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SINGAPORE (Reuters Life!) - The Miele Guide to Asia's finest restaurants is written by food experts who know and love the region (www.mieleguide.com).
This is a list of the top 5 restaurants in South Korea, which has embraced foreign foods with a passion in the past decade. It is not endorsed by Reuters.
1. Pierre Gagnaire a Seoul
Champagne as aperitifs and several courses of amuse bouche - such are the little luxuries that precede a meal at the feted Pierre Gagnaire a Seoul. For his Korean outpost, Gagnaire incorporates Korean ingredients to his modern, innovative French cuisine to yield dishes such as grilled beef tenderloin with abalone and pepper, shallot compote and Chinese quince, and beef tartar and consomme jelly with sesame seeds. Conventional course sets are turned deliciously on their heads, as guests might find themselves enjoying dessert or soup in the middle of their meal.
35F Lotte Hotel Seoul
New Wing, 1 Sogong-dong
Many celebrity chefs spend more time in front of a camera or a computer than in a kitchen - chef Park Hyo-Nam is an exception. Although he has won numerous international accolades and is now the executive chef of the Millennium Hilton, he has not allowed this to stop him from cooking at the hotel's signature French restaurant, Seasons. True to the restaurant's concept, Park's fine modern French style emphasizes harmony with nature. Sample the natural rock salt-crusted sea bass with sesame and basil, as well as the cherry crepes Suzette. Four times a year, Park creates an exquisite degustation menu to mark the change of the seasons.
1F Millennium Seoul Hilton Hotel
395 5-ga Namdaemun-ro
Akasaka is known for authentic Japanese cuisine paired with a beautiful view over the Han River. The sushi and teppanyaki courses are best enjoyed at the counter seats where you can observe the chefs at work and enjoy excellent personalized service. Apart from classic Japanese offerings, the restaurant also does an excellent hwe dup bap, the Korean cousin to chirashi-zushi.
B1 Grand Hyatt Seoul
747-7 Hannam 2-dong
4. Yongsusan (Chungdam)
The elegance of the powerful Koryo dynasty is alive and well at Yongsusan, a family of restaurants that specializes in recreating Gaesong (North Korean) court cuisine in elaborate menus. The owner is from Gaesong and personally ensures that every dish is recreated authentically. Try specialties such as Gaesong cabbage-wrap and sundae sausages (pig's intestines stuffed with a mixture of pig's blood, rice and vermicelli). The service is exquisite, with each dish served in personal portions on lovely pottery reminiscent of historical creations.
5. Table 34
There is an inviting comfort in Table 34's ambience created by New York-based Tony Chi. The clean lines, wood hues and modern elongated chandeliers give the interior a gentle, warm glow that amplifies the stunning views. This works extremely well with the impeccable contemporary French cuisine, which includes dishes like pan-fried duck breast with avocado, or a Dukkah spiced beef tenderloin with grilled baby eggplant and tomato sauce.
34F Grand Intercontinental Seoul
Editing by Miral Fahmy