Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Grano by Chef Santino Sortino (Seoul, SOUTH KOREA) ★★★☆☆

After four straight days of French and Korean food, it's time to switch to something a little bit different today. Since Italian food is yet to be featured on this trip, I thought I should bring everybody to Grano, a modern Italian restaurant in Gangnam serving rustic Italian dishes.

Grano is located on the ground floor of Hidden House (yes, that's the name of the building) where fine dining French restaurant Votre Maison is also housed.

This Italian eatery is run by Sicilian-Canadian chef Santino Sortino, who also owns Scopa the Chef (multiple locations). I have been told by a few friends that it's one of the best Italian restaurants in town and La Liste 2016 seems to back it up too as Grano checks in at 994th best in the world according to the guide.

Aglio e Olio (25,000) - I always like to start things simple. The traditional Italian pasta dish from Naples, aglio e olio, was nicely done with homemade pork pancetta, garlic, extra virgin olive oil, Italian parsley and spicy peperoncino. That was pretty nice especially that they didn't make it too oily like some places do.

Noce e ficci (32,000) - I like all my pizza to be real cheesy with a lot of savory toppings so judging from the toppings here, it's apparent that I didn't make this choice!

This is a white pizza with mozzarella cheese, almond, walnut, gorgonzola cheese, soaked marsala wine-ficci and shaved parmesan cheese. Someone really had to take the fall for this selection. Very very sweet for a pizza and despite the mozzarella, gorgonzola and parmesan, I still found this not nearly cheesy enough for my taste buds. Not good!

Mare Cannelloni (33,000) - If you're planning a visit to Grano, then this has to be part of your agenda coz it's a really beautiful pasta dish.

Here we have rolled fresh pasta stuffed with chopped prawn, seasonal fish, mussels, spinach, root vegetables and bisque béchamel sauce. It was finished with marinated paprika, taleggio cheese and saffron cream sauce.

Very very delicious.

Grano offers a different flavored tiramisu every day and today's flavor is lemon. It tasted alright but slightly too much acidity for me.

I was a pretty good meal highlighted by a number of rustic Italian dishes. Kind of reminded me of another Italian restaurant in Hong Kong called Joia who also happens to offer a similar array of pasta and pizza. But to say this is one of the top 1,000 restaurants in the world, I personally think it's a little too much.

Food Rating: 5.5/10 
Price: ₩₩₩
Address: 645-1, Sinsa-dong, Gangnam-gu, Seoul, South Korea
Closest Metro Station: Apgujeong
Tel: +82 2-540-1330

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