In the last week of 2018, I went for a very special meal with some friends and my hubby to celebrate the end of the year. As it was a special occasion I thought long and hard about where we should go. Seoul has quite a few high end restaurants these days, and as we don’t dine out like this on a regular basis I had plenty to choose from. However after hearing that Chef Joseph Evett had opened up his first solo restaurant at the beginning of December, I knew I had found the perfect spot for our dinner. The restaurant is located in Gangnam and is on a quiet residential street. The restaurant is sleek and chic without any pretension. As far as I am aware there is no a la carte option for this restaurant, they only offer a 10 course set dinner which costs 130,000 per person. This needs to be booked in advance, so please let them know then if you have any food allergies or dislikes when booking. The menu is not fixed and is always subject to change to include the ingredients that the team wants to work with, so you will have no idea of what you will actually eat. Luckily we were all unfussy eaters, and only I had one dish switched out, which they very kindly did for me.
Heading up the booze side of things is Dustin Wessa, who is their resident Korean liquor specialist. He has put together a 5 Korean alcohol pairing (50,000) to go with the dinner which I thought to be very reasonable. Dustin is very knowledgeable and we got to try a lot of unique liquors we else wise wouldn’t have tried, plus a few he threw in a couple extras. Dustin is passionate about Korean liquor so if you talk his language I’m sure he will happily share some of his treasures with you. If like my hubby and I, you aren’t as in to Korean alcohols, then they also have a well thought out wine list. We opted for a bottle of their Cremant de Loire (90,000), which was perfect for us. They also offer corkage if you have a special bottle you have been waiting to drink.
Once our drinks had been taken care of, it was on to the food. The menu presented to us was very simple, and just named the main ingredient, so everything was a surprise as it came out. Since this was a 10 course menu it would be impossible to write about every dish. I would also hate to rob you of the joy of experiencing the meal for yourself, so I’ll just run through the highlights.
One dish that really kicked things into high gear was the ‘Game Consomme”. In the dead of winter, is there anything more satisfying than a rich meaty broth, but when it comes with deep fried game croquettes on the side you are certainly going to have my attention. However of all the dishes, the ‘Chicken & Beer’ was probably my favourite. I love chimaek as much as the next girl, in fact I even dressed up as it for Halloween one year. So seeing their interpretation of this classic Korean meal was a joy. The flavour was absolutely fantastic and had everyone at the table practically licking their plates to get one last morsel.
The dessert of Chocolate, Goats Milk, and Mushroom Ice Cream was just incredible, you really have to love mushrooms but if you do you will be rewarded with a mouthful of goodness. It was rich but had a fully earthy and truffle-ey finish. If that wasn’t enough we were also presented with the most beautifully styled petit fours with our coffee. I loved how they took old Korean style wooden doors and turned them into plates. It really infused the whole meal with another aspect of Korean culture.
One aspect that really enhanced our dinner was the service. All of the staff were incredibly attentive and gracious all night, and it was one of the nicest parts of the meal. Good service is often hard to find here, and it often lacks personality even if it is flawless in its execution. We loved that Joseph himself came out to present and tell us about most of the dishes we ate, he explained them with such a passion that you couldn’t help but get on board. he also presented us with a hand draw version of the menu for us to take away as a reminder of the meal. It was a real touch of class.
Overall we had a spectacular meal. The food made a wonderful use of Korean ingredients, which were presented in a modern European style. Though the presentation was flawless, there were were no tricks or faux pomp. Most of the ingredients looked as they should and weren’t turned into foams, freeze dried powders, or other sciencey style gimmicks. It was proper food, and cooked well. Evett is a new place but there is something wonderful happening here. It is the perfect place to visit if you are looking for something special, or somewhere that pushes Korean ingredients and dishes into a whole new space.
Evett is located at 33 Dogok-ro 23-gil, Yeoksam-dong, Gangnam-gu, Seoul. To get there take a train to Yeoksam Station (line 2) and come out of exit 1. Walk Straight and take the seventh street on your right (you’ll have to cross the street). Walk down this street and take the second left. You will see Evett just up ahead on the right hand side. For more information you can call them on 070-4231-1022 or check out their website.