Italian is probably the only non-Korean cuisine I'd eat while in Seoul, because I've found that by and large, the Italian fare in Seoul tends to the fusion. Local produce is used, or Korean ingredients are employed, by most Italian restaurants in Seoul.
Boccalino is the in-house Italian restaurant of the luxury Four Seasons Seoul, and while the food was generally great, it just wasn't outstanding enough to draw us away from our usual must-eats of Korean cuisine. We only return to Seoul once a year, primarily to get our fill of Korean fare, and we really don't want to waste our trip eating anything other than Korean food.
The full-bodied flavour of the Korean Beef Tenderloin Carpaccio (28,000KRW) was contrasted with the sharp peppery notes of fresh watercress, while black truffle and parmesan flakes lent to the robust heft of the starter.
A must-try, the Fritto Misto (36,000KRW) was an excellent starter of a medley of seafood and vegetables (zucchini, eggplant, and asparagus), all breadcrumbed, fried, and served alongside a heady marinara sauce. The calamari, prawns, scallops, and seabass were perfectly cooked, soft and luscious.
The Taglierini al Tartufo (34,000KRW) was what the product of mushroom cream soup and pasta would be like. Seasonal mushrooms dotted a thick mushroom cream sauce, fragranced with truffle salt and black truffle, and a shower of parmasan shavings topped off the comforting dish.
The Fish-of-the-Day (40,000KRW) was simplicity at its finest, a market-fresh halibut fillet was pan-seared, seasoned with just salt, pepper and a touch of lemon, and served atop grilled root vegetables.
The complimentary bread was served with roasted garlic, a distinctively Korean touch as the Koreans love garlic. These were buttery and wonderful spread over the crusty bread.
The restaurant during Sunday brunch. We took the opportunity to dress up when we dined here; we never get to do that anywhere else because most Korean eateries were casual places.
Four Seasons Hotel Seoul 2nd floor
Open 11.30am to 2.30pm for lunch; 5.30pm to 10pm for dinner