When Il Gattino came to Haebangchon I was as happy as a clam, their wonderful home made Italian food was the real deal and just what our neighborhood had been longing for. They were a massive hit straight off the bat, thanks to their fabulous food and the friendly and welcoming atmosphere that owner Giovanni provided. However with the popularity came the crowds and they soon found that their current location was a tad too small, so they left HBC and went off in search of bigger premises. Finally after being denied the pleasure of eating their wonderful food for over two months, they finally opened up their new restaurant called Brera in Beotigogae, and I went straight there to check it out.
The new restaurant is a beautiful open plan space which is ever so light and airy thanks to their mass of lovely large windows adorning the back wall. The whole place is festooned in red and has dozens of cute little design features that were missing from the old location. The biggest change is the kitchen which is absolutely giant and open plan so you can see exactly what’s going on inside.
When we first arrived the restaurant was packed to the rafters, which was very surprising given that it was a Tuesday lunchtime. As it was so busy I offered to give them a hand and became their part time waitress. I’m sure Giovanni thought that I was being a kind and generous customer, but really I just wanted to help speed things along so I could sit down and enjoy my meal.
I’ve eaten my way through most of the menu over the past six months so was excited to see what was new. The menu looks as though it’s been streamlined somewhat and is now broken down into categories, making it much easier to choose your favourite dish.
To kick things off we were given the complimentary home made bread, and olive tapanade. The tapanade is lovely and flavourful without being too salty and you can never go wrong with home baked bread, especially when it comes with their delightful chili jam to spread upon it.
The first thing we ordered was the Tomato & Mozzarella Pizza (14,900), as I had to check out their newly installed pizza oven. The base was heavenly, wafer thin and perfectly crisp. Topped with a rich and tasty tomato sauce and slices of fresh mozzarella, it was simplicity itself and all the better for it. You can add any toppings you wish, but why mess with perfection, the only thing you would possibly want to add are a couple of fresh basil leaves.
For the pasta we tried the Meatballs (14,900) and it was divine. Big meaty balls, in a rich tomato sauce served over the most magnificent pappardelle pasta. The pasta was cooked to al dente perfection and was the absolute star of the dish. It really reminded me how wonderful fresh pasta is, and got me all inspired to dust off my pasta maker and whip up a batch myself.
Lastly we ordered the Gorgonzola Gnocchi (14,900). Rich, creamy, and incandescently cheesy you certainly couldn’t miss the Gorgonzola in this dish. The gnocchi were as always little pieces of heaven. As soft and pillowy as clouds, for me it’s Seoul’s best Gnocchi by miles!
I was terribly full by this point but I really couldn’t resist grabbing the last Tiramisu (5,000). I adore this rich and creamy coffee flavoured dessert so much, I just wish it was still on my doorstep so I could eat one everyday!
Lastly we finished up with one of their fabulous lattes, which are always complimentary for those eating dinner. And trust me after all that good food, you will certainly need one! I for once wasn’t drinking (shocking I know), but did notice that they have expanded the drinks menu to include beer, white wine, red wine, and prosecco either by the glass (5,000 – 8,000) or bottle (25,000 – 40,000). Though I’m still waiting for them to add a few cocktails to that list to make it complete!
Overall I’m in love with the new Brera, the food is as good as always and the restaurant is a clean and modern space making it the perfect place for lunch or dinner. As one of my favourite restaurants in the city, I’m glad it’s back and better than ever!
Brera is located at 2F 295 Dongho-ro 17gil, Jung-gu, Seoul (서울특별시 중구 동호로17길 295, 2F) To get there take a train to Beotigogae station and come out of exit 1. Turn back on yourself at the exit. Walk straight and take the first right that goes up the hill. Brera is just a few meters up on the right. For more information you can call them on 010-8070-1982 or check out their facebook page.