Suji's Restaurant & Bar
Reviewed by Aaron Namba on September 13, 2011 / Updated June 8, 2012
First, a confession. I'd wanted to have brunch at Suji's for a long time, but we rarely have an excuse to go to Itaewon. So when Daniel Gray of Seoul Eats wanted to grab brunch, I suggested we head there. He seemed a little surprised, but pleased, so we went.
However, as it turns out, he is a good friend of the owner, Suji Park (and thinking back, I believe he told me as much earlier). Thus, as food writers and invited guests, our meal was comped.
For a second, I was a little upset with myself because it was a good meal, and I was getting ready to write a positive review, but I didn't want it to look like it was paid for. For Suji's sake and ours.
Thus, we had to go back on our own dime (and without being recognized) to do a fair review. We waited a couple weeks, then returned this past Saturday. This review is a combination of the two visits, and the dishes that we received for free are noted below.
Suji's, slightly obscured by the trees. Located on the second and third floor.
Suji's is located at the west end of Itaewon, near Noksapyeong Station. It occupies the second and third floors of this little building. The stairs are a bit narrow and the ceilings in the stairway are rather low, but once you get into the main dining room, it's quite nice.
Brunch is served on weekends, starting at 9am. And if you go early (seated before 10am), you get 10% off your bill. Since we are early birds (due to work, not by choice), this works out great for us. Plus, as lunch time draws near, the line runs down the stairs and out the door!
Bottomless coffee (4000원)
Like any good brunch spot, the coffee is bottomless. It costs a little more than I'm used to, but this is Korea. Happily though, it also tastes better than I'm used to!
Eggs Benedict (15000원), Annie's favorite breakfast
Suji's serves an excellent rendition of a breakfast classic, Eggs Benedict. We have ordered this twice now, and notably, all four eggs were perfectly poached. We hear this may be due to the fact that egg poaching is one of the things "on the test" when you become a cook in Korea. Whatever the reason, we are very glad, because poached eggs are not easy to make at home.
Denver Omelet (12000원): Ham, cheddar, peppers and onions, topped with salsa (Provided by Suji's)
On the other end of the scale, I suppose omelets are relatively easy to make at home. Still, we appreciated having this one made for us, and it was as good as any I've had.
Suji's Omelet (14000원): a monstrosity stuffed with bacon, potatoes, onions and cheese
On our first visit, I saw another diner order the Suji's omelet and was impressed by the sheer size of the thing. I ordered it on our second visit, but sadly, beyond the size, it was unremarkable.
The overall portion size actually isn't even that much larger than other dishes, it just appears that way because the bacon and potatoes are crammed into the omelet instead of appearing separately on the side. Just a packaging difference, really, not a good reason to pay an extra 2000원 over the Denver.
Grilled Original Reuben Sandwich (12000원) - Corned beef, sauerkraut and Swiss cheese. Potato salad and coleslaw on the side. (Provided by Suji's)
The reuben sandwich was not bad at all. I'd definitely go back during the week to get this for lunch.
Peanut Butter Chocolate Cheesecake (6000원) (Provided by Suji's)
At the end, although we were pretty full already, Daniel suggested dessert. The cheesecakes looked good, but we couldn't decide on one, so he just ordered both the Lemon Cheesecake and the Peanut Butter Chocolate Cheesecake.
Lemon Cheesecake (5500원) - Served with caramel on the side
I was a little surprised to find that they arrived warm (usually I expect them to be served chilled), but they tasted great nonetheless. I still can't decide.
- Food: 4/5 - Perfectly prepared poached eggs every time. Each dish is prepared well, though some are a bit plain.
- Service: 4/5 - Water and coffee are refilled regularly, even without having to ask. Occasionally it feels odd to have servers watching over you so carefully, but I suppose it's no worse than shopping at a department store.
- Atmosphere: 4/5 - Relaxed and comfortable, although tables are a bit too close together in some areas.
Correction: An earlier version of this review stated that Daniel Gray is in charge of marketing at Suji's. We regret the error.