The Michelin Guide published a 2017 list for restaurants in Korea and La Yeon was awarded three stars, the restaurant was also on the Asia top 50 list as number 38 for 2016. Michelin also awarded stars Jungsik and Pierre Gagnire a Seoul which I have tried and posted before. After I read that there were two restaurants with three stars, I decided that I would try La Yeon. The restaurant is located in Seoul’s very fancy 5 star Shilla Hotel. The hotel is long famous among locals for its good food and beverage outlets with prices to match.
I was glad that they had a lunch menu, there are times where I want to experience great food, but I don’t necessarily want to always have dinner nor have time for a 5 hour tasting course. Thus I do appreciate fine dining establishments with a lunch and a la carte menu.
On my trip to Seoul, I meet up with a childhood friend for lunch. The hotel is set on top of a hill surrounded by lush forest. After parking, you need to head up to the top floor. It seems the floor was split with the Executive Lounge.
The foyer and floor is quiet and relaxing, the views are expansive and add to the atmosphere.
The menu is on display, although menus are usually displayed in most fine dinning restaurants, in this day and age, I wonder who actually uses it, I do look for it but I do not think I have opened a menu on display for years.
Another searing area before the restaurant, again great views, and the clear weather helps…
The formal sign and three*** stars!
We are the first to be seated, there must have only been 6 tables and a private room, by the time lunch was in full swing, it was a full house. The hall was simple modern with a Korean touch. We are seated by the window, good views, its also nice that there is still snow on the mountains.
First thing is first… bubbles…
White table cloth are becoming more rare these days.
The screens placed between tables makes it seem more private.
The small accents count.
The bubbles add to the experience.
The menu arrives we order the basic lunch with abalone and added a Royal Hot Pot to our lunch.
To begin the meal…
Rice porridge with cod.
Then they suggested an in-house beer made exclusively for the hotel. I don’t remember what it was but it was good and I would go back to the hotel just to drink the beer again.
Time for the royal hot pot, this is always a treat as its not an menu item that is an option in many restaurants. Its a unique taste that is perhaps an acquired taste.
The beer was just amazing.
Abalone hot pot rice.
Red ginseng ice cream. This was good, really good, but not sure if persons who grew up outside Asia would appreciate it.
Tea to end the meal.
After the meal the view again… The food, service, drink, view, facilities, everything was great, but I would suggest this place for persons who have had experienced many other Korean restaurants. Perhaps the refined and subtle notes may be missed to someone who has not so familiar with Korean food. But worth a visit.
One last shot before leaving…