BTS member Kim Seokjin and his brother open Japanese style restaurant close to Lotte World. Read more for what you need to know to plan stress free visit.
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Planning a visit to South Korea? Find out 14 things you should know before the trip.
Even though Kpop Idols’ main career might be singers and performers, a lot of them have side businesses. It is not uncommon for Kpop Idol to own a cafe or a restaurant. Members of EXO, BIGBANG, Block B, 2AM and many more own a restaurant or cafe.
Check out this blog post for where to buy BTS and BT21 merchandise in Seoul.
Even if you are not big on Kpop, you have probably heard of BTS - the biggest Kpop group in the world at this moment. Even though the members are always busy with either recording, filming, practicing choreography, or performing, the oldest member of the band Kim Seokjin (stage name Jin) has found enough time (he is also currently studying for his masters degree) to open a brand new Japanese restaurant right next to Seokchon Lake and Lotte World in Seoul. This is allegedly his second restaurant that he owns with his brother.
The opening of the restaurant is very on brand as Jin is known for his Vlive series EatJin. As a big lover of food himself, it is no surprise he ventured into the restaurant business.
The restaurant’s name is 오쓰 세이로무시 which is romanized into Otsu Seiromushi. However, the restaurant seems to be commonly referred to as Ossu Seiromushi online.
The restaurant specialises in steamed Japanese dishes. They serve seiro-mushi style cooked food where the food is being cooked at your table in front of your eyes!
First the server will bring a pot with water and place it on electric stove. Once the water in the pot is hot enough for steaming, the server will return with boxes of food.
Seiro-mushi at Ossu Seiromushi consists of two stacked wooden steamers made out of cypress wood. The bottom crate is filled with a selection vegetables such as potatoes, bok choy, mushrooms, root vegetables, seaweed and egg.
The top steamer box is filled with thinly sliced trio of meats: Jeju pork and two kinds of beef. Jeju is an island located at the south end of the Korea and meat from there is considered to be of premium quality and premium commodity.
The two wooden boxes are put on top of each other and covered with a wooden lid. You need to wait around 15 minutes for the food to steam.
Because the food is cooked without any additional sauces, seasonings or oils, the meal itself is healthy. However, if you are used to a lot of seasonings and spices, the meal might taste a bit bland to you. The meal is served with selection of sauces so you can dip your food into them.
You can also order side dishes like fried octopus, grilled sweet potatoes, grilled onigirio with mentaiko sauce and even bone marrow soup which is considered another premium dish in Korea.
There were 3 of us and we have ordered the big box of meats and vegetables (they come in two sizes) and fried octopus side dish.
The side dishes were really good and so were the sauces! The steamed meat was very soft and delicious, however, if you are used to salt and seasoning, the food might feel a bit bland to you.
The menu is in Korean and my friend asked her Korean friend to translate it for us before we went to the restaurant. :D Some of their staff also speaks English so I am sure they can assist you with ordering if you don’t speak Korean.
The restaurant is inspired by Japanese style as well. White wood used for furniture gives the place very clean and minimalistic look. Every table is separated from the others with walls and dividers to give the guests privacy. There are also private rooms available. The dimly lit room also adds to the intimate atmosphere.
HOW TO GET THERE & WAITLIST
The restaurant is located in near proximity of Lotte World and Seokchon Lake. Take gree line number 3 or pink line number 8 to Jamsil station. You can take either exit 2, 10 or 11. You will have to make your way to the other side of the lake. I would advise you pin the location in Korean on Naver Maps or locate the restaurant on Google Maps and start walking towards the dott.
Please note that restaurant only opens at 5PM. It is advisable to make an advanced booking as the place seems to be extremely popular despite the fact that Jin never publicly promoted the place himself. In fact, the restaurant opened in April 2018, but it was not until few months later that public found out it was owned by the Idol and his brother.
If you do not make advanced booking, be prepared to wait. We have arrived just after 5PM on Friday and we were told the wait will be up to two hours.
Once you reach the location, you need to make your way inside. We were a bit confused as there was no one on the door to greet us. Once we have made our way halfway across the restaurant, a server rushed towards us and greeted us and let us know there is a waiting list. She asked us to provide her with a Korean phone number and they will call you once the table has become available. She advised it will take between 1 to 2 hours for the table to be ready.
We have left the lady with the number to call on (you can easily get temporary Korean sim cards which are very handy and keep you connected with the data) and found a cafe nearby to wait for the call.
We have waited for almost two hours when my friend realised her sim card expired and the restaurant won’t be able to call us. We have quickly made our way back to the restaurant to see if our table was maybe already available.
When we have reached the place, the server let us know they tried to call us but they couldn’t reach us and that reservation was now gone. After a short discussion and explanation, the lady begrudgingly agreed to sit us at the next available table. I am sure that if we were not foreigners and there was no slight language barrier issue, we would not get the table.
Whilst I understand this might be a common way to handle waiting lists, it does put you in a bit of a predicament if you do not have Korean phone number. I do appreciate them accommodating us despite the missed phone call.
I tried to find a breakdown of the cost but I have lost the receipt and all I have is a total spent. For 3 people (we have ordered the big box, side dish and some drinks), we have paid around 100 000 KRW which is around 67 GBP, 78 EUR or 89 USD all together. They serve premium Jeju meat thus the price is slightly higher. You do get a lot of food and I do feel you get value for money.
Get a Korean phone number, sim cards are very easy to get
Translate the menu before visiting the restaurant so you know what to order
Put location into Naver / Google Maps and start walking towards the location
오쓰 세이로무시 / Otsu Seiromushi / Ossu Seiromushi
Address (English): 30 Baekjegobun-ro 45-gil, Songpa 1(il)-dong, Songpa-gu, Seoul, South Korea
Address (Korean): 서울특별시 송파구 송파1동 백제고분로45길 30
Opening Times: 5 PM - Midnight / Potentially closed on Tuesdays (it is very hard to find any information in English about this so this is just something I've seen on Twitter.)
Tel Number for Bookings: +82 02 419 2222
“When something is delicious, it has zero calories.” – Kim Seokjin
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