Last week my best friend from England came to pay me a visit. It’s been a couple of years since her last jaunt to the land of the morning calm so I wanted to make her trip extra special. A few weeks before I was very kindly invited to come and give the Four Seasons restaurants a try so I decided to save the champagne brunch at The Market Kitchen just for her.
The champagne brunch runs every weekend and costs 100,000 won per person and includes all the food from the buffet, a glass of champagne, and tea or coffee at the end of the meal. The brunch begins at 11.30 am and ends at 3pm, so be sure to go early to take full advantage of everything available.
I have been to a lot of these champagne buffets over the years and I have always found it prudent to take a walk around all the stations first to see what’s there before digging in. The Market Kitchen buffet is split into salads and breads, seafood, roast meats, Japanese, Chinese, International, and the most magical selection of desserts.
We decided to be smart and start with the fresh salads and work our way around each section. Like most luxury hotel buffets that I’ve been to, the salad selection is full of beautiful fresh ingredients to make your own along with some pre-made salads. I usually avoid the freshly baked breads at all costs, I’m sure they are delicious but they are just to filling and a buffet rookie’s mistake.
After our healthy start we went to the Japanese sushi section. While raw fish isn’t always my cup of tea my bestie loved it and there were still the prawn and tofu veggie sushis that I adore. All the trimmings like wasabi, pickled ginger and soy sauce were there. I’m no expert but I found it was rather a nice selection.
The freshly cooked seafood is probably one of the biggest draws for the buffet, and the crown jewel being the cooked to order lobsters. As I was taking a picture I could see them wiggling away, and I did feel a touch guilty eating him afterwards.
The lobster was steamed and came with a Chinese style ginger sauce. Although I enjoyed the simplicity, I think it would have been nicer if there had been a couple of different ways to have it though. Along with the lobster, there were crab legs, shrimps, sea urchins, and a whole host of other creatures from under the sea.
To go with our lobster we had an eggs Benedict which you order at the hot station then they bring it to your table, it’s just not brunch without one and the single sized serving was the perfect amount. At the same station there were lots of other breakfast goodies and dishes which you could order to be freshly made which I thought was nice.
After the lobster we planned on taking a break while enjoying our champagne but the roast beef trolley turned up and I just couldn’t resist. I’ve only eaten roast beef from a trolley once before and that was at the Dorchester in London on my 21st birthday. There just aren’t enough beef trolleys in the world in my eyes. Served with roast potatoes, gravy and asparagus, it satisfied all my Sunday lunch cravings.
For those in the mood for more meat they have lamb chops, steak, and LA Galbi, all served with the required accompaniments and lots of other standard buffet dishes.
On the Chinese side Rachel got dimsum and I had an array of Chinese dishes including noodles with chicken and the best fried aubergine I’ve ever had. As much as I love it middle eastern style, no one does aubergine like the Chinese.
I’m lucky enough to live a child free existence but for those of you who do not, you may appreciate the fact there was a little build your own taco section, burgers made to order and pizza. I thought these touches quite sweet. Especially the jars of sweets and the make your own ice cream bar.
Dessert held a dazzling array of goodness, honestly there was so much I’m not even sure I could even list them all. My favourites were the choux buns, macarons, and the creme brulee. By the end of the meal we were fit to bursting but it didn’t stop us enjoying a second plate of macarons while we drank our coffees.
Overall we had a perfect afternoon of indulgent eating. It’s the ideal spot for when you fancy a treat or have a special occasion to celebrate, especially if you are seated in one of the private rooms. The ambiance of the restaurant is made all the more inviting by the live band and the incredibly attentive staff. I’ve often found that service in Korea is pretty lacklustre but at The Market Kitchen nothing is too much, our adorable waiter even went to fetch us two bowls of ice cream when we were too lazy to get up and walk back to the dessert bar. Now that’s what I call service.
The Market Kitchen is located at The Four Seasons Hotel, 97 Saemunan-ro, Jongno-gu, Seoul. To get there take a train to Gwanghwamun Station (line 5) and come out of exit 7. walk straight and cross over the street, you should see the hotel in front of you. For more information you can call them on 02-6388-5000, or check out their website.