Sunday, 30 October 2016 14:28

Chef Ryu's Hybrid Cuisine in Seoul

A Ryunique Dining Experience Fusing Japanese and French Cuisine With Korean Ingredients

Since its opening in 2011, the Seoul restaurant Ryunique has attracted wide attention and admiration in the Seoul dining scene.Through its modern hybrid cuisine, Ryunique has respectively won 27th and 79th place in Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants and the World’s 100 Best Restaurants. The mastermind behind the restaurant is Chef Ryu, a native Busan and son of a marine biologist.Having started his culinary career at the age of 22, Chef Ryu spent eight years traveling around the world, during which he trained in top-notch restaurants in Japan, Australia and the UK. His international experience is reflected in Ryunique’s hybrid fusion cuisine,which features elements from different culinary cultures with an emphasis on French and Japanese.The aptly named restaurant combines his name –“Ryu”– and “unique.”True to its title, his dazzling dishes enchant customers with something new, original and of course, delicious.Besides Ryunique, Chef Ryu also runs a bistro called Normal by Ryunique. Seoul Journal Executive Editor Anthony Al-Jamie talked to Chef Ryu about his restaurant, Korean food culture, and future ambitions.

Published in FOOD
Saturday, 21 May 2016 11:19

LA: The Birthplace of the Nuevo Taco

 

TRADITIONAL taco trucks and roadside pop-ups have a long history in Los Angeles. But the idea of what a taco is has changed dramatically. Korean influences are the most recent,but the notion of what a taco is was up for grabs decades prior to its acceptance in the United States. Similar to the United States,Mexico is a melting pot with influences ranging from Asian to Middle Eastern. Al Pastor is a great example of this; it’s actually a Lebanese dish that over a couple generations morphed from lamb cooked on a vertical rotisserie and served on a pita-like bread into a pork dish made with pineapple. So the fact that we are seeing the concept of a taco being pushed even further here in Los Angeles, where we have a rich and diverse population, is only to be expected. Roy Choi is a chef of the people and knows Los Angeles extremely well. He understands the streets—having literally built this empire off of Kogi food trucks. It therefore makes perfect sense that he would be the one to blend the cultural influences that we both grew up with into an innovative brand and a food concept that would change the face of cuisine not just in Los Angeles, but the whole country. When Korean and Mexican cultures collided in Los Angeles, Roy was there to develop the Korean Taco; and the world was made forever a better place.Today in Los Angeles, even the most traditional of Mexican taco trucks are enjoying their customers’ expanding and adventurous palates. And it’s not just food trucks that are serving them up; the twist on the taco has even caught the eye of fine dining chefs such as José Andrés, who is also taking liberties with the concept and creating tacos at the SLS Hotel in Beverly Hills. One of his offerings is the Japanese taco: thin-shaved cucumber cradles BBQ freshwater eel fillets sprinkled with black sesame seeds, shiso, wasabi and crunchy chicharron. The taco is definitely a fixture in the Los Angeles society and is here to stay for good, but only time will tell what it will taste and look like.

Published in FOOD
Monday, 12 October 2015 00:00

Guide to Korean Street Food - Part I

Complete Guide to Korean Street Food

Korean street food is part of the adventure when traveling in Korea. However, some people are like two-year-old children — they’ll just put anything in their mouths! If you’re a little more concerned about what it is you’re actually eating, check out this complete guide to Korean street food!

Published in FOOD

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