No your eyes are not deceiving you, after years and years of producing poor quality images on my phone, I have finally gone and bought myself a proper camera. As the blog has just turned 5, I thought I should treat myself to a little birthday present. As luck would have it, the day after the new camera arrived,  I was invited back to The Beastro to try their new brunch menu. After having sampled new Head Chef Steven’s dinner menu, I knew I was in for a treat so couldn’t possibly turn down a chance to check it out. And as it turned out, their beautiful food was just the right subject for me to practice my new skills on.

One of the most exciting new items on the menu, are their giant cocktail jugs, especially since one of them is Pimm’s (35,000)! Nothing says summer like a jug of Pimm’s, so I’m so excited that there is a second location in Seoul serving it up. This one is a lemony twist on the classic version which is usually made with strawberries ,orange, cucumber, and mint. While the lemon isn’t quite usual it certainly makes it much more refreshing. They also have pitchers of margaritas for the same price. We shared this between four of us, and we had at least two drinks each, probably ten in total so it is great value.

The first starter that we shared was the Grilled Piri Piri Jumbo Shrimp (12,000) which is actually from the dinner menu. The five jumbo shrimp were marinated in a Korean red chili & bourbon hot sauce, charred on the grill and topped with lime and parsley. These were absolutely incredible, the sauce was so full of flavour that it penetrated though the shells. They were spicy and sour all at the same time, and so good that we were fighting over the last one. Chef Steven told me they also do a chicken version on the lunch menu, which I’m imagining would be just as good. Nando’s fans should seriously check it out, especially since the Portuguese restaurant Taverna has shut down.

Our second starter was the Grilled Calamari (16,000). This was served with a brown butter dressing, capers, anchovies, cherry tomato, olives, and arugula. The calamari was also a firm favourite, and perfect for the summer. While I wasn’t quite sold on the tentacles as I found them too chewy, I loved the softer chunks of the body. This dish was so light and refreshing. With a handful more salad leaves it could easily become a very filling main dish.

Being a particularly boozy bunch, we made short work of our jug of Pimm’s, so ordered another round of drinks. You can’t do brunch without Bloody Marys and Mimosas (both 10,000), so we had to give them a try. The Bloody Mary is particularly well made here, and I loved the fact they asked how spicy we would like it, which is always a plus in my book. The mimosa and Moscow Mule went down a treat too. I also appreciate that all of the brunch cocktails are 10,000 a piece, meaning it is much cheaper for day drinkers like myself to get a good buzz going on.

For the main event we moved on to the more brunchy part of the menu. While everything we had was lovely, the undeniable stand out was the Salt House Beef Pastrami Hash (16,000). It was made with the locally smoked pastrami by Salt House, roast potatoes, caramelized onion, roasted peppers, and was topped with two poached eggs. This was just the perfect combination of ingredients in my eyes. The crunchy roast potatoes were punctuated by salty chunks of beef, while the caramelized onion and balsamic dressing provided a tangy sweetness. I could happily eat this for brunch every weekend for the rest of my life.

We also tried the Beastro Breakfast (16,000) – two eggs any style, with thick cut house cured bacon from Salt House, breakfast sausages, home fries, baked beans, and Pain au lait toast. The breakfast was fine, but not as obnoxiously amazing as the hash, I think those looking for a fry up should be pleased though.  Another popular option on the brunch menu is the Salmon Eggs Benedict (15,000).  This is served with a choice of house smoked salmon or Salt House Jeju ham, cheddar scone, home fries, two soft poached eggs, and hollandaise sauce. The salmon was melt in the mouth, but with a flavour that overshadowed the rest of the dish somewhat, I’d be interested to try the Jeju ham version next time to see how it compares.

And last but not least, was the Pain Au Lait French Toast (16,000). As french toast goes this one was very similar to how I make it at home, so I was very happy. It was topped with Blueberry compote, Grand Marnier Butter, toasted almonds, and maple syrup. This made the ideal dessert, I was thinking it might be a bit heavy, but the french toast was almost custardy in the middle and it ended up being much lighter than expected, especially as there was a hint of lemon running through it.

I was in no doubt that we were going to have another amazing meal at The Beastro, but it was nice to confirm that standards haven’t slipped since the new head chef Steven has taken over. The Beastro is an incredible place, in terms of location and their menu, so it is great to see they are keeping it fresh. The conservatory style top floor is the ideal place to enjoy the glorious weather while still being in an air conditioned environment. If you haven’t been here to sample the new menu, you’re missing out!

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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