중앙데일리

Well-marbled meat at Maple Tree House

Chef's special

Apr 23,2009
Thomas Baehner Executive Chef Grand Hyatt Seoul
Of the many diners clustered in the Samcheong-dong area in northern Seoul, there is one particular restaurant that stands out: Maple Tree House, or Danpung Namu-jip in Korean.

At first glance, the restaurant looks like a posh wine bar or cafe with a post-modern interior design using natural wood and stone.

Thomas Baehner, the executive chef of the Grand Hyatt Seoul hotel, admits to loving the taste and atmosphere of this stylish restaurant, which he highly recommends.

“Dining for me is an overall experience where the quality of food, the friendliness and efficiency of the service are equally important,” the chef says.

Gabrisal, or pork cheek meat, at Maple Tree House.[JoongAng Ilbo]
Baehner says that the design and architecture of Maple Tree House brings to mind the concept of feng shui as natural materials and textures are used for the exterior and the interior.

But what’s the chef’s take on the taste of the food? “I’ve experienced Korean barbecue restaurants in many locations in Seoul,” he said, but Maple Tree House is special, he adds.

It serves different types of beef and pork including gabrisal, pork cheek meat, and hangjeongsal, pork jowl meat.

“The meat is fresh, not frozen, thick and well-marbled,” he said.

The place also serves a side dish of soy sauce-marinated sesame leaves instead of lettuce and ssamjang, or soybean paste, which the chef says allows him to relish the original taste of the meat and sesame leaves to the fullest.

“You get high quality food at affordable prices in a tastefully designed space with friendly service,” the chef said.

Maple Tree House is located in the main area of Samcheong-dong, northern Seoul, near the Korea Banking Institute. Call (02) 730-7461.


Baehner has worked in his homeland, Germany, and China, Italy, Mexico and Thailand. He has been the executive chef at the Grand Hyatt Seoul since February 2008.


By Lee Eun-joo [angie@joongang.co.kr]



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