Went to Gangnam to visit my friend Jaime who I studied abroad with in Seoul 4 years ago. And of course one of the things that you have to do when you visit an old friend is eat. We went to Papa’s Recipe which is a non-chain restaurant specializing in octopus (쭈꾸미) and meat grilled in a skillet. The restaurant is on the second floor of a building near Gangnam Station (강남역) exit 11.
The restaurant is very clean and nice. They use “cages” for walls in some areas to section off the space giving a somewhat eccentric eating environment. I have to say I felt like a bird somewhat, but a very happy bird for the food that awaited me.
This is my first restaurant in this blog that’s not exactly a cheap eat, but it’s worth pointing out that the lunch prices are very reasonable at 7000 won and average 10,000 won for dinner. The best part is, there was a sale and it was discounted to 6000 won!
We ordered the 쭈꾸미 불고기정식 which was the first thing on the menu. The waitress gets you your side dishes which consist of kimchi, pickled onions, and korean pancake. She’ll also give you this chilled soup to combat the spiciness of the dish.
The raw ingredients are organized into a iron skillet filled with octopus, beef, cabbage, and enoki mushrooms with pepper paste. After cooking these ingredients, you’re supposed to mix them into a bowl of rice laced with perilla and seaweed that they give you. They also give you aprons as the food can splash violently on you. The octopus was so fresh that the water inside of it shot out at me, so the apron is definitely recommended. The waitress that served me was very pleasant and accommodating which is always a big plus. She was very understanding and helped make are food because we were totally lost.
As mentioned the octopus was so fresh and had a really mild taste, not fishy at all. The texture was not overly chewy and tender for octopus. The beef flavor was very prominent due to the thin slices and tasted amazing with the pepper sauce which gave a very mild heat. I usually don’t like perilla leaves, but it added a very bright flavor to the combo and contrasted very nicely with the spicy pepper sauce. It all went so well together and the ingredients were definitely fresh and high quality. The flavors are very multidimensional and is a sure crowdpleaser. This dish may be a bit spicy for those not used to it, but definitely give it a try!
I was really impressed with this place and its overall execution of everything. The environment was nice, the service was great, and above all else the food was delicious and affordable! I would definitely love to go out here again!
Definitely be sure to check out all the other food I’ve come across in Seoul here!