It’s very rare that you will find inexpensive and well cooked European food in Seoul, but that’s exactly what we found at Amigo Bienvenido in Hapjeong. I’ve known the head chef Manuel for some time now after visiting some of the other restaurants he has worked at over the years like Mi Casa and Alma Restaurante. So when he made a change and moved to the newly opened Amigo Bienvenido, I couldn’t wait to give it a try.
The menu is pretty large, about 3-4 pages, and there is huge list of small meat, fish, and veggie tapas dishes ranging between 2,000-9,000 each. The size of the dishes varies but the low prices means you can afford to try plenty of them. Unsurprisingly we started the meal off with a glass of sangria (8,000). While it was tasty, it was on the small side for a sangria. I think you’ll get better value from the large jug of sangria or a bottle of wine which start from a very reasonable 25,000.
Our first dish was the Jamon (9,000), a very decent price for 30g. The salty ham can be a bit much in a larger portions, so this was an ideal amount. Along with the Jamon we were given Manuel’s trademark service garlic aioli and salsa with freshly baked bread. All in all a nice start.
Our second dish was the Paella (9,000), a wonderful size given the price and it tasted just as good as the larger paellas I’ve had before. Perfect for two to share or for one as main dish. There were plenty of clams, mussels and shrimps throughout. They also do a squid ink variety too.
The third dish we tried was another chef special, the Bomb by Xef (5,000). A potato croquette stuffed with with ground beef flavoured similar to bolognese and served with a nice hearty smear of garlic aioli. I’ve written about this dish before, so I don’t want to go on and on about it, but suffice to say it was just as good as I remember and a bargain ball of deliciousness for 5,000 won.
Lastly we tries the Pintxo de tortilla espanola (2,000). A slice of potato tortilla on top a piece of bread and a blob of aioli. Not much more than two bites but enough. There were at least half a dozen of these bruscetta like bites on the menu too.
While the food we ate was excellent the service left a lot to be desired. We had a menu thrust at us before we had even sat down and the server came promptly to take the order, but once we were served our food they never came back. Not to check everything was okay, not to clear the many plates and not to see if we wanted anything else. Which we did, and finally got to order but they forgot. I don’t hold particularly high expectations when it comes to service in Seoul, but this seemed shockingly bad. The owner kindly knocked the drinks off the bill which somewhat mollified us but a little training could go a long way.
Spain Night Market is located at 396-33 Seogyo-dong, Mapo-gu, Seoul. To get there take a train to Hapjeong Station (line 2 & 6) and come out of exit 6. Walk straight and take the fourth left, Walk straight and you will see Spain Night Market just ahead on the other side of the road. For more information you can can call them on 02-333-1775. They are open every day from 11;30am – 11pm, with a siesta between 3pm – 5pm.