Basic Restaurant Information- Ryunique
40 Gangnam-daero 162-gil, Sinsa-dong, Gangnam-gu, Seoul, South Korea
Phone: +82 02-546-9279
Category: Contemporary fine dining, Korean, French, Japanese, Fusion
Tuesday - Sunday 12–11PM
Ryunique is an integrated word of the chef's name 'Tae Hwan Ryu' and ‘Unique’. Its cooking concept is to bring in the techniques of Japanese & French cuisine with the fresh market ingredients from Korea. A truly impressive fusion restaurant in the Korean cosmopolitan.
It is located on the quiet street of Garosugil in Sinsa-Dong, Seoul- where most of the hipster belong. Being a Michelin recommended restaurant, Ryunique offers Seasonal Lunch Set & Dinner Tasting Menu which are all presets.
My favourite starter:
Ayu and ayu roe.
On the top lime puree, and the bottom side is Omija red pepper jelly and green vegetable. On the white marble we serve a fried sandfish looks like a fossil. The sauce is mayonnaise and salmon roe.
Russian style pancake 'blini'.
The bottom is made with buckwheat, covered with a sea eel and onion mayonnaise sauce. In the center quail egg is covered with beet liquid.
White chocolate covered rocket ball is served with Busan salty tomato. Inside the ball is celery juice and has a refreshing taste.
Ceviche Avocado, sweet shrimp, crab tartare covered with the highest quality tuna belly and caviar. On the top side there is a scallop pickled in vinegar, covered with paprika crumble and seaweed.
Perfect cleanser. Pine needle sorbet, grapefruit segment and roasted pine nuts. For finish, the waitress pour over needle juice so that customers can make a refreshment.
Bring in the materials from Yeasan, which is famous for good quality apple. Apple fed pork jowl, apple relish, and fermented shallot is on top. On the bottom side there's mushroom ketup which is highly concentrated. For final, apple vinegarette sauce is served together.
Seared turbot from Seo-cheon is served with a giant river oyster and seasonal mountain vegetable. Cherry sage and chive is also on the dish together. On the bottom side there is risone pasta with chorizo and smoked mussel.
Main : Beef
Tri-tip, thigh part, and chuck tail flap of Beef from Bong-hwa region. Chef Ryu used dry aging and wet aging together for this dish. After the beef is served with a sous-vide cooked egg yolk and rice. Lastly, hot soup made with radish and beef is served so the beef is gradually cooked.
Seasonal treat: Traditional Ginseng Chicken
Compared to all the other mains, this Ginseng chicken is not of my favourite. Personally preferred the style where rice is stuffed in the chicken and served in a traditional manner. Ginseng scent is not intense enough, but this petit Ginseng chicken is enough to satisfy the crave for something Korean the in between a French meal.
Main : Quail
Garlic fed quail from Uiryeong, local from Korea. The dish is garnished with ginseng potato puree, artichoke puree, onion salad. Inside the grilled onion are paprika and cheese. It is served with a ginger quail sauce which has an intense flavour.
While the French quail used to take all the glamour, impressively, the use of local Korean quail can similarly present the tenderness and juiciness of the meat. Truffle slices are sprinkled all over the plate yet the sauce is not a truffle sauce. I would say, not pouring truffle all around but using sweet vegetables puree as the base is definitely a wise decision: where the sweetness and intense meat flavour balance off in a perfect sense, and it makes the dish stands out against from the 'cliché expensive' meal.
Cotton candy, green tea powder is on top. Chocolate roll and mousse is on the dish with mushroom shape meringue, and green tea condensed milk with a rasberry sorbet.
The idea of a Forest reminds me of Wizard of Oz, or maybe it's just me? Anyways, the design of the dessert is absoultely fascinating and creative. I like the small bites of chocolate that offer satisfaction to the sweet tooth while on the meantime it won't be too heavy after a big meal.
Strawberry panna cotta is covered with seasonal strawberry slices, on the top green&white asparagus is there. Besides, sesame is put so the whole dish looks like a strawberry. Strawberry coulis sauce, and snap-frozen strawberry is also served together.
I like the idea of bringing in seasonal fruits on to the table that touches up the Summer menu and creates surprises for every different visit. The pastel color and structure of the panna cotta is so cute!
The mastermind behind the restaurant is Chef Ryu. Chef Ryu started his career at the age of 22 and he has gained his training around top restaurants in Japan, Australia and in the UK. He was once in the team of Gordon Ramsay's kitchen.
Erika: Why did you choose to blend in French and Japanese cuisine?
Chef Ryu: My dishes are improvisation of my experience. I have spent 5 years in Tokyo, a year in Sydney and 2 years in London as well as studies in Le Cordon Bleu there. My hybrid cuisine is inspired by the training journey.
Erika: What is your favourite cuisine personally?
Chef Ryu: Sushi, just with its delicate structure and it's so yummy.
Erika: Is it hard to demonstrate the essence of Japanese and French cuisine with Korean ingredients?
Chef Ryu: Yes, especially it is hard to access to the basic ingredients (simple as something like the carrot and onion) from the local Korean market. In the beginning stage, I focus more or the techniques but sooner I realise that it is not enough. I then took 3 years just to research for the fresh local Korean ingredients. And I also have to change the ingredients regularly according to the seasons.
Each dishes is served with excellent timing. Chef Ryu is exceedingly nice and welcoming. Each dishes is explained with their waitress about the cooking style and ingredients. However, if you are an English speaking person, it takes a bit time for you to understand the elaboration with a slight Korean accent.