Seoul, South Korea
Kwonsooksoo is a modern Korean restaurant with a traditional name: ‘sooksoo’ is an old word for a professional cook. Chef-owner Kwon Woo Joong was taught to cook by his mother, whose father owned one of the most popular North Korean restaurants in Seoul; Joong completed his knowledge with a culinary science degree at Kyung Hee University. The dialogue between ancient and modern informs every aspect of Woo Joong’s cooking, which is a creative and contemporary take on Korean cuisine that never loses sight of time-honoured techniques. Fried courgetti blossom come stuffed with shrimp and a pine nut sauce, raw beef comes topped with oscietra caviar and sea bream sashimi with dandelion leaf. Muted colours in the dining room look sombre when empty, but there’s plenty of natural light and the mood is casual and informal.
37 Apgujeong-ro 80-gil, Cheongdam-dong, Seoul,