I first came across Mishmash when a good friend posted pictures from their dinner. It really doesn’t take much to get me excited about food, in fact even just a fleeting glance of something vaguely edible will do it. But after seeing a picture of the biggest galbi rib I have ever seen, it knew I had to go and give it a try and added it to my list of places to eat at. A mere two days later another friend recommended Mishmash, at the time I was just in the midst of organizing a dinner for a visiting friend and knew that the modern Korean fusion style restaurant would be the perfect place to take them. The neighbourhood bistro is located just away from the main road, down the Hangangjin end of Itaewon.
We arrived on one of the hottest days of the year, and quickly refreshed ourselves with the provided cool wet towels, it was not necessary but an incredibly welcome and thoughtful touch. We then moved on to the bottle of Chablis (70,000) which revived us even more. They offer both set course menus and a la carte. We opted for the five course set menu which was a very reasonable 65,000. The four course is 47,000 while the the three course was 35,000.
We kicked off the dinner with a fish course of thin slices of lightly cured sole, charred gwarri pepper, garlic and chogochujang caviar. I’m not a big fish eater but this was so fresh, not a hint of fishiness. The onion oil married so well with this dish, and you could really taste the slightly sweet char from the pepper. The caviar was resplendent little bursts of mildly spicy gochu that left a whisper of a spicy tang. It was a very refreshing dish indeed. We then moved on to the chicken lollipop, which were tiny pieces of fried chicken tossed in spicy yangnyeom seasoning. I adored these, the only shame being that there were only three, thankfully we were also given two lovely plump barbecued shrimp, and a bowl of bouillabaisse as well. I wish I could show you pictures of every course we enjoyed but we would be here all day.
You’d have thought that three starters would be enough for most people, but not our group. We decided to order the Galbi Raviolo (15,000) as an extra dish, as we had heard it was not to be missed. This duck yolk dumpling was stuffed with braised short rib, and served in a puddle of brown butter, green onion sauce and chili oil, and was topped with pine nuts and deep fried mushrooms. I was expecting this to be really rich, and while it was, it was also incredibly satisfying. The tender braised beef was very sweet, but the slight sharpness from the onion, and spice from the chili oil really helped cut through it. The toasted pine nuts really added an extra texture too. I’m glad we added this one on to our order.
The main event was the Beef Short Ribs. These bad boys were spice rubbed, cooked sous vide for 24 hours, and then topped with pine nuts and and ginseng flakes. We carved these up like butter, they were so incredibly tender and the meat melted in the mouth. The rub itself was slightly memorable of a Chinese style spare rib, and though it was tasty, it would have been even better if the flavour had been more intense. This came served with a traditional Korean pot (gamasot) of garlic rice, and some banchan style veggies. It was a very filling course, though I still of found the room, and lack of dignity, to gnaw the bones clean.
I really thought we had ordered enough food, but the Chef and owner Minzi seemed to disagree and sent over a complimentary order of Fried pickles with Doenjang Aioli (8,000). Oh my god were these pickled chilies incredible. The light batter encasing them was extra crispy, and the pickles themselves has a really nice tang. I could have eaten a never ending supply of these bad boys, especially when dipped into the doenjang aioli, which was the ideal accompaniment.
For dessert we had a gluten free chocolate cake with coffee and nut frosting, and caramel ice cream. I was expecting this to be a battle of flavours but it all really worked and I found myself shoveling it down, despite being rather full. A very nice way to end the dinner. Overall we enjoyed a fabulous meal at Mishmash and I was really blown away by the creativity of some of the dishes. For modern Korean, it is very hard to beat at this price point. In fact I’m not sure how they are really turning a profit because the food was so incredible. It is a true gem of a place, and the perfect spot for a date or nice meal with friends.
Mishmash is located at 739-18 Hannam Dong, Yongsan-Gu, Seoul. To get there take a train to Hangangjin station (line 6) and come out of exit 3. Walk straight and cross the street whenever you get a chance. Then take a left at the Bun Cha place. At the next intersection take right, you will see Mishmash located a little way up on the right hand side. For more information you can call them on 02-6465-2211 or check out their facebook page. They are open for lunch at 11:30 – 3 & dinner from 6-10 Monday – Saturday.