Hybrid fare for the family offers a little bit of Korea, AmericaWhen Korean cuisine met Western cookery, Woorideuleui Iyagi, or Our Story, was born. As the first Korean restaurant modeled on the American “casual family dining” concept, Our Story has taken a dramatically different stab at the mundane Korean restaurant scene. The usual Korean favorites ― barbecued short ribs, kimchi, rice ― are all represented , but in a very different way.
Our Story is located near the Gangnam subway station, jostling for position with the international chains TGI Friday’s, Bennigan’s and Marche. Housed in a purple two-story building, Our Story opened in November 1999. The spacious dining hall seats up to 200 and there are two rooms that can be reserved for parties, one seats 10 persons and the other 20. The full bar serves all kinds of alcoholic drinks, including traditional Korean liquors.
When you open the menu you immediately see what sets Our Story apart from the rest of the family restaurant pack. You can either order dishes a la carte or choose from four set menus for two or three persons. Set menus for two, called “sarang” or “love” sets, cost 29,800 won ($25.70); the three-person version, called “haengbok” or “happiness” sets, cost 53,500 won.
Kimchi ssambab (14,300 won) is one of the most popular dishes at Our Story. Rice combined with a mild kimchi is served with fresh greens and bulgogi, a marinated beef. Just put a little bit of everything into a lettuce leaf, wrap it up and enjoy.
The chicken twigim, fried chicken, salad (8,900 won) was a little disappointing. It’s basically like a chicken salad at any other family restaurant, but greasier. However, the gangjung sauce, a Korean type of sweet dressing, tones down the oiliness and gives it an interesting Korean twist.
Maeun gochu galbijjim (18,900 won), is a spicier take on the usual Korean beef rib stew. As for the chili, it is not overwhelming and even leaves a slightly sweet taste.
For those with a sweet tooth, Our Story does not disappoint. Specialties are sweet potato cake, wild strawberry cake (though how “wild” the strawberries are is anyone’s guess) and tteok, or rice cake. The other cakes are rare finds too. The tteok has the texture of a traditional rice cake minus the heaviness.
Overall, Our Story is a nice compromise between the usual Western chain-restaurant fare and your typical Korean meal of bulgogi and rice.
Location: 1316-30 Seocho-dong, near exit No. 6 of Gangnam Station, subway line No. 2
Telephone: (02) 594-7676
Web site: www.ourstory.co.kr
by Eugine Oh