Taupe, a new restaurant near Dosan Park in Seoul, quickly reeled in reservations when it soft opened in June.
“Yes, response has been very hot,” said Taupe sous chef Kim Chul-ho, admitting he and his team have been very busy whipping up popular eats like their savoy cabbage rolls, pork belly with ginger apple puree, and salmon and green bean risotto.
Snap-worthy eats and a picturesque view from its third and fourth floor perch are certainly some of the attractions of this hip, new hotspot.
But what gives Taupe its potential staying power in a competitive industry where photos can be taken and posted within seconds, and what is hot now may not be tomorrow, is what it brings to the table.
Take Taupe’s beautiful and oft-ordered salmon and green bean risotto, for instance.
Taupe’s popular salmon and green bean risotto pairs rich and juicy salmon that has been brined, cooked sous-vide and then pan-seared with risotto crafted with parsley oil, pea puree and plenty of Grana Padano cheese. (Photo credit: Park Hyun-koo/The Korea Herald)
The salmon is luscious, rich and very soft.
When cut into, it reveals an almost deep pink center, having been cooked just to the point where it is not quite rare, so as to avoid becoming rough and flaky.
Obviously this is no accident.
Sous chef Kim revealed the laborious process involved in getting their salmon on point.
“We brine the salmon first,” Kim, 33, said.
The salmon is then cooked sous-vide before it is pan seared for a crisp outer crust.
“We add butter at the end,” Kim said.
The salmon is paired with an incredibly creamy and velvety green bean risotto.
The risotto, Kim said, gets its lush mouthfeel from the massive amount of Grana Padano cheese used in the dish and achieves its shockingly green hue through a combination of pea puree and parsley oil.
Other equally toothsome eats include Taupe’s steak sandwich, which is crafted by swaddling 150 grams of beef between two slices of pullman loaf-style bread.
Taupe‘s steak sandwich features 150 grams of beef grilled to medium-rare and swaddled between two slices of pullman loaf-style bread. The hearty sandwich is served with fries and an arugula and watercress salad. (Photo credit: Park Hyun-koo/The Korea Herald)
If there was a philosophy to their sandwich, it would seem to be centered on ensuring the steak is juicy, hearty and not overpowered by the bread, condiments or garnishes.
“We grill it to medium-rare to heighten the flavors of the beef,” said Kim, who added that Taupe uses USDA Prime grade beef for their sandwich.
Tomato chutney, yellow mustard and a garnish of cornichons add sweet and tangy flavors to this sandwich, which comes with a side of fries and an arugula and watercress salad.
Kim revealed it took three months to develop these eats along with the many other dishes on the menu, which he describes as European-style fare.
Plans, he added, are to change up the menu every six months.
For the moment, reservations are a must and only the third floor is open for business.
When in full swing, Taupe -- which was launched by 8D Creative Group, a company specializing in the food and beverage sector, fashion and entertainment -- will seat up to around 100 people.
“Taupe is slated to officially open on Aug. 1,” said Kim.
3F, 4F, 648 Sinsa-dong, Gangnam-gu, Seoul
Taupe, a new restaurant specializing in European-style eats, soft opened in June near Dosan Park, Seoul, and is slated to officially open on Aug. 1 (Photo credit: Park Hyun-koo/The Korea Herald)
Open noon to 3 p.m., 6 p.m. to 11 p.m. daily, closed Sundays until Aug. 1
Starters cost 14,000 won to 19,000 won, brunch dishes cost 20,000 won to 26,000 won, main dishes cost around 29,000 won to 39,000 won, pasta and risotto costs 23,000 won to 25,000 won, desserts cost 14,000 won to 17,000 won
Reservations currently required
By Jean Oh (firstname.lastname@example.org)