Brunch at 7ATE9 [From the Archives]
I don’t know how often you guys think about your bowel movements, but I do — quite often. It’s something that was part of my upbringing. Guess it comes with having a Korean mother who’s a nurse. Motherly love at its finest!
Any poo … Sorry — I had to! Anyway, after years of international travel, I’ve become attuned to my bowel functions, and after two weeks in Seoul, I knew things were a bit out of whack. I’ve been eating Korean food all of my life, but I’m not used to eating it every day for every meal. I could tell my gut need a change of scenery. My solution? A proper Sunday brunch, of course.
Off the main road of Itaewon, 7ATE9 serves all day brunch in a small café tucked up the hillside. The mild trek meant it wasn’t as busy, and there was no wait!
After our climb to find this please, I needed a drink. If you ever need a kick in a rear after a night of heavy drinking or just to recover from the uphill walk, this Bloody Mary will do the trick. It was the spiciest Bloody Mary I’ve ever had! Guess it makes sense coming from the land of kimchi. However, the Bloody Mary wasn’t very satisfying—probably because I wasn’t hungover. At 10,000 won, I probably wouldn’t splurge on one again unless I was in serious need for some hair of the dog.
The food took a bit of time to arrive, but there are only two guys working in a kitchen the size of a tiny bathroom. How they managed to bring out both of our dishes at the same time, eggs perfectly poached . . . absolute wizardry.
I hadn’t realized just how much I missed the humble chestnut mushroom until I had one sautéed in butter alongside my eggs benedict. Each order also comes with a substantial salad: fresh, bright, full of flavor, and—most importantly—RAW. Hallelujah! It is served simply with a balsamic drizzle–just how I eat my salads back home!
The ham was unnecessary as it didn’t have a strong enough flavor to withstand the thick runny yolk and wondrously creamy hollandaise. Some may find their hollandaise in need of more acid, but I prefer mine on the creamier, yolkier side. I was also just grateful that this dish didn’t have additional sugar added!
At 12,000 won, this Eggs Benedict is absolutely worth it. Yes, I paid about twice as much than if I had Korean food, but me and my digestive system needed a taste of home. The service was incredibly nice, the waitress spoke English (it is the Itaewon area after all), and the food a knock out!