If you live in Korea, you already must know all the different ways chicken could be served, which can be a bit overwhelming at first, if you come from a country like mine where chicken is either fried, backed or cooked. Nowadays I do not even get surprised to see over 10 types of fried chicken on a menu, knowing the adoration Koreans profess for it, specially when talking about their star combination, chicken and beer, or as they like to call it: “치맥” Chimaek .
Chimaek is one of the Korean food dream combos to relax and enjoy with friends, but forget about 치맥 already, because I am going to introduce you to its much sexier brother, Chicken, Pasta and Beer. After trying this new upgrade, chicken only, might make you feel like something is missing on your plate.
A couple of weeks ago, my friend and I had plans to meet for dinner and drinks, we had been talking about eating chicken and while looking for places to eat, we came across a picture of a delicious looking dish of what seemed to be some kind of chicken with cream and pasta. Being the foodies that we are, the mouth-watering picture was enough to close the deal for us and make us decide to go there for dinner.
Saturday night while on our way, my friend told me about how apparently the restaurant was owned by models. If you live in Korea, you get used to seeing the faces of different actors, singers or models even on day to day goods. Pizza, soju or pre-made food, among many others use celebrities for advertisement. It might feel a bit weird at first if you are a foreigner like me, to be surrounded by tons of basic products filled with faces of people you do not even know. But it must be a marketing strategy that clearly works, since it is hard to find things that do not sport the face of some kind of celebrity.
Having the face of the celebrity does obviously not mean that you will be eating pre-made meatballs or sharing soju with them, therefore I did not even blink twice when my friend showed me the sign of the restaurant that had the owner, model Shon Min Ho on it, telling her that I did not think any models would be there cooking or washing dishes. Well it turns out, I could not have been any more wrong…
The restaurant, was small but cute, rocking a Scandinavian aesthetic very simple at first sight, but with just the right details. Minimalist decorations that felt like they had a lot of thought behind, were filling the space, in a no make up – make up look, transferred to interior design.
The dinning room consisted on white walls, a couple of posters and pictures, as well as simple lamps and furniture. Big windows facing itaewon´s streets, which combined with the bar style chairs, could be a perfect spot for an eating solo day.
Soft colored light bulbs and at the entry, a big mirror, where Sohn Sohn Chicken was printed in white, allowing you to take the perfect outfit selfie while letting everybody know the name of the restaurant, without any tags or locations. Smart marketing for the win 😉
As a part of the dinning area, there was a very sleek and beautiful open kitchen, decorated in blacks, stainless steel and blues, where you could see your food being prepared right in front of you, if you ever wanted.
Here comes the part where I was completely wrong. A team of three, was working hard to cook the delicious food and take care of the clients and as my friend pointed out, the owner was most definitely one of them. To my surprise the team of three, which seem to be all models given their height and the way they walked, was working diligently, doing everything themselves including washing dishes, which gave me a big sense of respect towards them, having also worked as a waitress to pay for university myself. Specially given the fact that they were doing a job that I had never pictured someone famous doing. Props and respect to them, because not only were they hardworking, but the food was DELICIOUS.
Being a pasta LOVER, I sometimes have a hard time to find pasta suited to my taste. Pasta does not need to be cooked exactly Italian style, Korean pasta if made right can be delicious too, but I am very picky when it comes to how pasta needs to be cooked. For me, pasta has to be “aldente” that blissful point in between being undercooked and turning too soft and this pasta was hit spot on.
The dish was perfect, without being overly flavorful nor salty, it was tasty and with the exact level of spiciness that I enjoy in a dish like this, a kick that does not mask other flavors. The chicken even being surrounded by a creamy sauce, was tender and crispy at the same time. The dish had natural vegetables and the pasta was cooked to perfection. The only thing missing for me (as the bread obsessed European that I am) was well made bread, to eat the delicious sauce with. Which might even have even been a good thing, given that we already over ate by finishing everything.
Beer was surprisingly also very good, even though I tend to be more of a wine person. Plus points given since they had one of my favorite beers, which is pretty hard to find in Korea, the French Kronenbourg 1664, which sadly I did not know at the time.
Besides the food, which I could have married, my favorite part was also the bathroom. In my eyes, the masterpiece of the decoration, which will be no surprise to you after you hear that it was fully decorated with fashion cut outs. In contrast to the simple aesthetics kept on the dinning room, the bathroom walls had no space left, filled with beautiful images in black and whites, while keeping the same attention to detail and adding a mysterious touch with a bright red bulb. Maybe it is because it reminded me of one of my favorite bars of when I lived in Paris, but in my opinion, the bathroom held a special charm in decor.
That is all for today, but if you want to have a nice dinner filled with a fancier chicken experience or want to share delicious food with someone, I really recommend you to give this 맛집 a try. Food is delicious, aesthetics are matching and beer is also great, and if that does not do the trick for you, maybe thinking about how many times you will be able to eat delicious food cooked and served to you by models, might do the trick.
Address: 서울시 용산구 이태원동 118-5 2층 2F, 118-5, Itaewon-dong, Yongsan-gu, Seoul
Check Sohn Sohn Chicken´s Instagram for numbers and opening times.
*** 맛집= The word Mat-Jib translates to House of Flavor, a Korean term for a restaurant that serves delicious food.