Massive shrimp burgers at Zesty Saloon

By Jean Oh

Burger veteran opens burger haven near Seoul Forest

  • Published : Apr 19, 2019 - 13:19
  • Updated : Apr 19, 2019 - 13:19

On weekdays, there are only 30, and on weekends, there are only 50 shrimp burgers sold daily at Zesty Saloon, a new hangout that opened in Seoul’s Seongsu-dong in March.

“We make our patties with just shrimp,” said Zesty Saloon CEO Yang Jun-hwan, 34. 

Zesty Saloon sells burgers and tater tots from its perch near Seoul Forest. (Park Hyun-koo/The Korea Herald)

After making the shrimp patties, Yang and his team lightly coat them with bread crumbs before frying them to a golden crisp and topping them with a wasabi-infused sauce and Zesty’s own namesake sauce and lettuce.

A brioche bun toasted with butter and lacquered with egg wash completes this tasty meal-in-a-bun.

Height plays a crucial role with this burger.

The shrimp patty, which clocks in at 150 grams, is nearly an inch thick, springy through the center with a very thin, crisp crust, while the brioche bun, fluffy and slightly sweet, is nearly five centimeters tall.

The sauces, which clearly feature mayo, impart a creamy, sweet tang. Lettuce adds extra crunch.

“I love shrimp burgers,” Yang explained why he put them on the menu at his latest burger operation. 

Zesty Saloon, which specializes in burgers, opens in Seoul’s Seongsu-dong in March (Park Hyun-koo/The Korea Herald)

Yang has been selling and serving burgers for eight years.

“I was about 26 years old,” Yang remembered when he opened his first burger spot.

He then opened a bistro pub that sold burgers before honing his skills as a manager at another burger joint.

Fast forward to 2019, Yang is back to helming his own hangout, which he likes to think of as a burger haven given its somewhat sequestered location, tucked away in a semi-residential area of Seoul’s Seongsu-dong, near Seoul Forest.

Here, Yang and his team serve burgers -- three beef-centric variations in addition to the shrimp -- and tater tots.

Yang is specific about his beef, explaining how he only uses chuck eye roll for his burgers.

“This cut has a ton of beefy aromas,” he said.

As for the tater tots, which he put on the menu instead of fries, Yang revealed he likes the hash brown-like texture and taste of tater tots.

At Zesty Saloon, one can get them unadorned or loaded with fried jalapenos, bacon and chipotle-infused ketchup.

For those who want an off-the-menu option, Yang divulged that, yes, there is a hidden menu that changes regularly.

What was it that day?

“Spicy fried drumettes,” Yang revealed.

Zesty Saloon, which specializes in burgers, opens in Seoul’s Seongsu-dong in March (Park Hyun-koo/The Korea Herald)

Zesty Saloon

2F, 685-424 Seongsu-dong 1-ga, Seongdong-gu, Seoul

(02) 2205-2622

Open 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., 4 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. daily, closed Mondays

Burgers cost 7,800 won to 9,800 won, tater tots cost 3,300 won to 5,300 won, draft beer costs 6,500 won

By Jean Oh (