Part of the fun of visiting different cities is not only sampling their local cuisine, but also checking out their interpretations of cooking styles from around the world.
Accordingly, on a sleepy Sunday evening I headed to one of Seoul’s better regarded Italian restaurants, Brera. Just next to the wonderfully named Beotigogae underground station, it has been trading since 2015 and seems to have built a solid reputation since then.
The space is really welcoming with table seating in the middle plus window and kitchen bar seats giving a good sense that you could pop in for a glass of wine, a snack, coffee and cake or a full meal. The latter was, needless to say, my choice.
You could almost have predicted what I would order from the classic selection of Italian dishes. I opened with the melanzane parmigiana then followed with the carbonara choosing tonnarelli over spaghetti.
First up was some very good toasted bread served with a garlic herb butter. I’d not had bread – oddly enough – in a while so this was a welcome start to proceedings.
The melanzane to follow was very nicely done. It was topped with a thick layer of melted mozzrella encasing well prepared aubergines in tomato sauce. It’s a favourite of mine and this was a good rendition.
The main course carbonara was a notch better. The cable-like tonnarelli was suitably al dente and the other elements – egg, parmigiano, home-made pancetta, and a little black pepper – were beautifully put together. It was as good a version as I’ve had outside Italy.
I rounded things out with decent dark roast espresso, leaving me to thank both kitchen and front-of-house teams for their good work.
So overall, Brera is serving the people of Seoul with very impressive Italian treats. The carbonara in particular was excellent. If Italian is what you crave next time you’re in Seoul, this is the place.
Blythe scores Brera
4/5 for food
3.5/5 for presentation
4/5 for service
4/5 for setting
giving an overall 15.5/20
I ate: melanzane alla parmigiana, tonnarelli carbonara
I drank: red wine, white wine
I wore: Hawaiian wear
Total bill: 46800 won
Address: 295 Dongho-ro 17-gil, Sindang-dong, Jung-gu, Seoul