Last week things got classy when we ventured to Rouge at the JW Marriott Hotel in Gangnam. We went there in celebration of my wonderful friend’s birthday. 5 nights a week Bar Rouge operates a wine buffet (really a buffet of wine). For a paltry sum of 45,000 you can eat and drink as much as your heart desires between the hours of 6pm – 9pm. That’s 3 hours of unadulterated drinking and gorging. Of course I lived up to my name and made sure I got my money’s worth.
First things first, you can’t start a night off without a glass of bubbly! They have four different kinds of sparkling wine, a Brut, a Cava, a Mascato and an Australian something or other. More than enough choices to keep everyone happy. No actual champagne but at that price I wouldn’t really expect there to be any.
As well as the sparkling, there were 4 whites on offer, three different kinds of chardonnay and a sauvignon blanc. I’ve nothing against chardonnay, but it did seem somewhat redundant to have a wine buffet featuring three chardonnays out of four white wines.
Red lovers fared better with 8 different varieties. You could also upgrade for an extra 20,000 per person which opened you up to whole other array of wine, but personally we were all happy with the selection we got.
On to the food! To start there is a cold salad buffet from which you can help yourself. All the regular salad ingredients are there and are sure to please the size zero second wives that plan on consuming as few calories as possible.
There are also olives, and anti pasto style vegetables. It’s so nice to have a bowl of olives and a glass of wine again, it’s been far too long since I enjoyed my favourite pre-starter combination. One really doesn’t get to enjoy as many high class dinners as one would like these days.
As well as the salad there is also a sushi bar, not a mind blowing selection, but decent enough with 4 different types. Pickled ginger, wasabi, and soy sauce are also all available for your dipping needs.
Rather than having a hot buffet, they bring you over these adorable trays of food whenever you request them. On this you get mini burgers, onion rings, battered salmon and tartar sauce, and two kinds of chicken kebabs. You can get as many of these as you like, but we found that two was plenty between the 5 of us. Everything on the plate was pretty good, and apparently the selection changes regularly.
Next is the pièce de résistance, the cheese room!!! A room of cheese and wine (but you can’t drink the wine). You can, however, eat the cheese, as much as you like. Five different varieties are showcased as well as prunes and nuts and the like.
There is also ham, lots of it, and some bread rolls. You could make yourself a ham sandwich and pop it into your pocket for later!
For those that like to finish on a sweet note there were pieces of fruit, and a cheesecake, but I was far too drunk at that point to take any more pictures. But I’m sure you have all seen watermelon, pineapple and cheesecake before.
They also offer a makgeolli cocktail, it was very sweet with a fruity taste, nice until you let them settle at the end, and they were just pure sugar. Also when we went to pay, they tried to charge us for them, so maybe they were part of the expensive wine buffet. They let it slide, but if you are part of the bargain club it might be worth checking first.
Overall I think the buffet was amazing value for money. If you have a birthday or an occasion to celebrate it’s the perfect spot if you want to do something a bit fancier without breaking the bank. They also have live music on weekends and will even even sing happy birthday for you. It’s just all round a lovely setting, plus the wine (so much wine!)
Bar Rouge is located at the The JW Marriot Hotel, Sinbanpo-ro, Seocho-gu, Seoul. It is open Tuesday-Saturday. To get there take a train to the Express bus terminal (line 3, 7,9) and follow the signs leading to the hotel. For more information you can call on 02-6282-6763 or check out the website.