Why it’s worth a visit: Since its opening in April 2014 in Seoul’s buzzy Cheongdam-dong district, Mingles has been wowing local and international diners with its fusion of eastern and western cuisine. So much so, that the restaurant is the Highest New Entry to Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants 2015, as well as being voted Best Restaurant in Korea.
Who’s behind the pass? Young Korean chef Mingoo Kang trained under Martin Berasategui in San Sebastian, Spain, and later enjoyed stints at Nobu in Miami and the Bahamas, where he took learnings that he would later apply to Korean food once back on home soil.
Key ingredients: The seasonally changing menu is divided into sections like ‘grains,’ ‘vegetable’ and ‘fish,’ with jang and cho – Korean traditional fermented sauce and vinegar – playing an integral part in the food. Main courses include charred beef tenderloin with truffle ‘Jang’ sauce, and guests can enjoy the ‘Jang trio’ dessert of Doen-Jang crème brulee, Gan-Jang pican, ‘Gochu-Jang’ grains and vanilla ice cream.
The vibe: Mingles’ stripped-back basement dining room wouldn’t look out of place in London or New York with its blonde-wood furniture and smooth stone walls, and the casual atmosphere makes it the go-to restaurant for hip Seoulsters.