Korean Royal Cuisine Progression Dinner at Yong Su San

Korean Royal Cuisine Progression Dinner at Yong Su San

I’ve heard from some that these progression dinners, aka Royal Cuisine, are more common in North Korea these days than in the South.  Not sure how true that is.  Multi-course meal served family style, in a formal setting, but not as grand and spectacular as one would see at a Chinese banquet dinner.  Nevertheless, it is an interesting experience to partake in at least once.

The dinners are not cheap (about $40 and up per person depending on the menu selected), and while the flavors were there, they were rather muted and not as bold as one would expect from Korean food.  Many of the dishes were good, but there are better versions elsewhere.

Yet, this place is packed, and for the most part, diners are seated in their own private dining room, whether it’s for a party of 4 or 20 (advanced reservations required, of course).



All Things Seafood at Kabayo Live Shell Clam (Cham Bada) Restaurant in K-Town

A friend suggested that we try this Korean seafood place that was highly recommended by one of her friends.  Kabayo offers sashimi/raw seafood, spicy seafood stews, and a variety of a la carte, such as their popular Mixed Tempura.

After perusing the menu for a bit, we opted to order their VIP combination dinners made for 3, which offers a sashimi of various types of seafood, which inluded sea squirts and baby sea cucumber.  We figured by sharing the sashimi platter that we could share a couple of the a la carte dishes — Stir-fried Spicy Squid, and the Mixed Tempura.

While we enjoyed the a la carte items, the VIP combination platter was a bit on the challenging side, especially with the sea squirts, baby cucumbers.  The spicy seafood stew has a lot of fish intestine sack in it that were challenging to consume. 

Nice variety of ban chan provided
Oyster Shooter
Sashimi Platter

They weren’t able to translate the Korean name, but we believe these are baby sea cucumbers

Sea Squirts, with an exoskeleton that is tough and leathery and inedible

Raw Crab in a Soy Based Bath

Spicy Squid under Purple Rice
Broth that accompanied the Spicy Squid

Tempura Combination, much thicker panko crust, unlike traditional Japanese tempura.  Very crispy and crunchy, but not oily
Dipping Sauce for the tempura that’s delicious.

Seafood Stew that’s part of the VIP Combination
There was a lot of fish intestines used in the stew.

Next time, we’re ordering a la carte, so that we can try the $75 Seafood Stew that is served with an octopus that will be cooked and cut up and mixed into the stew.

We ordered the $140 VIP Combination.