As your favourite food blogger I always try my best to find you the best food in Korea. And for once in my life I’m ahead of the crowd and sharing with you a restaurant that isn’t even open yet! Il Gattino is having a secret opening and they have the best Italian food in Korea bar none. With Italian chef Flavia in the kitchen serving up her classic Italian cuisine and Giovianni as the warm and inviting host, HBC finally has a restaurant which is worth queuing for. For a bargain price of only 35,000 we shared the most sumptuous meal. Prices will remain cheap during the secret opening while they test their recipes and see what proves to be popular, but even after this Giovanni tells me that main pasta courses will only cost around 10,000 each and desserts at around 4,000-5,000. He wants the prices to reflect those in Italy and not just overcharge like many restaurants do here just because we are in Seoul.
To kick start the meal we were given their home baked ciabatta bread, chili jam and olive tapinade. The bread was especially good, and perfectly accompanied with the salty tapinade and sweet chili jam. You can never go wrong with freshly baked bread to start a meal.
The bread course was swiftly followed by baked aubergines in a rich tomato sauce, topped with mozzarella. I love this dish, and often make a similar version myself. Tomatoes, cheese, and aubergines work perfectly and it’s also a great option for vegetarians.
Next we were presented with two different kinds of homemade gnocchi. The first were simply cooked in butter and topped with parmesan cheese. The light pillowy delicate flavour of these was outstanding. Probably the best I’ve ever eaten, they were little clouds of heaven that just melted on the tongue. All they needed was a touch of freshly ground pepper on top to complete them. We actually fought over the last one!
Our second dish was the gnocchi covered in bolognaise. Made using Giovanni’s grandmother’s recipe, it was everything a bolognaise should be, simple, rich, and full of flavour. Again the gnocchi were pure perfection but the sauce really stood out in this dish. I can’t wait to go back and try their lasagne.
In true European style, no meal is complete without dessert and we were lucky enough to try two. A sponge topped with a luscious lemon mousse, and my favourite, tiramisu. Made in the traditional way, both were like eating lavish creamy clouds. With homemade mascarpone, light sponge and rich coffee, the tiramisu was flawless. Both were fantastic and I suggest you get one of each because it was very hard to decide which one we liked best. I gave the edge to the tiramisu, the Fat Boyfriend preferred the lemon. I also heard they have a rich chocolate creation that they will be debuting very soon which I am desperate to try.
The restaurant will be open at the Good to Go location in Hae Bang Chon. But sandwich fans don’t despair, they aren’t going anywhere as the restaurant will be dual run. As I mentioned Il Gattino isn’t even open yet, but they are open to reservations of small groups. Giovanni will find out your tastes and prepare a special set menu just for you. They take lunch and dinner bookings, so if you would like to try their incredible food, please message them using their facebook page.
Il Gattino is located at 46, Yongsan 2 ga, Yongsan gu, Seoul. To get there head to Noksapyeong station(line 6) and come out exit 2. Walk straight and bear left at the kimchi pots. Keep walking up the hill until you see Good to Go/Il Gattino on your right just across from Bonny’s Pizza.