The Seoul dining scene is forever changing in the blink of an eye, and restaurants are constantly having to evolve to keep up with it. One restaurant that has recently undergone a transformation is Dinette (formerly Osteria Langhe). The restaurant occupies the space above Namsan Chemistry and has changed from an Italian to a place specializing in healthy eating and organic foods. There has been complete redecoration and the restaurant is now decked out in a 1920s style mix of gold and green. Owner SJ very kindly invited me back to come and check out all the changes they had made.
It is not only the decor that has seen a change since my last visit, the menu has had a big change too. We were unsure of what to order so decided to take a few recommendations from their wonderful head waiter Seimyung Oh. Honestly I find in Seoul that generally service is poor at best but Seimyung is very charming and attentive and beyond helpful. I always like to mention good service when I get it.
When perusing the drinks menu I was very pleased when I saw that they offered quite a few of my favourite cocktails. Even though the main bar tender doesn’t start until the evening, our waiter strived to make them for us and did a bang up job I must confess. The Bloody Mary (13,000) was pretty darn good, and this is not usually the easiest drink to make for me since I’m very fussy when it comes to Bloody Marys. We also ordered a Mimosa (11,000). It is nice to find a place in Seoul that offers these day drinks, though they aren’t a brunch joint per se, it’s a great light and airy space that would be perfect for a weekend boozy lunch.
At the suggestion of waiter we ordered the Pancetta Sandwich (14,000). Oh my lord was this good. The pancetta is actually made in house. It was so thick and crispy and wrapped in the most fabulous flat bread which is also made in the restaurant. Topped with brie, apricot jam, and sliced tomatoes it was the most pimped out version of a BLT ever. The fact that they had made the two most important ingredients themselves really made this sandwich and made it worthy of its price tag.
We wanted to keep things balanced, so decided to go for a salad. One that stood out to us was the Eggplant Salad (16,000). I’m not sure if you could consider these little deep fried balls of egg plant in bread crumbs a salad but my were they tasty. They came atop an arabiatta sauce, that while very fresh didn’t have much of a kick. Not that we minded because this dish was orgasmic. If every ‘salad’ tasted like this I’m sure I would be a lot healthier.
One thing on the menu that hasn’t seemed to have changed are the the wood fired pizzas. There is a interesting array of flavours and this time we opted for the Proscuitto, Rucola, Mozzarella and Parmesan (22,000). This is just the kind of pizza I enjoy eating for lunch. The crust was lovely and chewy and the medley of fresh ingredients worked in perfect harmony. It was light yet filling at the same time.
You’d have thought we would have been full by that point, and any two normal people would have been. However here at team Fat Girl, we don’t just give up when we are full. As we hadn’t ordered it, the owner sent over his favourite pasta dish for us to try. On first inspection the Cauliflower Pesto Pasta (25,000) doesn’t look so great. White and pale green rarely catch the eye in a photograph, however one bite of the pesto spaghetti and roasted cauliflower and we were in heaven. Although not mentioned on the ingredients list, there was an abundance of garlic in this dish, which we really enjoyed, you just might not want to order it on a first date.
Overall I was pleasantly surprised by Dinette, at first I thought the menu was bit of an eclectic mix, but the dishes we tried were excellent. This place brings something new and everything we ate was delicious and well executed. The decor and style of the place make it feel a little bit special which is reflected in their prices. The fact that they have cocktails make it perfect for a group lunch or dinner when you have something to celebrate.
Dinette is located at 33 Hoenamu-ro, Itaewon-dong, Yongsan-gu, Seoul. To get there take a train to Noksapyeong Station (line 6) and come out of exit 2. Walk straight until you reach the underpass, go through and exit using the left hand stairs. Follow the road around and walk straight through Gyeongridan until you start walking up the hill. Namsan Chemistry is about half way up on the left hand side, Dinette is on the second floor just above. For more information you can call them on 02-797-2234 or visit their facebook page. They are open everyday from 11:30am – 11:00pm. There is also valet parking.