Customers may find the name of one of Garosugil’s latest gastronomic additions misleading.
Dubbed Serial Gourmet, this rustic chic restaurant sounds like it specializes in delicate fare served in dainty portions.
Nothing could be further from the truth.
The newly-minted establishment doles out hearty American classics like Louisiana-style sausage and New England boiled dinners (a beef or ham and vegetable dish).
Fronted by Raymon Kim ― who racked up experience in culinary management after abandoning a degree in aviation ― Serial Gourmet reflects the background of a man who harbors a penchant for New Orleans-style cuisine, has specialized in Spanish tapas and has spent more than a decade in Canada.
The menu ranges from an upscale take on the classic French-Canadian dish of fries and cheese, quaintly christened Quebecker’s blue cheese poutine (11,000 won), to Southern buttermilk fried chicken (24,000 won) and the Catalan dessert, crema catalana (6,000 won).
For only 15,000 won, brunch patrons can get their money’s worth with set menu A, which includes a salad, one large sausage, wedge-cut fries, a small bowl of pasta, eggs done scrambled, sunny-side-up or over easy and a cup of granola cereal doused with milk.
The scrambled eggs are nice and fluffy. The salad, dressed in a mixture of balsamic vinegar and honey, is fresh and served in generous portions. The fries are crisp on the outside and wondrously starchy and baked potato-like on the inside.
The highlight of the meal, of course, is the handmade sausage. Spiced with a mixture of cayenne and Mexican nora pepper, the spicy link sort of falls apart upon cutting ― imparting a crumbly, luscious, meaty goodness ― and goes excellently with the small crock of Kim’s version of Creole mustard (a blend of Dijon, whole grain mustard and house-made mayo) provided on the side.
“The sausage is pure pork,” executive chef Kim said with pride.
According to Kim, the sausages are made every other day and undergo a long marinating process. Fennel is used to add fragrance, while rosehips and beer are used to eliminate gamy odors.
While the sausage is fine alone, add an order of German mulled wine a.k.a. Gluhwein (8,000 won) to get the full effect of a decadent winter meal. Though a tad bitter, the warm mug of red wine spiced with cinnamon, nutmeg and orange definitely hits the spot.
For dinner time, the New England boiled dinner (26,000 won), coupled with a bottle of Erdinger Dunkel (a dark wheat beer), is an excellent, albeit more expensive, seasonal dish.
Kim’s version resembles a hearty stew, with huge chunks of potatoes, beef, carrots and whole cloves of garlic served up in a thick, demi-glace-type sauce and garnished with parsley.
High quality lager, red peppercorns, black peppercorns, bay leaves and thyme imbue this warm dish with a mouthwatering fragrance, and the silken sauce, tender meat, beg to be enjoyed, one large bite at a time.
Three small, homemade dinner rolls make a puffy, airy, soft addition to the meal and are best put to use to sop up each last dreg of delicious sauce.
But not everything is picture perfect at Serial Gourmet.
Take their chili con carne (10,000 won), for instance, which is more like a large bowl of supremely hot salsa than a thick stew.
No worries. Kim and crew still have plenty of opportunities to revise and update their dishes, especially since they will be changing their menu six times a year.
“I find it very important to use seasonal ingredients,” Kim explained of his approach.
Serial Gourmet is open from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. daily. To get there go to Sinsa Subway Station Line 3, Exit 8 and walk straight for two blocks. Turn left into the second street. Serial Gourmet is located on the second floor.
The Quebecker’s blue cheese poutine, buttermilk fried chicken, and New England boiled dinner will be on the menu starting Jan. 10.
For more information call (02) 542-0880.
By Jean Oh (firstname.lastname@example.org