Monday, June 13, 2016

La Marmite French Bistro

There are a few things that get me to Seoul: going away parties, friends, and the chance to celebrate human rights.  On Saturday two of those reasons presented themselves so I grabbed my handbag and headed in for some adventure.

The first stop of the day was supposed to be Fat Cat Neighborhood Bistro so I could finally say hello to an online friend, however, we arrived a bit earlier than planned and had an hour to kill.  Never wanting to waste a minute, I drug my companion up a side street "just to see what is there" and two or three shops down I saw a simple cafe front that said, "La Marmite". For whatever reason, it just seemed like a place I needed to be despite my previous plans for breakfast.  When the owner offered me a menu through the open doors I couldn't resist. The first thing I saw was the Goat Cheese Sandwich. At that point any plans for resistance failed me. There is no way I can turn down goat cheese.

Since we were there early on a Saturday, and the place has only been open three weeks, it was pretty quiet. The way I love my restaurants. We sat and chatted with the owner for a while about where they source ingredients and every answer was spot on, for example, they get their cheese from Waeg Farm (the best place for homemade goat cheese in the country).

When the meal arrived it was lovely. Presentation wasn't overly fancy or pretentious, just solid and straightforward. The meal itself was clean, cheesy perfection. They even provide a small pitcher of tomato dipping soup (that's also good on the potatoes) in order to give that extra zing to a refined sandwich. My teenage dining companion immediately gave it 5 stars and I wasn't going to argue. I mean, the salad as made with arugula which I obsess over as much as goat cheese.

To clarify, this restaurant is French for real but also unique. It's not French techniques with no French flavor. It's more like provincial cuisine with an international flair. The chef or owner or whoever I was talking too (I never clarify these things because I am the worst) is from France but has lived in other places as well. He wants the food to taste distinctly French, while also bringing in new elements that he has fallen in love with outside his home country. So go and be prepared to taste a life story, one that is based in France but then expanded to include the rest of the world.

For me, this is the first Seoul restaurant in years that is so good I will come to Seoul in the future simple to eat here. It's open for dinners Monday - Friday and open for brunch and dinner on the weekends. I'm going back for brunch because I need to try his Scottish Eggs. Yes, he knows these aren't French but neither is brunch so he reserves it as his time to explore and play.

If you are looking for the perfect place for a date, go here. Just be SURE to make a reservation. The place is small and it's amazing so it's going to start booking up and being too busy soon. Plan ahead if you are coming from outside the city and make sure you don't miss out on one of the best places to eat in Seoul.

Phone: 010-4061-5571
Address: 서울특별시 용산구 용산동2가 5-767