Love is in the air, everywhere I look around. Actually cold is in the air and I’m freezing to death, but love it or loathe it, Valentine’s Day is on the way. And if you are in a relationship you are pretty much obligated to take your significant other out for a romantic dinner. I know some of you will be rolling your eyes so far back in your head that you’ll be needing medical assistance to get them back in front again but it’s not just V Day, this post applies for anytime you may want to have a nice night out with your someone special. the list is split into budgets so there should be something for everyone. The prices are a just a rough estimate and priced per couple not per person, based on a main course each and a shared starter and dessert. I haven’t included booze in the costings because booze is pricey here in Korea, and most of us are raging alcoholics which seriously inflates the price of dinner. So if you are on a budget I suggest you get wasted at home first, Personally I’m a big fan of Costco’s 8,000 sparking wine especially when served in a 3,000 won Daiso champagne glass. Who knew being so classy could cost so little?
Splurge 100,000 +
Ryunique – This place is pretty freaking special, think Heston Blumenthal type inspired dishes that are almost more about the theater than the food. Don’t get me wrong the food is pretty darn delicious too but this is a meal where every detail has been thought out and is really sure to impress your SO.
Boccalino – There’s nothing more romantic that Italian, and Boccalino is no exception. This uber stylish restaurant is located in the Four Seasons hotel, just by Gwanghwamun. Despite being in such luxurious surroundings the prices are actually quite reasonable, especially their set menus.
Jung Sik – The Michelin starred Korean restaurant is bound to be packed on Valentine’s Day itself, but you may be able to get a reservation if you are quick. If not there is always room at their fabulous bar, which is located on the floor below and has most of the same food.
Spend 50,000 – 100,000
Normal – If Ryunique is a touch out of your price range, then why not give Normal a try. It’s located just around the corner and has many of the same dishes and ingredients still presented in a beautiful way but at a fraction of the cost.
Seoul Dining -I adored this place on my last visit, the location and restaurant are stunning and it’s the perfect place to get you in the mood for love. The menu makes the most of Korean ingredients and flavours but presents then in a European way.
Beastro – My favourite Hongdae eatery is always busy around this time of year because the food is fantastic and incredibly well priced. The menu is ever changing to reflect the seasons but you can always guarantee they will serve a $20 hanger steak and a damn fine cocktail.
McCoys – Located at the end of Hae bang chon is the most charming little bistro. The food is always fabulous and the cute and cosy style makes it the perfect place to spend a romantic occasion. The pork chop and apple pie are not to be missed.
Brera – Brera is always a good bet for an Italian dinner. Virtually every dish on the menu is under 15,000 and owner Giovanni will always make sure you have a good time, or die trying.
Spice Market – Thai food is not the most romantic cuisine in the world, but it is one of the most beloved. Of all the Thai restaurants in the city, this one is my favourite, for food and ambience. It has the most adorable outdoor patio (nothing says love like contracting hypothermia) and you can easily get at least four dishes for your 50,000.
Mozzie – The Hooker Hill located bistro/pub/bar is a nice option for those who don’t like anything too froufrou. Portions are huge so you are likely to only need one main dish between you if you are planning on having a starter and dessert.
Cre8 Cookies – Forget a dozen roses, I’d rather have a dozen cookies, and no one does them better than the fabulous Cre8 Cookies in Gyeongridan. They even wrap them up and put them in the most adorable pink and gold boxes.
Conversation – Who needs a whole meal when you can just skip to dessert. Conversation has the most impressive array of cakes I have ever seen. You couldn’t fail to impress a date with a trip here. Its a sweet toothed heaven.
Gateaux De Voyage – No one does pastries like the French and you’d be pushed not to have your heart melt at the site of these beauties. Enjoy inside the cafe or in the comfort of your own home.