I have been a fan of Chef Ryu ever since I was first invited to his signature restaurant Ryunique in Sinsa. Since then he has opened a second restaurant around the corner called Normal, which I also adore. Now he has added a further string to his bow and opened a third restaurant in the Apgujeong Rodeo Galleria. Before I left for my Olympic adventure, myself and beloved were very kindly invited to come and give it a try on the house, and since our anniversary was the same week, we kindly accepted.
Rooftop by Ryunique is located up on the 5th floor of the uber lux Apgujeong Rodeo Galleria shopping center. The Rooftop restaurant is on the top floor and boasts a beautiful outdoor patio, that I’m sure when spring comes around, will be the place to see and be seen. The decor is very plush and high end without feeling unwelcoming. I instantly felt a world away from my usual haunts in Itaewon.
The menu is much less fancy than his previous places. The dishes are still made with flair, but without the precision and theatricality. We kicked off with a glass of the house wine each (12,000), followed by the Soup of the Day (12,000) and the signature Tomato Salad (18,000). The beef soup was a very light and more like a consomme, personally I prefer my soups with a little more girth so this wasn’t my favourite. However we really enjoyed the accompanying freshly baked bread. Whilst we weren’t in love with the soup, we did enjoy Chef Ryu’s tomato salad. I don’t know what he does to those tomatoes, but they are always so plump, sweet and juicy. Served along side their homemade creamy ricotta cheese, it was the perfect pairing.
For our main course we ordered the Duck 1/2 (36,000). A duck ragu served on a bed of tagliatelle. Ragu is one of those warm and comforting dishes that I always adore. In the cold of winter it is exactly the kind of dish that I hanker after. The duck element made it slightly more special and we both really enjoyed it. While to me the price was quite steep, compared to other restaurants that charge 30-40,000 for some cream sauce pasta, this was well above that level.
We also ordered the Beef Bottom Sirloin Steak (44,000), which turned out to be a modern take on naengmyeon (korean cold noodles). This one was served with generous chunks of hanwoo beef (as it should for the price) and had a really nice balanced flavour. It captured the taste of the traditional dish while still being different enough to be something interesting and new. I particularly liked the crispy perilla leaf that was served on top of the beef. I really like the way Chef Ryu takes Korean ingredients and presents them in a way that is more familiar.
After the first two courses, you wouldn’t have thought we would have room for much else, but it would have been rude to not have dessert. We shared the Choco (14,000), a chocolate cream, nestled on a crunchy biscuit and a few black cherries. It was light which is what I needed after that meal, and we especially enjoyed the chocolate cherry mix, and although it wasn’t the best dessert I’ve had of his, it was a nice way to round out the dinner.
Overall if you are you are looking for a good place for a nice lunch or dinner whilst shopping and fancy treat then stop by. If you visit in the daytime, then the rooftop will be well worth paying for. However if you are on a budget then, I could recommend Normal which has an incredibly well priced set menu. If you are looking to go all out and experience Chef Ryu’s theatrical gastronomic delights then head to Ryunique. For more information you can call them on 02-6905-3867, or visit their website. The restaurant is open from 11am to 3pm, and then 5pm to 10pm on weekdays, and 11am till 10pm on weekends.
Rooftop by Ryunique us located on the 5th floor of the Apgujeong Galleria Department Store at 343 Apgujeong-ro, Gangnam-gu, Seoul. To get there take a train to Apgujeong Rodeo Station (yellow line) and head out the exit into the galleria west. Make your way up to the fifth floor and follow the signs to find the spacious restaurant.