April 14, 2024

25 chefs showcase Asian cuisine at 50 Best Signature Sessions in Seoul

50 Best Signature Sessions, in partnership with Catch Table and Kaviari, will feature luminaries from the Asian culinary scene including Ton Thittidkasanajohn from Le Du in Bangkok, Joanne Siy from Lolla in Singapore, Vicky Cheng from Wing in Hong Kong, Yoshihiro Narisawa from Narisawa in Tokyo and many more. In total, 25 chefs will take part in the programme across eight different collaborations, hosted at some of the Korean capital’s outstanding restaurants.

From fermentation and tradition to seasonality and innovation, the 50 Best Signature Sessions will help connect Asian cultures, one bite at a time. Read on to explore the full lineup and book your favourite combinations.

The events at a glance:

Onjium x The Chairman x Seroja

Lunch and Dinner, Saturday 23rd March

Where: Onjium, Jongno-gu, Hyoja-ro, 49 4, Seoul

Who: With more than 10 years of researching Korean heritage, Onjium chefs Eun-hee Cho and Sung-bae Park master the use of seasonal ingredients to craft new versions of traditional recipes where delicacy is key. They are joined by legendary chef-restaurateur Danny Yip of The Chairman in Hong Kong – a former No.1 in Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants – and Malaysian-born Kevin Wong from rising-star spot Seroja in Singapore.

What: Inspired by an Asian proverb about learning from the past, Malaysian, Cantonese and Korean cuisines will come together to offer a menu entitled ‘Tradition and Harmony’. From tropical herb noodles to bibimbap with local spring greens and banchan, guests will encounter fresh surprises at every course. Lunch and dinner are priced at 450,000 KRW, with an additional 150,000 KRW for drinks pairing.

Book: online via www.catchtable.net/shop/onjiumrestaurant   

Eatanic Garden x Florilège x Solbam

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When: Dinner, Saturday 23rd March

Where: 231, Teheran-ro, Gangnam-gu, Seoul

Who: Before opening Eatanic Garden, chef Jongwon Son studied in the US and worked in Copenhagen, New York and San Francisco. Back in his homeland, Son joined Eatanic Garden, within the Josun Palace hotel, in 2022 and honours the name of the restaurant by placing super-fresh produce at the centre of his unique menu. Florilège chef-owner Hiroyasu Kawate will bring his French-Japanese cuisine to the menu, along with Son’s fellow Seoul chef Tae-jun Eom of Solbam.

What: Diners will savour the first blooms of spring in this six-hands collaboration. Food and beverage pairing is included in the 700,000 KRW ticket.

Book: online via www.catchtable.net/shop/eatanicgarden

7th Door x JL Studio x La Cime

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Dinner, Saturday 23rd March

Where: 7th Door, Gangnam-gu, Hakdong-ro 97-gil, 41 4 Seoul

Who: Lauded chef and former musician Dae-chun Kim is well known for adding his highly creative and inventive spin on ancient cooking methods. His two talented guests, Singaporean chef Jimmy Lim from JL Studio in Taipei and Yusuke Takada from La Cime in Osaka, share the same passion for exploring traditions and will combine their skills together to create original flavours utilising classic techniques.

What: As 7th Door’s menu is based heavily on fermentation and ageing, the menu will explore different fermentations in Korean, Singaporean and Japanese cuisines. The special dinner will host just 14 guests, with each seat priced at 600,000 KRW including alcoholic or non-alcoholic drinks.

Book: by email via [email protected] 

Tenjimon x Den x Mume

When: Dinner, Saturday 23rd March

Where: Tenjimon, Gangnam-gu, Hakdong-ro 97-gil, 41 4 Seoul

Who: Chef Dae-Chun Kim created Tenjimon in unison with Japanese chef Zaiyu Hasegawa from Tokyo’s Den, formerly named Asia’s Best Restaurant in 2022. For this special dinner, the cooks will also collaborate with the popular Richie Lin from Mume in Taipei, which picked up the Sustainable Restaurant Award in 2022.

What: With an esoteric theme of ‘flowers embroidered on silk’ (different elements combining to make a better whole), the dinner will see 12 diners savour a mix of modern Japanese and Taiwanese cuisine, using Korean seasonal ingredients. The experience is priced at 600,000 KRW including a curated selection of alcoholic or non-alcoholic drinks.

Book: by email via [email protected]  

Soigné x Le Du x Wing x Kwonsooksoo

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Lunch, Sunday 24th March

Where: Soigne, Gangnam-gu, Sinsa-dong, Sinsa Square, 2F, Seoul

Who: Chef Jun Lee opened Soigné in 2013, offering a cuisine influenced by his years of training and work around the world. Renowned cooks Thitid Tassanakajohn from Bangkok’s Le Du, voted The Best Restaurant in Asia 2023, Vicky Cheng from the acclaimed Wing in Hong Kong and Woojoong Kwon from Kwonsooksoo in Seoul will join forces with Lee and his team for an eight-hands lunch like no other. 

What: Looking to connect these three cultures through food, the flavours of each territory will be combined and presented to an audience of 30 diners. Korean ‘hangsik’ cuisine will be expressed in two distinctive forms: the traditional way by Chef Kwon and the contemporary way by Chef Lee. The lunch menu is priced at 420,000 KRW including non-alcoholic pairings, with the option including wine pairing available for 480,000 KRW.

Book: online via www.catchtable.net/shop/soigneseoul 

Alla Prima x Cenci x L’Espoir

Lunch and Dinner, Sunday 24th March

Where: Alla Prima, 13 Hakdong-ro 17-gil, Gangnam-gu, Seoul

Who: Creative chef Jin-hyuk Kim trained in Japan and saved for a decade to open the Mediterranean-accented Alla Prima in 2015. Chef Ken Sakamoto from Japanese-Italian eatery Cenci in Kyoto and chef Kihak Lim from the pioneering authentic French restaurant L’Espoir, also in Seoul, will combine skills with Kim for a delicious dining experience.

What: The cosy space and open kitchen at Alla Prima has space for 30 guests to enjoy the creative process of the chefs up close, while also encouraging conversation amongst the diners. Tickets are available for 600,000 KRW with wine pairing included.

Book: online via www.catchtable.net/shop/allaprima 

La Yeon x Narisawa

Dinner, Sunday 24th March

Where: La Yeon, 249 Dongho-ro, Jangchung-dong, Jung-gu, Seoul

Who: Chef Sung-Il Kim is a veteran of the Seoul fine dining scene, having headed up the kitchen at La Yeon – situated within The Shilla hotel – since its opening in 2013. For this exclusive dinner, the La Yeon team will receive the iconic Japanese chef Yoshihiro Narisawa from the eponymous restaurant in Tokyo, another former No.1 in Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants.

What: Located on the 23rd floor, the dining space offers stunning views over Namsan Park. The chefs will aim to delight the 24 diners with a menu entitled ‘Indulge in the scent of nature’, priced at 1,000,000 KRW including pairing.

Book: Email [email protected] or call +82 2 2230 3367

Soul x Potong x Lolla x Korea House

Dinner, Wednesday 27th March

Where: Korea House, 10, Toegye-ro 36-gil, Jung-gu, Seoul

Who: Young chef Hee-eun Kim crafts innovative dishes inspired by tradition to broaden the horizons of guests coming to her restaurant, Soul. Kim will host three winners of the prestigious Asia’s Best Female Chef Award: fellow Korean Hee-sook Cho (2020), Johanne Siy from Lolla in Singapore (2023) and newly crowned Pichaya ‘Pam’ Soontornyanakij from Potong in Bangkok (2024) in an unforgettable all-female collaboration.

What: The four chefs will gather at Korea House to celebrate Mother Nature, carefully picking precious ingredients sourced from natural surroundings and applying the diverse techniques of the cooks in every course. Available to around 40 guests, the event will include fun reinterpretations of staple dishes, price at 500,000 KRW including drinks pairing.

Book: online via https://www.catchtable.net/shop/souldining 

The 12th edition of Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants, sponsored by S.Pellegrino & Acqua Panna, will be announced on 26th March 2024 from Seoul. To stay up to date with the latest news and announcements ahead of the ceremony, browse the website, join the community on Instagram, find us on Facebook, visit us on X, subscribe to our YouTube channel and sign up for the 50 Best newsletter.