About two years ago, I had a group of girlfriends that would meet up every now and then to brunch together – and one weekend we ventured out to Hangangjin to go to “Tasting Room,” an Italian bistro well known for their flat breads and hot pans (stews of many kinds that come out in a cast iron skillet).
Now, everyone knows my anxiety-inducing stress when it comes to heading north of the river, so imagine my delight when Tasting Room opened up a branch in Coex, right down the street from my studio. One weekend, the man and I were wanting something light – so we made our way over.
The ambience is quite toned down and hip, with dim light fixtures and art plastered all over. It’s a mix between a lowkey rustic vibe, with an eclectic twist.
We ordered the Cherry Tomato Pesto Flatbread (24,200won), and were quite satisfied – it wasn’t necessarily the “light” that we were originally looking for, but hey, you’ll never hear me complain about pesto and cheese.
Service is quick and polite – the server comes out and cuts the flatbread for you as you watch, and explains the bread can be folded when you eat so the toppings stay inside.
Now, I should mention that as we were perusing the menu, we noticed that in the desserts section, “sea salt popcorn icecream” (13,800won) was the first on the list.
Light lunch flew out the door.
I mean, can you really blame us? It was quite a beauty to be served this dish, as the server came out again and sprinkled a generous portion of sea salt onto our chilled plate.
We were hooked. And since then, the man frequently refers back to it. This past weekend we made our way over again for some good Friday night eats, and of course it didn’t disappoint.
This time we got the same menu I’d gotten two years ago with my brunching girlfriends, and it was just as good as it was then.
First, we got the “Green Monster” (21,900won) which is their flatbread with spinach and bacon.
And then our second main, the Sicilian meatballs and eggs (24,600). This was a hearty stew that came out in the pan, and we broke the yolks so they cooked as we were eating – if your heart melts at the sight of egg yolk… this is the dish for you.
At an average of 20-25,000 per main course, their food isn’t necessarily cheap for a bistro, but the portions are quite big… though yes, we ate two main dishes between two people. Overall, if you’re looking for comforting soul food that’s not necessarily pasta (though they do have pasta on the menu), head to Tasting Room with a big group and have a sampling. Atmosphere + Service + Taste makes for a warm and happy soul here.
Tasting Room COEX can be found on the Bongeunsa (line9) end of Coex in B1 (P106). Open everyday from 11am to 11pm. 02-551-3699 for reservations.