I’m not sure what is happening with Itaewon these days but the place is a ghost town, at least in the culinary world. Empty restaurants can been seen everywhere and despite all these empty shells, more and more residential homes are being knocked down to build more commercial space. It’s madness and the landlords have got far too greedy. Due to the lack of new places opening I thought it might be prudent to visit some old ones. I haven’t written about Braai Republic since 2013, so it was definitely due a visit.
Since I last went, there has been a a rather large expansion and they now occupy the upstairs floor too. The upstairs has been styled to look like a Shebeen, an illegal style bar. There is a cozy living room where you can relax with a drink, and a dining room with its own kitchen which can be used for private parties or as a overflow area for those waiting for their table to open up.
Thought it has been a number of years since my last visit, the menu has stayed pretty similar. Their fabulous lamb chops, pies, and sausages are all still there, they have just added a few new items to run along side them, including a new lunch menu. Whilst we ladies decided what to luncheon upon, we decided to get into the festive spirit with a glass of Gluhwein (8,000).
The menu item that I remember most fondly was the meat platter, although I thought it might be a bit much for lunch. Thankfully they have a lighter version on the lunchtime menu. The Lamb & Banger (17,000) comes with a maple sausage, a lamb chop, potato wedges and salad. The lunch menu also comes with your choice of soft drink. The maple sausage was absolutely fantastic, I am very picky when it comes to what sausages I’m willing to put in my mouth but these had a really good flavour and seemed very high quality, and the lamb chop was just as good as I remember. I found this lunch to be very filling, as you know I am a big eater, and I couldn’t finish it all. One of the best things about the main meat platter is the BBQ style sides it comes with, thankfully my veggie companion came with me and just decided to get an order of the Sweet Potato (5,000) and Creamy Spinach (6,000) which meant I didn’t have to miss out.
My carnivorous companion ordered the Pulled Lamb Sandwich (12,000) as her dish. Again this came with a soft drink and some potato wedges. I can’t recall every having pulled lamb before, it had a deeper flavour but wasn’t as tangy as pulled pork. Personally I thought it was quite a heavy sandwich, it would be good on a hangover but it was a bit much for a regular lunch. It was fantastic value with the drink though.
We were all pretty full after our lunch, but were very kindly offered a slice of the new Peppermint Crisp (6,000) on the house. I probably wouldn’t have ordered this but was more than happy to give it try. Oh my god was this delicious. It was creamy, and crunchy and the minty-ness was just right. It seemed like it was sweetened with white chocolate which gave it an extra yumminess. We were fighting over the last bit, so if you are a dessert person it is not to be missed.
Overall we had a fabulous lunch, the food was as good as ever, so I must make plans with the Chubby Hubby to return again soon (he hates to miss out on any opportunity to eat lamb). It is easy to see why this place has remained so popular over the years, and I loved seeing the new upstairs, it looked so cozy and really made me want to curl up with a glass of mulled wine and enjoy the winter season.
Braai Republic is located at 63-4 Itaewon dong Yongsan-gu, Seoul. To get there take a train to Itaewon station and walk straight out of exit 4 for about 500 meters. Take a left just before you get to Mcdonalds. Keep walking straight down that street past the intersection. Braai Republic is on the left, on the second floor. You can check out their facebook page or call them on 02-795-1967.