The title says it all. No, it is not a Mexican restaurant “Juan (Huan).” Juan 쥬안 is my dad’s second venture in the Seoul restaurant business. My dad has a very obsessive personality (I can tell you about his obsessions with Puma and wine…), and consequently, his current obsession is Japan. So surprise supplies, Juan, along with his other restaurant Sushi Matsumoto (I’ll save that plug for another time), is a Japanese restaurant. But this is no ordinary Japanese restaurant – don’t expect your go-to Super Duper Spicy Tuna Roll or Vomit-These-Up-Post-Sake-Bombs Rolls – expect the art of Kaiseki.
Kaiseki is a type of formal, high-end Japanese cuisine that is an art as much as it is a cuisine – literal culinary art. Every little detail – the menu, dishes, interior, exterior – changes based on the season. When I first visited, I noticed the pristine interior and plants and herbs lined gracefully along the windows behind the bar where we are served. My dad then pointed out the greenery outside, asking me if it was pretty. It was pretty, if you want to know. And he told me that is all calculated and designed based on the season. Mind blown!
Crazy Plant Lady strikes again!!!!
The careful attention to the interior and exterior design is reflected in the food as well. The placement, presentation, dishes, silverware, pairings, ingredients, are all so meticulously considered. However, if you’re the type that doesn’t like change, this is like a season relationship, that lil’ summer fling, because all that you see here will be different the next time around. I felt like a young Padawan, eating under the watchful eye of my Jedi Master (ghost ridin’ the melvin bus…). But praise the lord hail mary, thank goodness I did – six courses got in mah bellay, making me a very happy buddha.
Added bonus: low-calorie meal!! I felt so friggin’ healthy after this, I felt like I could run a marathon. (I went and napped instead).
Note: In the Foursquare check-in, the main one is Juan 주안, but it should be 쥬안.