The modern face of Seoul food


On the Pass

Sung Anh

What makes it unique? Chef Sung Anh, the winner of the Inedit Damm Chefs' Choice Award 2024, is not afraid to blaze his own trail. Having first opened Mosu in San Francisco in February 2016, a year and a half later he decided to up sticks and take his concept back to his home country of South Korea. The new Mosu – opened in October 2017 in central Seoul’s Itaewon-dong, in Yongsan District – first appeared in Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants in 2022, then was named The Best Restaurant in Korea 2023. In January 2024, Anh temporarily closed Mosu for a relocation, with the new venue (in the same neighbourhood) set to open in May.

One the menu: Despite drawing inspiration from everyday foods, Anh creates dishes that look completely different from the original. His signature abalone taco, for instance, was inspired by Korean-style ssam, essentially a piece of grilled meat wrapped in layers of leafy vegetables. He takes mackerel, one of the most consumed seafoods in South Korea, and cuts it into triangles, giving it a novel look. Refining and redefining what’s ordinarily – and traditionally – Korean is how he takes his country’s ingredients to the next level. 

Chef’s story: Although Anh’s parents ran a Chinese restaurant in California and he lived in the US for much of his life, he was born in Korea, where his family melded Japanese and North Korean food traditions. His CV includes working for 50 Best stalwarts The French Laundry and Benu.

International moves: In April 2022, Mosu opened a new branch of the same name in Hong Kong at M+, the city’s museum of visual culture. Through this new venture, Anh wants to show the world that there is far more depth to Korean cuisine than what is currently globally regarded.