Ogawa (Gwanghwamun)

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Written by Rae

So, we’ve been wanting to do a review on this restaurant for a long time.  We’ve been going to this restaurant for about a year now, and it is one of our favorites.  We first heard about it from a friend, who claimed that the chef had studied under Jiro from Jiro Dreams of Sushi.  While we have no idea if that is accurate or not, we wouldn’t be surprised because the quality is very good – especially considering the price.

The restaurant is tiny, and located in a basement behind the Sejong Performing Arts building.  It’s funny to find such a fine dining experience in what appears to be a tiny underground strip mall.  The atmosphere is dimly lit and intimate, and the maximum seating is around 20 people.  Everyone sits around the sushi bar and is served by their chef.  There are 3 chefs, working each side of the bar.

You are started off with an abalone intestine porridge.  It is warm, salty and creamy.  It gets you excited for the next courses.  Depending on whether you are there for dinner or lunch, sashimi may come out next with many different types of nigiri to follow.  Each piece is exquisitely prepared and melts in your mouth.  My favorite piece is the toro, where the fat and the saltiness of the soy sauce combine into a rich man’s bacon that melts in your mouth.  I also like the pieces which are prepared with shiso leaf, like the japanese mackerel, which adds a nice fresh and bitter flavor to the sushi.  There are a little under 20 courses in all.  Towards the end of the meal, udon is served, and to end the course you are given a cucumber temaki, which is nice and light finish.  For dessert, you are served an ice cold plum tea.  It is sweet and refreshing – and I’m not sure most people could eat much more after eating here.

Dinner is 60,000 won and lunch is 40,000 won, with a set menu.  In our experiences there are not many difference between the dinner and the lunch, and you are given just as much food and the quality is just as good.  So, if you don’t want to spend 60,000 – go for lunch.  The only differences I really noticed were that for the lunch course, they normally don’t serve sashimi in the beginning, and that the cut of the eel used for the unagi nigiri might be more towards the tail end.  Most everything else is the same, and like I said before, there is no difference in quantity or quality of food.  Reservations are a must.

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Abalone porridge
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Miso soup

 

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