I like a good steak. In other news, I’m still an Australian man.
Admittedly, I wouldn’t go out for it very much back home since for a long time I thought going out for steak was a terrible idea; we’d usually have minute steaks at home (ie, they only take a minute to cook on each side). Yes, the alternate pronunciation is apt. too.
Still, some of the best steaks I had were those $5 pub steaks for lunch (with a beer purchase). It made the afternoon rather interesting as well. And for $5 they were pretty awesome value, even though it was tenderloin. The worst steak I had was also at this end of the price scale: $7 for a rump steak bigger than my head. That’s where the rule ‘never eat anything bigger than your head’ started for me. So, in Korea where do you get a good steak?
First, you’ll be paying for it. But I believe that generally you get what you paid for. You could go to Outback Steakhouse (don’t) or VIPS (beware the steakhouse that advertises their salad bar) but you’re not a Korean family unit or a college couple. The problem with these kinds of chains is that you’re paying too much for the frills (aforementioned salad bars, celebrity photoshoots where they stare longing at their fork, etc). I hear these places also offer substantial discounts depending on what kind of credit card you use to pay.
When I can I try to go to Butcher’s Cut next to COEX Mall. They have other locations, but I’ve obnly been to this one. The interior near the bar looks very similar to the opening scene in the first episode of Mad Men. They also stock a few whiskies. The main dining area is usually not as well lit as shown in their website photos; the dimness adds to the illusion of privacy.
Just with less people; most good people are in church or battling a hangover on Sundays. Maybe in a city of 10 million people this is also another reason I like this place. Unlike almost anywhere else in Seoul, these guys just give you the steak, a small bowl with wholegrain mustard or crushed garlic, a side of fries with tomato sauce, and free rein of the salad bar if you’re into salad. I usually start with the smoked salmon. They also list a steak sampler on their menu that is best avoided; if you’re eating hamburger steak in anything but a hamburger, you’re doing something wrong.
This Man ordered the Hanwoo Filet Mignon medium rare (47,000 won) cooked to my liking. I’m not quite sure why ‘cooked as you like’ is a selling point to begin with because the whole point as a customer ordering steak is ordering it cooked as you like; order it well done and you may as well cook and eat your shoe. The Lady ordered the same; she has good taste. You’d be surprised how many people I’ve met in Korea that don’t eat meat for aesthetic or political reasons while still wearing clothing made from animals. They tend to be expats too, though The Lady said her mother is vegetarian (religious reasons).
Worse are the dates I’ve been on where the woman just eats a salad, despite being audibly hungry.
Menu from their website here (pdf in Korean and English)
Butcher’s Cut Website here.