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Salmon, salt-cured, smoked and raw, for a bargain

Salmon, salt-cured, smoked and raw, for a bargain

House-cured gravlax and other salmon-centric eats at Salmone Kitchen

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Published : 2013-12-20 19:26
Updated : 2013-12-22 14:43

Smoked salmon with potato rosti and poached egg takes its inspiration from Eggs Benedict. (Park Hae-mook/The Korea Herald)

Near Seoul’s famed Garak Market in Songpa-gu, the newly-minted Salmone Kitchen serves up house-cured gravlax, cold-smoked salmon and raw slices of the popular fish in a pristine two-story space.

With its manor-like white brick exterior and chandelier-encrusted interior, the fledgling restaurant, which opened last month, channels a posh, pricey vibe that is potentially misleading.

The generous 25,000 platter of gravlax, smoked salmon and sashimi for two and the 5,000 won price tag per glass of dry white sparkling wine from Limoux, France are clearly the star items of an extensive salmon-centric menu that runs the gauntlet from salads, soups, pastas and pizzas (yes, salmon-adorned) to open-faced sandwiches.

The Italian inflection ― i.e. the pizzas and pasta ― seems to originate from head chef Kim Byung-suk, who trained in Italy. While the menu incorporates Japanese, American and Korean influences as well, the spot boasts a distinct northern European slant.

“We wanted to showcase Scandinavian-style food,” Salmone Kitchen owner Park Sun said, discussing how she traveled to Norway and Europe to taste the real deal.

Park’s decision to focus on Scandinavian cuisine seems to be due in part to the provenance of Salmone Kitchen’s fish. According to Park, both the house-cured gravlax and sashimi are made with Aurora Salmon from Norway.

The Norwegian salmon is served up as sashimi and is also done up as gravlax, which, according to head chef Kim involves curing the salmon in salt, sugar, dill and beets for about a day. 

The Healing Salmon Platter features house-cured gravlax, cold-smoked salmon, sashimi and a salmon belly gravlax with beets and caperberries.  (Park Hae-mook/The Korea Herald)

Kim and team also take salmon belly gravlax and cut it into little cubes, topping it with the beets used to make the gravlax and adding some tart caperberries for a ceviche-like dish that Kim says derives its inspiration from Italian pesce crudo.

The platter also includes capers and onions for the smoked Chilean salmon, a special house-made gravlax sauce and slices of homemade ciabatta.

In addition to the platter, Salmone Kitchen also showcases other dishes like its popular smoked salmon with potato rosti and poached egg, which Park revealed derives its inspiration from Eggs Benedict.

The Swiss-American dish displays a pleasing interplay of textures and flavors, namely creamy and rich egg yolk and the uber-crispness of twice-fried hash brown-style Scandinavian potato pancakes called rosti, coupled with the cold-smoked Chilean salmon.

The two sauces, a mustard and housemade mayo version and a sweet broccoli sauce, give the dish an edge, while the asparagus, expertly blanched and sauted, elevates it to another level.

Park said future plans are to also sell gravlax and smoked salmon to-go. 

Salmone Kitchen

Salmone Kitchen opened near Garak Market in Seoul’s Songpa-gu in November. (Park Hae-mook/The Korea Herald)

150-32 Munjeong-dong, Songpa-gu, Seoul / (02) 409-3923

Open 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., 6 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays, closed Sundays.

Small healing salmon platter costs 25,000 won, large platter costs 39,000 won; smoked salmon with potato rosti and poached egg costs 19,000 won; Sieur d’Arques Blanquette de Limoux Brut sparkling white wine costs 5,000 won per glass.

By Jean Oh (oh_jean@heraldcorp.com)

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