Han Wa Dam is one of our two favourite (together with Two Plus) Korean barbecue restaurants in Seoul. Serving only Korean Hanwoo beef known for its rich marbling and full-bodied flavour (think Australian wagyu), Han Wa Dam is also distinguished for having the best kimchi I've ever eaten in my life. Really, if you were looking to introduce kimchi to someone with a pre-disposed aversion to kimchi, just bring them to Han Wa Dam. I promise you, the kimchi here will make a lover out of even the most hardened of kimchi-haters.
The beef at Han Wa Dam weren't marinated, and it need not be. It was delicious on its own. Recommended specialties were the Sirloin (42,000KRW for 150gm) and Tenderloin (43,000KRW for 150gm), juicy and sumptuous and insanely good simply burnished with a heap of beef fat.
The Pollack Roe Steamed Egg (5,000KRW) fluffy like a souffle, and dotted with sweet diced carrots and spring onions, was scrumptious.
Another must-try, the Sirloin Kimchi Stew (8,000KRW) was exquisite, and absolutely comforting in the frigid cold of the Seoul winter. Heck, this'd be comforting even in the sweltering heat of Seoul's crazy-hot Summers.
There weren't a lot of banchan in Han Wa Dam, but what they lack in variety, they make up for in excellence of quality.
The Kimchi here was outstanding, punchy and potent. If there was just one reason to return to Han Wa Dam, this'll be it.
The Lettuce Salad, or sangchu geotjeori, laced with peppery watercress, was refreshing and a wonderful counterpoint to the beef.
Ditto for the piquant Pickled Radish, studded with the bite of garlic, and sweet of onions.
The Shredded Chives Salad, topped with a fruit jelly, was a lovely zesty contrast too.
The Cold Radish Soup, or dongchimi, was spiked with chilli for a mild heat.
We were trying to stay away from carbs, but the multigrain rice was just too yummy to resist. This was amazing paired with the kimchi jjigae.
The restaurant front for reference.
Han Wa Dam
61-21 Taepyeong-ro 1-Ga
Tel: +82 2 730 7905
Open daily from 11.30am to 2.30pm for lunch; 5pm to 11.30pm for dinner