Link in a chain, yes, but still uniqueIf you’re hungry after a day of antiquing in Insa-dong and you aren’t in the mood for traditional Korean food or drink, take a trip to Italy via Pomodoro.
This tiny Italian eatery, tucked in a small alleyway off Insa-dong’s main street, is regularly packed with patrons hungry for pasta and a glass of vino.
Its owner, a former chef at the Shilla Hotel’s French restaurant, meets the challenge of creating authentic Italian cuisine. There are roughly a dozen Pomodoro restaurants in Seoul, and each offers a slightly different menu adhering to its own cooking style.
To the Insa-dong Pomodoro’s Choi Eung-nam, that means high-quality ingredients and generous portions. His Pomodoro wows your taste buds and fills your stomach.
If you like carbonara, try the fettuccine alla Romana (9,500 won, $7.80), pasta topped with a chicken breast and bacon in a rich cream sauce. The flat, wide noodle, lathered with carbonara sauce, is large enough to feed two people.
The penne alla fiesolana e melanzane (7,800 won) is delicious. It’s a short, thick tubular pasta tossed with eggplant and a basil-tinged tomato sauce. The eggplant has a chewy, meat-like texture that blends perfectly with the pasta, which arrives al dente coated with a thick layer of mozzarella cheese and herbs.
The summer classic spaghetti alla vongole veraci (7,800 won) ― spaghetti with clams in a white wine sauce ―tastes of wine with every bite.
If clams are your passion, Pomodoro also makes a wonderful linguine alle vongole e pesto (8,700 won), linguine with clams in pesto sauce. Two kinds of clams ― one for its juicy flesh and the other for its assertive flavor ―top the pasta and are bathed in the basil-and-parmesan pesto.
A glass of house wine (5,000 won) makes a nice accompaniment to any of the dishes. For red, it’s a 2001 Sunrise Cabernet Sauvignon from Chile. For white, it’s a 2001 Blue Nun Qualitatswein, a Liebfraumilch by Sichel.
Popular bottled reds are a 1999 Remole Chianti (32,000 won) and a 1996 Chateau Lassegue Bordeaux (57,000 won).
Theme: Italian pasta
Telephone: (02) 732-6040
Address: 6 Gwanhun-dong,
near Hanvit Bank,
Hours: 11:30 a.m.-10 p.m. daily
Credit cards: Accepted
by Ines Cho