Review: Poom

26 November 2015

I had a long afternoon in Seoul running around, and finally doing another load of laundry. Aside from the bloody welts on my body hopefully I’ve erased the last legacies of Kagoshima. Despite the large lunch, I headed out for an early dinner at Poom — which was recommended to me by photo-blogger Katie Keiko Tam. In some ways it was not the most straightforward dinner…

The restaurant insisted on a credit card deposit (and not via a hotel, so you need to call them or risk emailing it), and the choice of the menu beforehand. And the restaurant is way, way on top of the hill at the centre of Seoul, so if you are walking (climbing) you’ll get a good workout — if you don’t get lost. I climbed way up and couldn’t find the entrance, but they directed me by phone. That was a hike…

The place is actually really cool, and the view of Seoul is just spectacular. The service was impeccable and you can see they want this to be the premiere haute dining destination of Seoul. I relaxed and also happily enjoyed their recommended beverage, a beautiful rice wine. This place has a pretty big wine list too. Since I pre-selected the menu I had an indication of what’s coming up. At first, some snacks…

snack-pine nuts and dates

Oh these are addictive. Roasted pine nuts and dried dates Mmm… I kept snacking at these until the first course arrived. By the way that rice wine is sublime…

01-oyster

This was a lightly-blanched oyster, graced by a healthy serving of kimchee radish. Nice, simple. The broth was actually quite nice too. Then the second item, which was really excellent…

02-hotpot

This was what they called a “royal hot pot” that had quite a few ingredients as you can see, from egg to chicken, from scallion to whitefish. Each had one slice, and all helped to produce this rich broth. I suspect the design has a meaning in Korean, but sadly it’s lost on me… Very nice. I am glad to be able to dine alone in Seoul! Then the next course, a salad-ish item…

03a-salad

This was very interesting, as it was bamboo shoots, bean sprouts and mushrooms, all with a persimmon dressing. It was very tasty. Here is the item deconstructed…

03b-salad

Very tasty to be honest, all the different flavours worked well. I’m pretty happy so far, and the rice wine is just fabulous. At times you don’t even remember it’s not grape-based… Then up we had some fabulous beef.

04-beef

This was a very nice dried front leg of beef, with as fabulous pear slices. A wonderful combination, delicious with just a dab of sea salt. Excellent! I am enjoying this dinner immensely. The staff are great and chatty, which is nice for a solo diner. Then we move on with monkfish.

05-monkfish

The monkfish, steamed, was excellent. A solid amount of vegetables on top made this a nice dish in itself. Nice stuff. Then back to meats with the next dish.

06a-patty

Interesting, a patty made from a mixture of minced rib and sirloin. It was like the most ultra best Salisbury steak you’ll ever eat…wow. This was excellent. Lovely flavours here, just a tad of sweet to bring out the beef from the jujubes. Excellent! I was a little sad as the next course was the last savoury…

07a-octopus

This was the whole presentation, with banchan of pickled goods, rice and octopus in a spicy base. To be honest this was not good at all. The octopus was not spicy (they told me the proprietors don’t like spicy food, thus…) and the broth was stuck confused between watery and sippable. The only dish that really failed this evening, too bad it was the last.

I relaxed and was offered some sweet pear-based tea and a dessert of various items — starting with a chestnut ball, a ginger ball, and sweet rice cake — all graced with honey.

08a-dessert

I really liked this dessert, as it fits my frame of mind. Not too sweet, just right, and full of natural flavours. Very nice end to this meal. I enjoyed it! Probably the best of the tasting courses I’ve had in Seoul, especially compared to placed like Congdu. Let’s see what Ryunique will bring — that’s coming up on my last night here in Seoul.

Poom is by no means cheap, especially in a city that’s generally not too expensive for food. I wished them well and headed down the very steep hill. It was flurrying but I didn’t need my heavy coat. This city is overheated anyway, so nice to get some fresh air. I headed back to my hotel to give my laundry a second run, just to ensure the bugs of Kagoshima are exterminated.

Little did I know later that night I’d go out and nearly kill myself with more food…oh, Seoul…can I survive 2 more days?

Poom [품]
3F, Daewon-jeongsa B/D, 358-17 Huam-dong, Yongsan-gu
Seoul, South Korea

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One thought on “Review: Poom

  1. Pingback: The Perils of Solo Dining in Seoul… | melhuang1972

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