Now in its fifth year, the Italian Food Festival in Korea brings together the best Italian restaurants in Seoul to celebrate Italy’s most beloved dishes.
Brera, located in Beotigogae near Itaewon, is one of the participating restaurants. Owned and operated by Giovanni Tamburrini, this no-frills joint packs in Korean and international diners alike, thanks to its eclectic menu, fantastic service and authentic atmosphere.
"Italian restaurants operating abroad normally serve dishes which are known worldwide, like pizza margherita, arrabbiata and carbonara. Yet, Italy has plenty of less famous dishes which are just as good as the popular ones," explained Tamburrini. "The Italian Food Festival gives Seoulites the opportunity to taste and enjoy the latter, having an authentic Italian experience without physically being in Italy."
Brera will serve up fare from Lazio (the region from which Tamburrini hails) during the festival, and their special menu will feature Rigatoni alla Gricia, an older, tomato-less version of the more widely known "amatriciana." The rustic dish boasts a signature sauce made of goat cheese and pork jowls—ingredients that ancient shepherds could easily stock, store and carry.
"It is fundamentally important to cook it in an iron pan, a secret that even reputable culinary schools have never known," Tamburrini told Seoul Searching.
Other participating restaurants include Allatorre in Hongdae, Casa di Noa in Yeonnam-dong, casAntonio and Vera in Itaewon, CIURI CIURI in Sangsu-dong, Cornerstone (Park Hyatt Seoul) in Samsung-dong, Eataly in Pangyo, kitchen 485 in Seogyo-dong, Peninsula (Lotte Hotel Seoul) in Sogong-dong, Restaurant8 (Grand Hyatt Incheon) in Incheon and Ristorante Eo in Chungdam-dong.
And, considering the set menus start at ₩55,000, you’ll be able to afford to eat your way through Italy without having to buy a plane ticket or suffer through a bout of jet lag. Just call your preferred restaurant to get details of the set menu and to make reservations.
More Information: Italian Food Festival in Korea
Dates: May 1-31, 2016
Contact: Italian Chamber of Commerce
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Words by Mimsie Ladner of Seoul Searching. Content may not be reproduced unless authorized.