Before leaving for Vietnam to go on our first honeymoon, I was invited to Sinsa to check out the newly renovated Magnum. I first wrote about it several years ago when it was a classy up market bottle shop. They then expanded to serving wine and tasting platters, before transforming into a full on bar and bistro with live music on weekends. Since my darling hubby works very close to Garosugil, we are often on the look out for good places to eat and have found that they are quite few and far between in the area, so were excited at the prospect of having somewhere to go on date night.
After taking a seat at one of the sleek black table tops the bar tender came over and asked us about our preferences for alcohol, and suggested that we try the Raspberry Moscow Mule (12,000). As you may well have seen from Instagram I adore a Moscow Mule, and love anything flavoured with raspberry so this really couldn’t have been any better for me. Perfectly made, it was delicious way to start the evening. Served alongside our cocktail was the Mediterranean Tasting Board (30,000). The board included homemade hummus with roasted garlic, tzatziki, spicy harissa, marinated kalamata olives, dates and toasted pita. We all loved this, the chips and the dips were fabulous. It can be very hard to find good dips here, and balanced with the olives and dates, this was the perfect platter to graze on with cocktails, a great start to the evening.
Our next set of drinks were Daiquiris (15,000) made with Louisiana Bayou Rum. I have never heard of this kind of rum before so was excited to try something new. The fragrant dark rum, gave an extra depth of flavour to the traditional sweet and sour cocktail. Along side this cocktail we were served the Cruidite (15,000), a medley of fresh veggies with the best creamy herb dip I have ever eaten in Korea. We were all absolutely living for this, it was just so fresh and flavourful. We also tried the Manchego & Jamon Crostini(16,000). These cheese and ham topped breads came with fig jam, perfect finger food and nice and salty to compliment the sweet cocktail. Our last dish of this round was Carpaccio (28,000) wafer thin slices of herb crusted beef fillet, served with arugula and radish salad, truffle oil and parmesan. If you are a truffle fan you will enjoy this as much as me, though my one disappointment was that the beef didn’t taste quite as flavourful as it smelled.
As the evening moved on we, the cocktails were kicked up a notch too. Enter the Elit Vodka Martini (25,000), made with the Stoli premium vodka. This was one of the smoothest vodkas I have ever had. I adore vodka but can rarely face a martini, unless I’m really poor and need to stretch a drink out all night, but this one was smooth as silk with no hint of that vodka bite. We were served several deep fried snacks alongside our martinis but the unanimous favourite was the Arancini(16,000). Deep fried balls stuffed with truffle risotto and mozzarella. We then moved on to our main course of the evening, Porchetta (25,000). The thick cut oven roasted pork was served with mashed potatoes, gravy and pickled vegetables. The juicy pork was rolled with herbs that gave it a robust flavour. When paired with the gravy rippled mashed potatoes I was in Sunday roast heaven.
As the evening came to a close we finished with an Old Fashioned (15,000) and Amaretto Sour. Served alongside these was the Fresh Cream Cannoli (16,000). I loved the idea of this deconstructed dessert, which made it very easy to share. We were really struggling to find room to finish this, when out came the Tiramisu (16,000). It is very hard to please a very full group of people but it knocked our socks off. It was pure perfection and devoured in an instant, be sure to order it as it is not to be missed.
Overall we all had a fabulous evening, great drinks and even better food. Good Italian food isn’t always easy to find in this city, especially if you prefer the Italian American style, and the price points for all the food and drinks were very reasonable for this area, dare I say it even on the cheap side. What completed the evening for us was the owner’s father, a proper Italian American gent, who came over to our table and regaled us with stories of New Jersey at the end of the evening. I felt as though I had been transported to a different time and place entirely.
Magnum is located at 120 Apgujeong-ro, Gangnam-gu, Seoul. To get there take a train to Apgujeong station and come out of exit 5 and walk straight for about 7 blocks. Magnum is on the same road just after the turning for Garosugil. For more information you can call them on 02-512-5271 or check out their facebook page for more details. They are open from 11am – 3am everyday.