asian-pear juice, sesame seed, rice wine, sugar, and of course, that Korean mainstay, garlic.

At this airy place, the emphasis is on royal cuisine, which stretches back to a time before Korea’s fateful encounter with the chili pepper some 250 years ago, and may thus be gentler on some Western palates.

Enormous pitchers of Hite beer land on tables and are consumed instantly by the eclectic, raucous, smoky clientele. The bar food here would find few peers anywhere in the world.