Sometimes the best restaurants are found when you find that the place you intended to go to is closed. Which is exactly what happened to me last week. I was planning on going for a mid-week brunch at Sunday Arvo. Sadly it was closed so we walked along the street looking for somewhere else when we came to a Japanese restaurant that I had heard good things about. Since it was just opening we took it as a sign and went in to give it a try. The restaurant itself is super simple and cute with one large table in the centre of the room and another little table for four in the corner. Like the decor of the restaurant the menu is super simple too, in fact it is so simple there isn’t even one. When we visited they offered two set menus which change daily, since there were two of us we just ordered one of each.My set was the Japanese Egg Plant with Pork over Rice (15,500). The grilled egg plant was mixed with ground pork in a slightly sweet soy sauce and served over a grained rice, that wasn’t either white or brown but something in the middle. It came with a tonne of little different side dishes too. Included was a bowl of miso soup, a green salad, soft tofu, ginger marinated cucumber, kimchi style tomatoes, fried lotus roots, a piece of fried chicken and some fresh fruit. This lunch was so lovely, every dish felt like it was nourishing my body. There was a really nice mixture of textures and flavours with all the different side dishes. I was really full afterwards but in a good way.
The second set we ordered was hailed as Chicken Karage (16,000). Usually chicken karage is deep fried, but this was more of a stir fried chicken dish. It was topped with a raw egg yolk that you could mix in with the chicken and rice. It was really good, and had a nice richness thanks to the egg yolk. I thought both of the main dishes were really good, but I would probably give this one the edge.
Overall we both loved our meal, everything was so fresh and clean, the flavours were simple but we both left feeling full and that we had eaten everything our body needed. There is nothing fancy about this place but it has something very special about it. If you are looking for somewhere healthy yet tasty, this is well worth a visit.
Mesiya is located at 23 Hoenamu-ro 13ga-gil, Itaewon 2-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 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. Keep following the road until you reach Mesiya, it is on the left hand side before you reach the CU. For more information you can call them on 02-6402-0208 or check out their facebook page. They are open from 12pm-9pm Tue – Sun and closed on Mondays.