14.147 Cebiche de Privera

Cycle 14 – Item 147

1 (Thu) June 2023

Cebiche de Privera


at Cocina España

-Banpo, Seocho, Seoul, Republic of Korea-

with ES, HK

Cocina España is a Spanish restaurant.  Offers a a limited range of Spanish standards.

Located 851 m from Express Bus Terminal Station (Line 7), exit 5.

Seorae Maeul (Village) is (reputedly) the French Quarter of Seoul, as mentioned once in a post during Cycle 2 (see 2.315 Smoked Salmon with Romaine and Capers on Baguette Slices).

Despite my affinity for French food, I’ve never bothered to explore the neighborhood’s restaurant scene – no particular reason why.

Mostly empty at 18:30.

As described below, we were in Seorae Maeul to support a book-launching party, arriving early to eat before the event.  By coincidence, the book takes place in Paris, so French was the obvious choice for dinner.

Alas, in planning the dinner, I was disappointed to discover that the French dining options are limited in the area, nothing but high-end restaurants with pricy prix fixe table d’hôte options, no casual bistros with à la carte menus.  My theory is that (a) the French residents are inclined to cook simpler French food for themselves at home, so the commercial establishments target affluent Korean locals willing to shell out big money for supposedly haute cuisine; and/or (b) the neighborhood is now less French specific and more generally European/American (Erin is American, and her husband is Russian).

The cebiche was priced at 15,000 won per person, 2 slices of fish per serving; the dish in the featured photo cost 45,000 won.

So, I settled on a Spanish restaurant.

Gambas al Ajillo (2.0): as suggested by the color, the flavors were bland (see for comparison 13.136 Gambas Justa) – 18,000 won for just 6 wee shrimp.
Pulpo a la Gallega (2.5): okayish but amateur – the mashed potatoes were gummy, likely whipped in a food processor – 28,000 won for this small portion.

The food was okay per se.  The cebiche – not actual cebiche but simply sliced fish (flounder) drizzled in vinaigrette – was tasty but in no way worth the price.  Same with every dish.  The bill, for 3 pax, came out to 176,000 won – so much that I decided to pay for it out-of-pocket, rather than trying to justify such a costly expense for a relatively low-scale event.  I will never come back to Cocina España on my own dime.

Located 340 meters from the restaurant.

dbBOOKS is excited to support author Erin Zhurkin – who happens to be based in Seoul – on the publication of her debut novel Plus-Sized in Paris.  Loosely inspired by her experiences living in France as an expat, the story is about a fashion influencer who travels to Paris for work, endures harsh discrimination based on her (plus) size, but ultimately succeeds through her determination and talent.  The book is both a romp and a thoughtful social commentary.

E and H can be seen in the top left corner, behind the audience.

Congratulations, Erin!  We look forward to huge sales of the book and great success in your career…

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