Do not trust ‘world best’ lists. Turn up your nose at the thought of fusion. Or just say that fine dining means lots of frou frou, very little substance for a big fat bill. But if you went to Mingles, one of the world’s best restaurants, ‘mingling’ traditional Korean food with European techniques in undeniably fine dining setting, you will be forced to revisit your notions.
The menu changes every few weeks, every course is a surprise and every bite a delight. As someone who spends a fair bit of time in Seoul, it is delightful to see the boldness in thought and practise that is sweeping the Korean restaurant scene. Chef Mingoo Kang has boldly established himself at the forefront of New Korean cuisine. The European cuts of meat, presentation styles are unmistakeable. The use of fermented Korean sauces, vinegars, seasonal produce, weeds and herbs plants this restaurant firmly as true to its roots.
Fine dining for me must belong to it’s physical surroundings. In what is served, in how it delights. Mingles checks all the boxes of an outstanding meal, and unchecks some notions.