In Seoul!

Nope, I haven’t just returned from Korea, but I have been ‘In Seoul’! That’s the name of one of the better Korean restaurants in good old Chennai. Its located close to Benjarong on TTK Road, just a little beyond as you drive towards Alwarpet. Its in a large new building on the left with the Trinethra Super Market on the ground floor.

You may miss it because it’s on the first floor, with a small unobtrusive sign high up on the building. This is a place owned by a Korean, run by Koreans and frequented by the Koreans in Chennai. In fact I only learned about it because I asked the sole Korean employee of our firm where to go for good Korean food!

You’ll likely find the car park full of Hyundai cars, but there’s plenty of parking along the road as its fairly wide here. One has to take the elevator up, and its quite dramatic, because its doors open right into the restaurant. And it’s huge! It’s as big, if not bigger, than the super market on the ground floor! To the right is the kitchen, the left a curving bar, and straight ahead, separated by a bamboo divider, the main dining area.

The area beyond the bar, towards the front of the building with a glass wall has a lrge open area for groups with traditional seating. There were a whole bunch of Koreans there, seated on the floor around a long low table. The area towards the back has a series of private dining rooms with sliding wood & glass doors. These rooms also have low tables with seating on the ground.

A word of warning, if you’re vegetarian, or not very adventurous when it comes to food, In Seoul is not the place for you. The food smells exotic, but quite nice, as the open kitchen looks out into the restaurant. Most of the waiters are Korean and speak halting English, but the menus are easy to use with a picture of each dish! The portions are large, and can be shared by two people. Best of all, you just have to order the main course, as everything else comes along with it.

The table has a burner in the middle, and depending on the dish you order, it will be placed on the burner and continue cooking or is kept hot as you eat. The side dishes that are served from the time you place your order cover everything from radish salad, fried yam, brinjal fritters, peanuts in a sweet sauce, stir fried octopus, pickled cabbage and a cabbage & onion salad.


We ordered one chicken main dish, one beef and one dish of squid. Each of them was different, tasted unique and were quite filling, with large portions. In fact we (four of us) had actually ordered too much food and had to make an effort to finish it! One eats with chop sticks, but they are quite happy to give you a fork and spoon if you can’t handle the food with them. We quite enjoyed the food, having eaten Korean food a number of times before.

The restaurant had only Koreans, and only men! Towards the end, another Indian couple walked in and settled down, but otherwise it was very much of the Koreans, by the Koreans and for the Koreans! They were very friendly and helpful, if a little bemused to see us, with even people at the other tables nodding their heads in greeting if you happened to meet their eyes. The staff were especially helpful, and the guy who runs the place (also owns it I think) saw us off personally with a huge smile when I informed him that we really enjoyed the experience.

So the next time you want to eat out and do something exotic, you know where to go!

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