Blu Cucina: A Meal That Took Me Back Home
When I moved to Seoul this past November I made it a weekly goal to have lunch dates with close and distant family members alike. Since I’m from the States, it’s a great opportunity to get to spend time with family I so rarely see. Every week we choose a popular restaurant about which we’ve read a review. After about a month and a half, one of my Aunties told me we were going to try a place that ended up being my most memorable foodie experience in Seoul: Blu Cucina.
Just on the outskirts of Hongdae, nestled in an underground alley, a 15-seater Italian restaurant called Blu Cucina is hidden. Picture this: beautiful royal blue tiles, a view of the chef at work, and a long dark wooden table in the middle of the restaurant. Since there are images below, just imagine foodies laughing over a glass of wine and sharing family-style, home-cooked Italian dishes.
Now, imagine home. Not just what your home looks like, but the feeling of home. The feeling of comfort and the feeling you get when you’re waiting at the kitchen counter watching your mom, dad, or grandma making a meal to share. This feeling of home and comfort is the exact same feeling I had while at Blu Cucina.
Green Salad with Fresh Vegetables and Thinly Sliced Beef
The simplicity of this Blu Cucina salad is just as good as it sounds. This tossed green salad consisted of mixed greens, Belgian endive, tomatoes, red onion, thinly sliced cuts of beef, and freshly grated parmigiano to top it off. This simple and refreshing salad is just what you need to whet your appetite for the next two dishes.
White Cream Sauce Pasta with Mushrooms and Short Rib
Since I lived in Italy once upon a time, everyone always assumes I’m totally nit picky about pasta. Completely false. Although I always appreciate homemade noods (send noods!), I don’t mind being served store-bought. What really matters to me in a pasta dish is the flavor and sauce to noodle ratio (hint: there can never be too much sauce or pasta). That’s exactly what I got at Blu Cucina. Expect boxed pasta, but a great sauce to nood ratio. Presentation was on point, and the cream sauce didn’t make me feel like I was eating an entire stick of butter. The peppery short rib was melt in your mouth and offset the saltiness of the sauce. Although the squid ink risotto is also a fan favorite, I highly recommend this dish.
Gambas Al Ajillo Shrimp with Garlic
You may be confused by the name of this dish, I for one was a little confused myself. Originally a Spanish dish, I wasn’t exactly sure why it was on the menu, but it ended up being my favorite dish at Blu Cucina. It came out in sizzling cast-iron pan of grilled shrimp in olive oil with chili powder, roasted tomatoes, and Lots and LOTS of garlic. Of course, a toasted baguette was served on the side for lots of dipping. Seoulcialite says: Make sure to dip the bread in the sauce AND smash the garlic buds on top. You won’t regret it!
Blu Cucina – Last Looks
Sometimes I get lost in the foodie hub of Seoul trying to experience the highest rated restaurants. Eating at Blu Cucina is the best meal I’ve had because I shared this food experience with my two aunties. This place reminded me of home cooking and of a place I once called home; Italy. In other publications I’ve written about that feeling of comfort and the feeling of home. That’s how I felt when I was so homesick and got to enjoy this meal. Blu Cucina isn’t the highest profile restaurant I’ve visited, but it evoked a special memory when asked about my favorite meal in Seoul. At the end of the day, the best meal is just one shared with the people I love.
Hours & Getting to Blu Cucina Restaurant
|57-41, Mangwon-dong, Mapo-gu, Seoul (Line 6: Mangwon Station Exit 2)|
|HOURS OF OPERATION||MON-SAT: 11:30 – 22:30 (BREAK: 15:00-17:00)
|블루쿠치나||서울시 마포구 월드컵로19길 18 서울시 마포구 망원동 57-41 예약및대관문의:02-6015-5741 월~토 Open: 11시30분 Close: 22시30분 일요일 휴무/3시~5시break time(토요일,공휴일제외) (재료소진시 조기마감)|
Asya Lee (Asya in Asia) has a Bachelor of Arts in Communications from Washington State University. Family and food are most important to Asya, and she’s making the most of her time in Seoul exploring all of its culinary delights. A fellow West-Coast Seoulcialite (ie. sorority gal), she enjoys hiking, discovering new restaurants, Seoul’s plethora of cafes, a good bottle of cab sauv, and solo travel. The newest member of The Toronto Seoulcialite team, Asya will be in and around the peninsula through Spring 2018!