A few days ago I got invited by a friend to come and try McCoy’s in Haebangchon. He had declared that it was an absolute gem of a place and a real find. I had heard a few mutterings on the grapevine about it, so my interest was certainly piqued but I honestly didn’t have my hopes that set that high. However since the dinner was on the house I figured it was worth a try.

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The first thing to say about McCoy’s is that the place is it’s utterly adorable. It’s cute and kitschy with just a hint of style and lots of warmth. While there are buckets full of restaurants simply oozing style, the food they serve often leaves a lot to be desired. McCoy’s is owned by a Korean husband and wife team, and while I don’t usually go in for credentials when it comes to food, I was pleased to find out that Chef Dennis had trained at a number of famed restaurants all over the world.

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Since my friend had organized the dinner he took it upon himself to order for us, which I was fine with, as he had been half a dozen times before and had steadily made his way through the menu. They have both a lunch and dinner menu which contains a collection of sandwiches, salads, pizzas, and meaty main courses.

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To kick things off I had a glass of the Sangria (8,000) and he had a glass of the house red (6,000), a Cabernet Sauvignon from Bordeaux which is unlimited every night when you buy dinner! Quite the bargain! My glass of sangria was fine, though not quite as sweet as I would have liked, to be honest it just tasted like wine with fruit in it, no extra mixers, it was also quite small so I’d probably just stick with the unlimited wine special next time.

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Once we had settled in our first course arrived, a Salmon & Honey Grapefruit  Salad (17,000). A mix of chunks of seared salmon, grapefruit, real honey comb, a medley of tomatoes, olives and other salad bits. It also came with the cutest bottle of balsamic dressing on the side. As regular readers would know, I really don’t care for salmon, especially once it’s cooked, but I tried a piece anyway and actually managed to swallow it. It had a lovely texture and if you actually like salmon then I’m sure you would love it. The salad itself was fantastic though, there was a great mix of textures from the ingredients, and a nice balance of sweet and sour flavours. I especially enjoyed the honeycomb which I am currently obsessed with. It was a very nice salad indeed, and I can’t see anyone being disappointed, it certainly lived up to it’s price tag.

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Our second course was the Pork Chop (23,000). Served with sweet potato gnocchi, baby carrots, and beetroot, all swimming in a cream sauce. One bite of this mammoth pork chop and I had died and gone to heaven. It was insatiably tender, and one of the best pork chops I’ve ever eaten. Chef Dennis had cooked this meat to perfection, the chop was large and hearty and the edge of fat lovely and crisp. I’m always happy to eat the fat on any meat if it’s been well cooked and this fat certainly was. The sweet potato gnocchi were true bites of sweet pillowy goodness and the tasty rich cream sauce was so good I would have licked the plate clean had I been at home and not in the middle of a restaurant. With the baby veggies and nuts, this dish was extremely well thought out and an absolute knockout. An 11 out of 10 for sure, and by far one of the best dishes I’ve had this year.

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To finish we had their made to order apple pie (6,000). Pastry, sweet caramelized apples and ice cream, I struggle to think of anyone who wouldn’t love this dish. Split to share it was the perfect size, and the ideal sweet note to end the meal on. With dessert we also had a round of coffees, and as you can see my cappuccino was as endearing as the rest of the meal.

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Overall I was extremely impressed with meal and the prices. The small bistro was fancy without being pretentious, and real find, I would urge everyone to go and visit  before the word really gets out about it. If the food wasn’t already good enough they also have a number of inexpensive set menu’s for no more that 45,000 for 2 people, plus they have free wine refills at dinner, if you are around for the holidays then you should certainly pay them a visit.

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McCoy’s is located at 1 Sinheung-ro 12gil, Yongsan gu, Seoul. To get there take a train to Noksapyeong Station and come out of exit 2. Walk straight to the end of the road, then take the road baring left and walk straight pas the Kimchi Pots. McCoy’s is located at the very end of the HBC road just past Paris Baguette, it’s just up ahead in the right hand corner. For more information you can call them on 070-8872-9292 or check out their facebook page.

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