An edible lesson in Korean history and culture


On the Pass

Eun-hee Cho and Sungbae Park

A taste of history: In Korean, onjium means “creating in the right way”. Here, the fuel to create comes from researching centuries-old recipe books – after all, this restaurant is part of an institute that has been studying Korean heritage since 2013. The kitchen, led by chefs Eun-hee Cho and Sung-bae Park, uses seasonal ingredients in dishes crafted according to recipes that have been reimagined after years of research.

Beyond the food: Besides its restaurant, or culinary studio as it is called internally, Onjium also houses clothing and design studios, which are all part of its mission to understand the country’s culture in a holistic manner.

What should I expect? From the charming restaurant, located by Gyeongbok Palace in central Seoul’s Jongno District, diners can glimpse the royal buildings and also tour other floors, where traditional Korean clothing (hanbok) and miniature models of traditional Korean buildings (hanok) are on display. Onjium studies these traditional elements to preserve Korean heritage in a way that suits the taste of today’s generations.

The interior: The location is a microcosm of the institute, as the destination sits directly between Gyeongbokgung Palace and a modern residential neighbourhood. The food, much like many of the other elements of the cultural centre, looks to the past as well as the future for inspiration for a unique expression of contemporary Korea.


Seoul, Jongno-gu, Hyoja-ro, 49 4층

02-6952-0024 Visit Onjium on Instagram