Once you experience Korea’s unique cafe culture, you’ll never stop raving about it. No seriously, it’s that good. In a city of nine million people, businesses reinvent themselves to bring unique tastes to their customer’s pallets. It’s an impossible feat to get through all the hidden nooks and crannies for delicious food all, but when I do, I just can’t help but share.
Like the next foreigner, I dig a good western food when it suits my fancy. Enter Byeol Jin’s French Bistro tucked away in a cozy little alley next to Sangsu Station.
Upon walking into the bistro, you’ll notice the intimate setting of the cafe. The minimalistic homey decor with plants and soft accents feel very enticing as you walk in. All the tables are wooden and you’ll notice the subtle love for France displayed in flags and wall decos. Byeol Jin’s is infamous for the five course sets and for those like myself who don’t eat beef, pork or chicken, there is a seafood platter.
The Five Courses
Course One: Strawberry Drink
Summer is fast approaching in Seoul and there’s no better time to sip on something iced and refreshing. Real pieces of the fruit are added for an even more authentic texture.
Course Two: Cream of Mushroom & Broccoli Soup
Many times, Western Korean restaurants create this type of soup too watery or too thick, but Byeol Jin’s gets it right with a light and satisfying texture. Everything was cooked to perfection including the veggies and seasoned lightly with black pepper.
Course Three: Asian Style Rice
If you want your taste buds to sing with happiness, you’ll be in for a treat with this. The purple rice is cooked to perfection and topped with a sauce so amazing, you’ll be saying, “OH YAHS.” Why is the sauce boss? It’s a mixture of mayonnaise, soy sauce, and fish eggs. It’s topped with shredded seaweed cooked in sesame oil.
Course Four: Salad & Garlic Bread
If you follow me on Youtube, you’ll know I think sweet western food is quite strange. In Korea, almost all garlic bread is topped with sugar. Luckily, Byeol Jin’s is subtle and you can taste more of the garlic and butter on the top. The salad was made with fresh Asian house dressing.
Course Five: Prawn and Lobster Main Dish
The main star of the five course meal didn’t disappoint. I absolutely loved how the prawns were cooked in a spicy sauce and surrounded with bell pepper, tomatoes Brussel sprouts, and onions. Seriously, I haven’t had Brussel sprouts in forever and they were so delectable. On top of the veggies, the lobster tails were boiled to perfection and lightly topped with butter. A dash of lemon from the platter is all it takes to complete this wonderful seafood creation.
If you’re not into the whole five course thing and would prefer something different, Byeol Jin’s offers an a la carte, side dish, and brunch menu.
Would I eat here again? Absolutely. There’s nothing I enjoy more than a Korean and French fusion done properly. The atmosphere is quaint and the staff are super kind and accommodating. The owner, Yun Seok Ye, is also amiable and will make you feel welcome. Since the French Bistro accommodates about 20 people comfortably, you can dine with a peace of mind and little disturbance.
How to Get There
Walk out of Sangsu Station exit 1 (Brown Line 6). Walk straight and take your first right. Go up the alley and veer slightly right. Byeol Jin’s will be on your right next to Fell + Cole.
Address: 310-11 Sangsu-dong Mapo-gu, Seoul
서울특별시 마포구 상수동 310-11
Hours: 12 pm – 12 am
Gina Bear was welcomed to Byeol Jin’s as a guest to sample the five course meal. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own.