A few weeks ago I was invited to a luxurious dinner at Mi Casa along with the who’s who of the foodie world so they could launch their new collection of Spanish wines. I was thrilled to be invited, as it combined my three favourite activities – eating, drinking, and travel. The fact that I didn’t have to leave Itaewon to go there, was the cherry on top of the cake.
We had a sumptuous 8 course Spanish dinner where each dish was accompanied by a wine from a different region of Spain. The tasting menu was specially prepared for the evening, so the portion sizes were smaller than what you would usually receive. Each individual dish is on their full menu except for the salmon.
The first course we tried was Pincho de Jamon Serrano. Skewers of dry cured Spanish ham and pineapple paired with a Rosé Cava which I particularly enjoyed. You can’t beat a glass of bubbly to kick things off. The ham and pineapple worked in perfect harmony, though anyone that’s eaten a Hawaiian pizza knows what a classic combination it is. I’m not sure how many pieces you get in the standard serving, as we were just served them as canapes, one by one or three by three in my case! (18,000)
The second course was Salmon marinado enrollado en huevo de codorniz. For those who don’t speak Spanish, it’s toast topped with salmon and a quail’s egg. This dish was paired with a Pazo Barrantes Albariño. I am usually no fan of salmon and was all ready to give it to TFB but figured since it was presented so beautifully I would give it a nibble. The salmon wasn’t at all fishy and worked well with the creamy quail’s egg, I ended up eating my entire plate, much to the chagrin of TFB. This is the only dish of the set menu that was a special just for that night and is not currently available, though there are a few other salmon dishes on the menu.
The third course was Vieiras al Jerez. Scallops with chorizo which was probably one of my favourite dishes of the evening. The fresh seared scallops worked well with the salty smoky pieces of chorizo. Paired with a Bodegas Langa called Pi. This wine was exceptional, it had the full bodied richness of a red in a white. Everyone at the dinner was raving about it, and we all said we can’t wait to come back and have a few more glasses or bottles! (20,000)
As we moved on to the fourth course we reached the meat dishes and the Panceta 17 horas. Jeju black pork belly slowly cooked for 17 hours and served with balsamic onions & seasonal vegetables. This was the dish I was most looking forward to after reading the menu, but I thought it could have been a touch more tender, it was not as soft as I was expecting but it still retained a good flavour. The accompanying vegetables were delightful though, especially the balsamic onions. The wine with this one was the first of the reds we tried, it was a GSM wine from Bodegas Castano. (32,000)
The fifth course was Carrilleras al Pisto. Beef cheeks with Spanish ratatouille, the best way I could describe it, is as a Spanish beef version of pulled pork. The beef Cheeks had a very stringy texture and aren’t my favourite cut of meat, but the sauce was very rich and would be very comforting on a cold night. The wine that was paired with this one was the Bodegas Bilbainas Viña Pomal Crianza. (27,000)
Last up was Entrecot al Grill, a juicy grilled rib-eye served with Spanish style potato gratin with romesco almond sauce & dijon mustard sauce. The steak was cooked to medium and the vegetables cooked al dente so they reserved a little bite, I would certainly come back for this one. The wine pairing was Pagos del Rey Condado de Oriza Reserva. Traditionally a Spanish house wine it worked well with the dish, and rounded out the meal nicely. (36,000)
For our final course, we enjoyed a dessert of Manchego cheese with dried fruit and candied nuts, which was paired with a sweet sherry. I was very taken with the sherry which tasted like sweet syrupy figs, I could have drank it all night. Clearly sherry needs to make a bit of a comeback as it’s always been thought of as an old ladies’ drink in the UK, but this one was absolutely divine, and nothing like the one my grandmother pulls out every Christmas. This light offering was a great way to round off such a large meal. The Manchego cheese and quince jam were quite a treat, and we even got some quince jam to take home after, which I lovingly used in my own Christmas canapes.
There’s nothing better than great food and wine, and a good time was had by all. Mi Casa is a fantastic location for an intimate or romantic evening. Their new wine collection was well received by everyone, judging by how drunk we all were by the end as you can see below. One of the best features of the bar are the wine machines they have, you can buy a card at the bar then go up to the machines and choose which wine you want and how big you want the glass to be. For technology loving alcoholics it’s a real find! I’ll definitely be going back again soon to drink more of their wonderful Pi wine and to eat some more of my favourite tapas dishes.
Mi Casa is located at 119-21 Itaewon-dong, Seoul. To get there take a train to Itaewon Station (line 6) and come out of exit 1. Walk straight and take the 3rd alleyway on the right. It’s at the end of the alley on your left, opposite My Thai China. You can call them on 02-790-0063 or check out their website for more details and a full menu.