Last Sunday I finally got to get out of the city and enjoy the most amazing pop up on Chef Ryan’s roof top. The pop up was hosted to use and cook all of the fantastic ingredients he and his team had been growing on his rooftop out in the countryside. This is the exact kind of thing that really excites me. Locally produced ingredients picked that day and turned into the most delicious dishes.
The roof garden itself was truly a sight to behold. It was amazing how much you could grow on a simple roof top. There were different varieties of tomatoes, aubergines, peppers, chilis, corn, herbs, carrots and more. I love the fact that everything in the garden was put to use, in fact Ryan’s garden master has even used the peppers to make and bottle his own hot sauce! I took a bottle back with me for TFB as hes a fan of all things spicy, and hes been adding to every meal ever since.
The pop-up menu had 13 different dishes on it, which was almost completely comprised of produce grown on the garden and their surrounding farm land. The plates were small dishes of what I’m calling ‘Garden Tapas”, and were priced between 3,000 – 8,000 each. They also had a homemade omija infused gin for their signature cocktail but we were free to bring our own beverages as well.
Not surprisingly I wanted to try everything on the menu, and this was more than ample to feed three large eaters. We also got a second round of a few of our favourites, just because we could.
While every dish we had was fantastic in its own way, it would take me forever to list everything so here is the highlight reel. First up was the Salmon Gravlax (5,000), a whole beet cured salmon, thinly sliced on top of toasted homemade focaccia, and topped with a devilled egg salad. Honestly this was pretty hard to beat, especially for the price.
With the salmon we were served the Sweetened Carrots (3,000). These baby carrots were sweeter than honey. Sauteed with dill, mustard, and cumin, they had a slightly warm spicy taste which complimented them so well. I’ve got a few pots of carrots in my own garden and I really hope they turn out as good as these.
It is not often that you come across veal in Korea, and Ryan had two dishes on the menu Grilled Veal Loin & Sage, and Smoked Veal and Collards both (8,000). Both dishes made great use of the gamey veal, the grilled version was crispy and served with sage, while the smoked version was falling off the bone and served with collards.
The Chilli Rellenos (8,000), were by far the star of the day for me. I’ve never had anything like it before but they were insanely good. Chillies stuffed with homemade cheese and deep fried, then topped with tomato spice water, there was also a tangy corn salsa on the side. I could have honestly eaten 100, and died happy when my stomach exploded.
The other standout dish was Ryan’s Corn (3,000). It was topped with John’s aioli and Ashes hot sauce. This was one of the first dishes we ate and I think it’s going to be a long time before I get to eat corn that good again. The smokiness from the bbq mixed with the hot sauce and aoili was just the perfect blend.
I kind of wanted to keep this last one as a secret because its my favourite thing in the world and I don’t want anyone getting hold of my secret supply, but it would be cruel not to share it. Ryan has a field full of his own rhubarb which he used to make a Rhubarb Crumble (5,000). I’m pretty sure I ate three bowls of this just by myself, it is always one of the foods that I miss most here in Korea. Luckily for us Ryan has a huge supply and often has it to sell at the monthly marche markets around the city. If you would like more details about the monthly farmers market then please see their website
This wasn’t the first roof top pop up that Ryan has hosted and I’m sure it won’t be the last. If you want to find out more details about the next pop up, you can check out Ryan’s facebook group or Instagram account.You can also see him star in a documentary about the Korean seafood on Arirang TV on 7/29 or 7/30.