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The Beastro is the hottest new restaurant to hit Hongdae and is serving up contemporary American cuisine. The large restaurant is set over three floors, and boasts an open plan kitchen and a roof top patio where you can enjoy drink or two whilst gazing out over the city sky line. Which is the perfect place to beat the heat and enjoy the cool breeze.

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Owner and head chef Matthew J Chung has created a simple yet elegant menu chock full of comfort foods and American classics like steak, fried chicken, and mac & cheese. But he has cleverly revamped and modernized the dishes in a way you have never eaten them before. Everything has been made from scratch in house where possible and it really comes through on the plate.

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I attended The Beastro at Matthew’s invitation with The Fat Boyfriend and my good friend Susan, and together we ambled our way through the well sized menu. Despite the heat we decided to sit up on the terrace and were delighted to find that there was a refreshingly cool breeze up there making it the perfect spot for alfresco dining.

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After we had ordered we were presented with home baked potato bread rolls served with garlic jam, always a great start to a meal.

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To start we tried the Kale and Ricotta Salad (13,000). With freshly shredded kale and home-made ricotta this is the perfect summer salad. Plenty of chicken breast was found on the plate and there was a tasty citrus dressing on top, it was very good indeed.

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We also ordered the Salmon Rillettes (12,000). I am not a salmon eater myself but The Fat Boyfriend can’t get enough of it, so was incredibly eager to try this dish. When asked to describe the dish he declared it to be “amazeballs,” and that he would “smother himself in a bowl of it.” At his insistence that it wasn’t too fishy I gave it a try and it was very good indeed. Kind of like a prawn cocktail, zingy, and well balanced.

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Our last starter was the Fried Brie Wheel (15,000). A whole round of brie in a cornmeal batter, served with orange tomato jam and croutons. The tangy yet sweet jam worked really well with  the richness of the cheese. A must for cheesaholics.

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On to the main courses, we decided to get a couple and share them between us. First up was the Fried chicken platter (17,000) Oh the fried chicken platter, mere words cannot describe the wonderfulness that is The Beastro’s fried chicken but I shall try anyway. For a start this is the best fried chicken I have ever had in my life! KFC has forever been ruined for me and I love KFC more than my own mother. The breast is so moist and juicy, probably because of the 6 hour long brine soak that they do. The skin is like a crispy blanket of pure crunchy fried goodness. It’s amazing, I could eat about a bucket-full. The mash is creamy and the perfect accompaniment to the chicken. The biscuit was also the best I’ve ever had, it was so light and fluffy that it was almost like a pastry. The two accompanying sauces also worked perfectly. The sour honey sauce and the bagna cauda(garlic and anchovy) both really added an interesting flavour to the dish. It was the perfect meal, even the mustard seeds on the top were great, a 10 out of 10 in every way. I will certainly be back for more.

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We also tried the 24 hour hangar steak (20,000). Slow cooked for a whole day, the steak was exceptionally tender. Personally I still prefer a grilled steak over one cooked sous vide, but this one was very good. The beef dripping roast potatoes and onion gravy were also excellent. I don’t think you will find a better steak anywhere in Seoul for 20,000. I’m sure I would have loved this dish more if I hadn’t had it at the same time as the chicken but I would certainly order this dish again if I was in the mood for beef.

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We needed a couple of sides to go with our mains and opted for the Buffalo Mac and Cheese(13,000). Topped with a parmesan crust and buffalo chicken. This was a match made in heaven. Again, one of the best Mac & cheeses I’ve ever had it, it was just so creamy. Pairing it with the buffalo sauce was genius. I’m going to have to try this at home. The portion is pretty big, so you could order it by itself if you wanted.

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Chimichurri Fries (8,000). I couldn’t resist these. I’ve loved chimichurri sauce since I went to Argentina and who doesn’t love fries? The chimchurri, and parmesan are a nice addition on top of the fries and they would be perfect to pick at while enjoying a drink on the roof.

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You wouldn’t have thought we would have room at this point but were recommended the Whisky on the Rocks (12,000). A Whiskey custard, panna cotta and savoury crumble. Not normally a huge fan of boozy desserts, this one was delightful. Rich yet light, with the flavour of coffee and whiskey which was not at all over powering. A sweet end to the meal.

I think we all know that I couldn’t enjoy a nice meal without a few cocktails to help wash it down, and with head mixologist Ray S. Oh at the helm The Beastro have created a fabulous and provocative cocktail list.

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Excellently priced, the drinks range from 8,500 – 13,000. Which considering the amount of thought and time which has gone into creating them is is amazing. I think you can guess that I took full advantage of the menu and these are my favourites. The Pretty in Pink (12,000) was probably my number 1. Vodka with pink lemonade and carbonated lychee jelly which practically danced and popped upon the taste buds. It was heaven in a glass.

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We also tried The Malt Shoppe (13,000), a tequila laced strawberry shake, topped with homemade vanilla whipped cream. Ours came with a fabulous chocolate chip cookie, as the chefs had been having a bake off. Neither too sweet or boozy, you could enjoy this before or after your meal.

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Other notable mentions are The Good Thymes (9,000) and 11pm (8,500). Both great short and refreshing concoctions perfect for a hot summer’s night.

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The Beastro is located at 358-32 Seogyo Dong 2F, Mapo Gu, Seoul. To get there take a train to Sangsu station (line 6). Come out of exit 1 and turn back on yourself. Keep walking straight for about 5 minutes until you reach the Hongdae Park. Walk up the stairs till you reach the road that runs parallel and you should see The Beastro on the 2nd floor above M.A.C (Make-up and great food!!!). For more information call 02-334-2500 or check out their facebook page.

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