Luxury brands join forces with Korean talent to open new spots in Seoul

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Luxury brands join forces with Korean talent to open new spots in Seoul

Gordon Ramsay Burger by British chef Gordon Ramsay is opening in Seoul next month. [GORDON RAMSAY BURGER KOREA]

Gordon Ramsay Burger by British chef Gordon Ramsay is opening in Seoul next month. [GORDON RAMSAY BURGER KOREA]

 
Despite the reintroduction of strict restrictions on operating hours of restaurants and the number of diners due to the pandemic, global brands and chefs continue to eye Seoul as their next destination. From big name fashion brand Gucci’s restaurant to a more casual burger joint by British chef Gordon Ramsay, Korea is seeing more diversity in the restaurant scene.
 
Gordon Ramsay Burger is opening its door next month at Lotte World Tower in southern Seoul’s Songpa District, years after rumors first started swirling that the famous chef would be opening a restaurant in Seoul. While the official opening is set for Jan. 7, the restaurant is planning a soft opening prior to that date. 
 
From Dec. 30 to Jan. 6, it offers customers the regular menu. Reservations will open through Naver Booking from Dec. 20 but the exact time has not been announced. 
 
The menu for the soft opening will also be uploaded online. Dishes are said to be more similar to Gordon Ramsay Burger located inside Harrod's department store in London, rather than the branch in Las Vegas, according to Gordon Ramsay Korea.
 
“We are giving more side options to choose from, expanding from the French fries people often immediately think of when they are reminded of an image of a burger,” said an official with the company. A variety of dips to accompany burgers and hearty options like mac and cheese will be available, alongside fries flavored with truffle.
 
The prices of the burgers starts from 20,000 won ($16.80).
 
Although not available on the official opening day in January, the restaurant team is currently developing some burgers that will be exclusive to Korea.
 
Chef Gordon Ramsay [GORDON RAMSAY KOREA]

Chef Gordon Ramsay [GORDON RAMSAY KOREA]

Gordon Ramsay is also set to travel to Korea next month, although exactly what promotional events he will participate in has not yet been decided. 
 
“Giving consumers a reason to visit somewhere in person is important and that’s why we continue to look for the new content to fill up our mall,” said an official with Lotte World Tower.
 
“A shopping mall is now more than a place where people go shopping. It is a place where people enjoy their leisure time. These new places can help people make their leisure time even more satisfying and fun.”
 
Gucci's flagship store in Hannam, where the Gucci Osteria restaurant will be housed [GUCCI KOREA]

Gucci's flagship store in Hannam, where the Gucci Osteria restaurant will be housed [GUCCI KOREA]

After opening its flagship store in Hannam-dong, in central Seoul’s Yongsan District in May, Italian fashion brand Gucci is now gearing up for another opening — a restaurant in the same building. The brand established Gucci Osteria in conjunction with globally renowned Italian chef Massimo Bottura of Osteria Francescana, which has been awarded three Michelin stars and the No. 1 spot on the World’s 50 Best Restaurant list.
 
The Seoul branch will be the fourth of its kind. Currently there are Gucci Osteria restaurants located in Florence, Los Angeles and Tokyo. While Gucci has not officially confirmed the exact opening date, industry insiders expect it to around February or March. Under the helm of the Italian chef, the local culinary team is already in the process of being set up.
 
Michelin-starred chef Massimo Bottura is hoping to visit Korea for the opening of Gucci Osteria. [REUTERS/YONHAP]

Michelin-starred chef Massimo Bottura is hoping to visit Korea for the opening of Gucci Osteria. [REUTERS/YONHAP]

However, due to the changing regulations on inbound travel to Korea, an actual visit by chef Bottura and his team has not yet been set, said the Francescana Group. Currently, all inbound travelers, regardless of their nationality or vaccination status, are required to quarantine for 10 days. Some exemptions are possible, so the Italian team is currently looking into whether they can qualify for such situations.
 
Other brands are establishing eateries with local talents. Swiss watch brand Breitling opened a cafe in its new boutique in Yongsan District so customers can browse timepieces before grabbing a drink. 
 
A citrus sorbet shaped like Jeju's well-known hallabong, a type of orange, served during Buberry's pop-up cafe Thomas's [BURBERRY]

A citrus sorbet shaped like Jeju's well-known hallabong, a type of orange, served during Buberry's pop-up cafe Thomas's [BURBERRY]

Fashion brand Burberry just wrapped up its pop-up cafe Thomas’s on Jeju Island on Sunday. For about one month, it ran an event “The Imagined Landscapes Jeju” to better introduce its brand in harmony with the scenery of the island. The pop-up of the brand’s London cafe was held in collaboration with Seoul-based pastry chef Justin Lee of JL Dessert Bar in Yongsan District’s Hannam-dong. He served a variety of dessert ranging from cakes to sorbet.
 
“In the cafe named after the founder of the brand, we wanted to show what style reflects the brand,” said Burberry, adding that the pop-up's aim was to break down boundaries between nature and technology, and what’s seen from inside and outside as well as reality and what’s imagined.  
 

BY LEE SUN-MIN [lee.sunmin@joongang.co.kr]
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