On a very rainy evening a few weeks ago I was invited to dinner by a very good friend. She suggested Social Table, and since it was very close to my house I thought it would be worth a try. Social Table like a lot of great places to eat, is located in Gyeongridan in the hidden alleyway where the police station is. If you still haven’t been down this street then I suggest you check it out, it is filled with all kinds of quirky cafes, restaurants and dessert shops. I had walked past this place on more than a few occasions but sheer laziness stopped me climbing up to the second floor to find out more.
The place is really well designed and is actually set over four floors, there is a bakery and coffee shop on the ground floor, the main restaurant on the second, the third there is a gallery, and on the forth and fifth they have big empty spaces that you can rent for private events. I am often asked to help find locations for private events so it is nice to add another one to my repertoire. The restaurant itself is very well designed and filled with little touches that make it feel cosy and quirky.
It being a day ending in Y, we started out with a drink. I opted for a Berry Mojito (13,000), while my companion got a glass of wine. The Berry Mojito, while very refreshing, was a little on the sour side. It was not quite a mojito either since it was made with vodka, but as a cocktail it was still rather drinkable and also quite strong. There were a couple of other cocktails on the menu which we didn’t try, along with a selection of craft beers and wine if that is what floats your boat.
As we were scanning the menu, we were given a special free starter of gazpacho. This is one of my favourite soups and I often make it at home. This one was incredible, and the perfect way to use the in season tomatoes. This was so good, far better than the one I make, I was actually a little bit jealous. In the middle to keep it cool was a luxuriously fresh pesto ice cube which just added an extra edge. If I ever host a grown up dinner party I’m so stealing this idea.
A salad seemed like a nice way to begin the meal so we decided upon the Kale Salad with a Fried Poached Egg (13,000). There was a nice mix of textures and I enjoyed how finely the kale had been shredded. On top was grated parmesan and crispy slices of beetroot. The poached egg was breaded and deep fried and when cut into the egg oozed out like liquid gold. It was a good salad and nice option for any following a vegetarian diet.
For our second appetiser we oped for the 3 Style Cauliflower (12,000). Not surprisingly it was cauliflower served in three ways, roasted, pureed and pickled. I’ve always enjoyed cauliflower and it was lovely to see it on a menu for a change. I think of the three the roasted was my favourite, but all were deliciously different in their own way. Again it was enjoyable as a starter but you could also have it as a side or your main dish. It was very versatile.
For our main dish we opted for the Mushroom & Barley Risotto with Truffle Foam, (18,000). Mushroom risotto is always a favourite of mine and this one was really special. The use of barley instead of rice added such differentiation of flavour to the dish that was really impressive, it was creamy and flavorful at the same time. The truffle foam on top I found pretty flavourless, but the risotto itself made up for it. I though the plating was a bit off too, I thought the trio of white was a bit stark and some colour on the plate would have been nice but now I’m being picky, it was a delicious dish.
Lastly we tried the Chicken with Chipotle Cream Sauce (26,000). We had kind of forgotten we ordered this dish and had already filled up on the delicious risotto, however once I tried the chicken it soon became my favourite of the evening. It was incredibly tasty and flavourful, almost reminiscent of a good peri peri chicken. The outside was slightly spicy and had a lovely smokey taste while the chicken inside was moist and succulent. I could have eaten this for days. It also came with a collection of grilled veggies which we might have remembered more if we weren’t so full.
Overall I really enjoyed the meal at Social Table and was glad we checked it out. The food was well prepared and the prices very reasonable. On the way out we got a coffee to go from the bakery downstairs which in itself was exceptional and they had a really nice range of baked goods too. If you live reasonably near by its a great location for a date night, especially if you pop across to Kahlo Diego after for for a cocktail.
Social Table is located at 22 Hoenamu-ro 13-na-gil, Yongsan-gu, Seoul. To get there To get there take a train to Noksapyeong station (line 6) and come out of exit 2. Walk straight until you come to the stairs and an underpass. Go through the tunnel and take the stairs on the left. Keep walking straight and follow the road around until you get to Well Being Mart. You should see that the road forks, cross over and take the left side. Keep walking straight, past Pizza School, and past the Ace Mart, then take the road that turns right directly after Ace Mart. There are lots of cool bars and restaurants along this street, Social Table is just on the right hand side on the second floor above a small parking area. For more information you can call them on 02-796-7565.