LIFE&STYLE

Lawry’s The Prime Rib opens first Seoul outlet

By Korea Herald

75-year old restaurant chain brings its prime rib roast to Korea

  • Published : Nov 1, 2013 - 19:19
  • Updated : Nov 1, 2013 - 19:21
Lawry’s Restaurants, Inc. senior vice president of operations David E. Stockman at the new Seoul location 
(Lee Sang-sub/The Korea Herald)
Some might think that steak ― in its seared, juicy glory ― has the last word when it comes to beef. But those who have witnessed firsthand the sheer heft of a prime rib roast over holiday dinner will know that if we are taking about quantity, then the roast would win, hands down.

There is something almost overwhelming about a prime rib roast. A towering primal cut of rib, bones still in, this is feast-friendly beef, meant to be consumed in massive amounts by large crowds.

In fact, its very size makes it difficult to dine on such a roast regularly. This is a dish reserved for gatherings. This is also the dish that has helped keep Lawry’s The Prime Rib on the map for 75 years, since it first opened in Los Angeles in 1938.

“We’re not a steakhouse and prime rib is not steak,” said Lawry’s Restaurants, Inc. senior vice president of operations David E. Stockman. Unlike a grilled steak, he explained, the establishment’s signature prime rib is roasted for around 21/2 hours and weighs in at a whopping 8 kilos.

That very hunk of beef has played a key role in the transformation of one family-run restaurant devoted to bringing the Sunday dinner experience to its patrons into a multi-establishment, all-American institution where celebrities and the football players that attend Lawry’s famed Beef Bowl dinners go to eat.

“Some of them eat 10,” Stockman, 78, said in all seriousness about the number of gargantuan 735-gram Beef Bowl Cuts football players chow down at the near-hedonistic annual dining event.

Now into its fourth generation of family operation with restaurants in Singapore, Japan, Taipei and Hong Kong, Lawry’s The Prime Rib opened its first Korean outlet in Seoul on Nov. 1, making it the brand’s 10th location. 

Lawry’s The Prime Rib specializes in generous cuts of prime rib roast, carved tableside. (Lawry’s The Prime Rib)
“The brand is very, very well known in Asia,” said Stockman, adding of the new spot in Korea, “It should be one of our best locations.”

Situated near Gangnam Station in GT Tower, the newly minted Seoul location does not skimp on scale on any front.

Patrons can dine on massive prime rib roasts carved tableside from carts in an over 150-seat space that features a frescoed wall, high ceilings and a very eye-catching foyer chandelier.

It all feels very retro, from the decor and service down to the food itself.

According to Stockman, the meat used for the roast is USDA Prime Grade Black Angus beef that has been wet-aged, roasted and then “put in a holding oven to rest and gather its juices.”

Cuts range from 160 grams to 735 grams.

The smallest cut, at 160 grams, feels quite large on the plate, and arrives thick, rosy and ruby-centered when ordered medium rare.

As for taste, “beefy” is the first word that springs to mind after taking a bite of the velvety hunk of meat.

Unlike steak, which generally sports a crisp crust, Lawry’s roast is soft all around and will probably satisfy meat fiends who want to dig into gigantic cuts that sport a rich, raw, unbridled full beef flavor and a very clean aftertaste.

By Jean Oh (oh_jean@heraldcorp.com)


Lawry’s The Prime Rib’s first Korean restaurant opened Nov. 1 in GT Tower, Seocho-gu, Seoul.
 (Lee Sang-sub/The Korea Herlad)
Lawry’s The Prime Rib

- 3F GT Tower, 1317-23 Seocho-dong, Seocho-gu, Seoul (02) 590-2800 / www.lawrys.kr

- Open 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., 5:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. daily, but is only open for dinner until Nov. 8.

- Prime rib roast dinners cost 58,000 won to 168,000 won for 160 grams to 735 grams and come with spinning bowl salad, mashed potatoes, Yorkshire pudding; prime rib lunch for 160 grams to 735 grams costs 38,000 won to 160,000 won and comes with salad, mashed potatoes, creamed spinach, creamed corn, Yorkshire pudding, coffee and dessert.