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Sunday, June 24, 2007

The Gaon (Seoul)

Copyright Stephane MOT
Gangnam-gu - Shinsa-dong - 631-23 beonji 135-895 Seoul
The Gaon (restaurant)
Tel : +82.2.3446.8411
Photo : "Gaon Gimchi Clinic" (at Gaon, the preparation of Gimchi requires surgical precision - Copyright Stephane MOT 2004)

To my humble opinion, the reputation of Korean cuisine should normally surpass that of Japanese cuisine within 15 to 20 years. Koreans clearly don't play in the same league and the Japanese know it (they adore Korean food). They can fool Westerners with their sense of presentation but as soon as the public tastes actual Korean cuisine, the game is over - for good. Unfortunately, up to now no Korean restaurant could really visually match their cuisine, but for some prestigious places embalmed in the cult of Tradition.

Gaon created the very much expected precedent, setting from the start the standards at the highest level. To me, Gaon is simply the very best Korean restaurant in the World* because it perfectly honours the great Art Culinaire of Korea. The chef manages to reinvent the classics and masters to the perfection each element (taste, flavor, color, texture, temperature...). And to make it even more sublime, each course is presented in a dish specially designed for it by a great master in ceramics.


* if you find a better one, please send the address ASAP
addendum 20081210 :
Sad, sad, sad news about The Gaon : "Annus Horribilis".

see other restaurants in Seoul and Korea.


  1. Dear Stephane, is The gaon still open? Are they still good and worth a trip?

  2. I thought The gaon was still open? Are they still good and worth a trip? Thank you very much for your blog.

  3. Gwangjuyo reopened a new Gaon restaurant a while ago, which claimed 3 Michelin stars last year. The new address: M Floor Holim Art Center, 317 Dosan-daero, Gangnam-gu, Seoul
    Phone +82.2.545.9845

  4. Dear Stephane, thank you very much for your prompt respond. Have you tried this 3 Michelin star Gaon? Just wondering if it worthy a trip to visit. Thank you very much.

    1. Actually I haven't yet. Not much of a Gangnamite!
      I don't know if it's worth 3 stars - and there IS a deserved controversy about the fist batch of Michelin stars in Seoul - but I don't think Gwangjuyo's owner would allow mediocrity in his flagship restaurant. Worth the trip? Can't tell you for sure.


Thank you for your comments and remarks. Also for your patience (comments are moderated and are not published right away - only way to curb the spam, sorry). S.

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