When Kwon Yong-ki and his brother brainstormed ideas for their new restaurant, the siblings remembered late nights spent chowing down on biscuits in Virginia.
“There was a diner inside the grocery that stayed open till five in the morning,” Kwon, 41, recalled of their favorite college haunt when he and his brother were studying in Virginia. “They always had biscuits and gravy. That was our go-to.”
The two, now living in Korea, realized how much they missed those biscuits and the idea for Buttermilk Biscuit Co. was born.
Buttermilk Biscuit Co. opened this April in Sinsa-dong, Seoul, near Apgujeong Station (Photo credit: Park Hyun-koo/The Korea Herald)
Once the decision was made to focus on Southern-style biscuits, two weeks were spent baking biscuits daily to find the right shape, texture and taste for their shop.
After much experimenting, the brothers and their team settled on a variation that is sweeter, fluffier and less sour than the ones they ate in Virginia.
About the size of a hockey puck, the biscuits at Buttermilk Biscuit Co. are massive, both in girth and height and sturdy with a crackly crisp crust and a surprisingly soft center.
Biscuits are baked fresh about twice a day, so if one arrives at the right time, one can grab them while they are still hot and buttery and eat them plain or sandwiched around rib-sticking fillings like fried chicken or eggs and steak.
Of the biscuit sandwiches, co-owner Kwon explained the aim was to create eats that could be enjoyed as a meal.
Indeed, biscuit sandwiches like their honey butter variation are heartily portioned, with a whole fried chicken breast topping the already substantial biscuit.
Dressed with whole grain mustard and mayo and amped up with jalapenos and a homemade honey butter sauce, this sweet and savory take on the biscuit sandwich is addictively satisfying.
While biscuits, which are available in two varieties -- plain buttermilk or cheddar – are the main act, Kwon revealed that one of his favorite dishes is their steak and cheese hash.
Buttermilk Biscuit Co.‘s honey butter sandwich features fried chicken breast topped with honey butter and swaddled in a biscuit dressed with whole grain mustard and mayo and garnished with jalapenos. (Photo credit: Park Hyun-koo/The Korea Herald)
A hefty jumble of meat, potatoes and bell peppers, the hash is fortifying and toothsome.
Salty triangles of crisp hash browns pair well with chunks of juicy beef, sweet bell peppers and cool sour cream.
Gooey cheese and chives complete a dish that could benefit from a healthy dose of hot sauce, which is provided at every table, but is just as good on its own.
Having just opened in Sinsa-dong, near Apgujeong Station, less than three months ago, Kwon says that they are still working on the menu, with plans to add seafood variations of the biscuit sandwich to the line-up.
Buttermilk Biscuit Co.
566-14 Sinsa-dong, Gangnam-gu, Seoul
Open 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesdays through Fridays, 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. Saturdays, open noon to 3:30 p.m. Sundays, closed Mondays
Buttermilk and cheddar biscuits cost 3,300 won to 3,500 won each, biscuit sandwiches cost 8,000 won to 10,000 won, classic hash costs 12,000 won to 14,000 won
By Jean Oh (firstname.lastname@example.org)