Siwhadam 시화담 – more than just fine cuisine

23 Feb

Siwhadam, the only restaurant in Korea being a part of a global fellowship Relais & Châteaux, is located on the hills of Kyungnidan in Itaewon*. In Korean, a word Siwhadam consist of three syllables meaning: poetry, painting and story, and the restaurant desribes itself as “a place where poetic verses whisper themselves, colors from state-of-art pieces unfold, and endless stream of delightful stories flows“. Indeed, every dish being served at Siwhadam looks like a piece of art and there’s a story behind each of them.

The restaurant is open only for lunch and dinner and advance reservation at least 1 day ahead is required. If you would like to go there on the weekend, it’s better to make a reservation as early as possible since both options (lunch and dinner) on the weekend usually get fully booked in the middle of a week. While making a reservation, you have to decide on a menu. There are four courses available for lunch, and only three for dinner (B, C, D):

Course A : A Lyric Poem (100,000KRW)
Course B : A Beautiful Painting (150,000KRW)
Course C : Pleasant Story (250,000KRW)
Course D : Banquet for Gourmets (350,000KRW)

You can check the details of each of them by visiting the Siwhadam’s website.

After entering the restaurant, to make your time more pleasant and relaxing, you’ll be offered a cup of traditional tea in the lounge. All items showcased on the ground floor come from collections of Hans J. Wegner and Yin Jin Lee.
SAM_4914SAM_4923SAM_4911
On second floor you will find a private room with a miniature garden and a traditional music performance stage.
SAM_4921 SAM_4920 SAM_4922
All kitchens are open to the other areas, combining restaurant with a gallery of ceramics.
SAM_4928 SAM_4930
In each dining room you will find antique furniture, including a wardrobe where you can leave your belongings.
SAM_4938 SAM_4940
Every course menu starts with a snack made of dried seasonal fruits and vegetables. Each plate is decorated with sugar powder. Water served is made of the best quality white lotus flower.
SAM_4941 SAM_4946 SAM_4942
Every dish comes with an English projection on the wall. The first one in the course I chose was a garlic porridge accompanied with small side dishes, roasted garlic and mugwort tea.
SAM_4948
What comes next is a fresh salad with sliced sirloin.
SAM_4953
And sticky rice wrapped in a lotus leaf and a lotus petal, served with hot tea brewed with fermented lotus leaves.
SAM_4960
Korean style sandwich – instead of wheat bread and mayonnaise – is made of rice wine cake, bulgogi, vegetables and fine nut’s sauce as it was eaten by ancient scholars. The cucumber pickles are more sour than those usually served at Korean restaurants.
SAM_4962
Probably the most interesting dish was sauted kimchi with squid ink spaghetti in cream cheese sauce. If you’re not a big fan of kimchi, you may change your mind after trying this.
SAM_4965
Influenced by colors used in Henri Matisse’s paintings, this colorful dish made of vegetables, fruits, prawns and pine nuts mustard sauce visualizes a process of making sea salt.
SAM_4969
Just like the previous dishes, “Snow Falling on the Mountain Village” is a real artwork. Mix the ingredients by yourself and enjoy a small bowl of noodles in fish broth.
SAM_4971
The dessert is dedicated to jujube, a Korean date. Every plate comes with a poem and the wine cork is actually a cinnamon cookie.
SAM_4977 SAM_4982If you want to try modern Korean fine dining, Siwhadam is definitely a place you’re looking for.

How to get there:

Zrzut ekranu z 2014-02-23 19:17:11
Address: 5-5 Itaewon-dong Yongsan-gu, Seoul, South Korea
서울 용산구 이태원동 5-5
(Siwhadam is located right across the street from the Embassy of the Republic of the Philippines)

Operating hours:
Lunch: 12:00-15:00
Dinner: 18:00-22:00

*Siwhadam has its branch in Insadong. The menu is quite similar, however it is not considered a fine dining restaurant. Serving and restaurant itself varies from the Itaewon branch. Prices start from 28,000KRW for lunch set.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: