I’m a creature of habit and sloth, so rarely leave my little neighbourhood unless pressed to do so. However offer me the chance to try a new menu, and you can usually lure me out. WinK is a new restaurant and tap house located just next to Seoul National university of Education, and is owned by When in Korea head honcho William. This week they opened for their soft launch and invited me for a sneak preview.
Up on the second floor is a modern, yet simple wood and brick restaurant. Co-owner Scott told me they are still waiting for their art work and a few other design touches, but the restaurant certainly has a cozy and welcoming feel.
As always we kicked things off with a drink. On the menu are an array of sweet and strong cocktails for 6,000. My favourite cocktail of the evening was probably the Cranberry Jackass, which is fruity take on the Moscow Mule, thought the WinK Secret was also pretty moreish too. As well as their incredibly intoxicating libations, they also have a variety of craft beers on draft which are very reasonably priced at 5,600 – 7,000.
The first dish we tried was the Mexorean Kimchi Fries (13,000). Slow braised pork, kimchi, Texas chili, and chimichurri. These were sensationally good. As you all know, I’m no fan of kimchi but their chili topped fries were great, full of flavour, and lots of lime coming from the chimichurri. The waffle cut fries made a real change from the standard fries that most bars offer too. The fries also came with chipotle sour cream for dipping, and at my suggestion they swapped out the ketchup for queso dip.
Second up to try was the Pulled Pork Sandwich (11,000) Carnitas pulled pork, 3 cheeses, and apple slaw served on Texas Toast. This one was right up my alley, and probably my favourite dish of the night. The pulled pork and coleslaw were also tasty as hell and I was all over that lovely buttery Texas toast. Very good for the price, though TFB wasn’t a fan of the sweet bread, but what does he know.
We also tried the Steak Kimpico Tacos (9,000). Thin slices of steak, kimchi, pico de gallo, and home made queso fresco. These were super tasty too, the steak was surprisingly tender and the homemade cheese a nice touch. A good little taco indeed.
The Ori Confit Salad, (13,000), came out next, but was probably my least favourite of the food we tried. No one wants a salad after lots of lovely cheese and meat laden carbs. The confit duck was nicely done, and well cooked but I just don’t think it worked in the salad. I’d love to see it in a wrap with hoisin sauce though. Then they’d definitely have something going on.
Lastly we tried the Bacon-Jam Burger (14000). The words bacon jam are like music to my ears, and I cannot get enough of it. I’m not sure whether it was the bacon jam, or the tasty thick and well seasoned patty but I loved this burger. The kaiser roll it was served in was pretty special too. At 14,000, it’s certainly a touch on the pricey side but in the taste department it certainly ticks all the boxes, probably because of the copious amounts of bacon. I’d definitely have this one again.
As with any new venture they are still finding their feet but overall I was very impressed. A few touches here and there are missing, but in an area with little competition, and very reasonable prices I think it’s going to be one to watch, especially once they launch their brunch menu.
WinK is located at 2F, 1576-6, Seocho-dong, Seocho-gu, Seoul. To get there take a train to Seoul National University of Education (lines 2 & 3). Come out of exit 14 and walk straight, WinK is about 100 meters down the street on the second floor. For more information you can call them on 02-6053-3429 or check out their facebook page.