14.201 Signature (Burger)

Cycle 14 – Item 201

25 (Tue) July 2023

Signature (Burger)


at Le Freak

-Seongsu, Seongdong, Republic of Korea-

with W

Le Freak is an American restaurant.  Sort of a chain, with 3 locations.  Specializes in chicken burgers, as well as a handful of “small plate” appetizers.

Located in Bluestone Tower, 350 m from the office.

Yet another example to show that Seongsu-dong is currently the it location for hip restaurants, especially those serving international cuisine, most of them good: Cantonese (see 12.352 Deep-Fried King Prawns, Crispy Garlic, Chili), Italian (see 13.310 Pizza Mascarpone), Chinese-Italian fusion (see 14.095 Vongole Ul Myeon), modern Japanese (see 13.300 Prosciutto & Fig Salada), traditional Japanese (see 13.341 Omakase), Vietnamese (see 11.246 Beef Pho), Indian (see 11.283 Lehsuni TIkka Chicken), American (see 14.077 Bas Chicken Burger), Tex-Mex (11.261 Pork Tacos).

No external signage on the building to indicate its existence, tucked away in the basement, the restaurant has a speakeasy vibe.

The head chef, I was later told, is Korean but went to culinary school in Australia.

The dimly lit interior is reminiscent of a classic American steakhouse; the music playing in the background is jazzy.

Watching the kitchen staff at work – at one point assembling 12 burgers simultaneously – I was impressed by their quick but relaxed sure-handedness, a sign of proper training and management.

An open kitchen, literally, right in front of the bar where diners could reach forward and stick their fingers in the coleslaw.

I was struck by the menu, the simplicity of which suggests supreme confidence in the ability to satisfy with so little.  The small plates and special burger change when a new “episode” of menu is introduced, every month or so.

The Signature is a burger at Le Freak – their signature.  Features a whole chicken thigh, breaded and deep-fried, dusted in some proprietary spice rub, described on the menu as “Nashville hot chicken.”  The toppings are simply pickled coleslaw and dill pickles.  No condiments.  Toasted brioche bun.

Looks precariously big, but manages to stay together.

The Signature was great.  The chicken, comprising the biggest/fattest thigh that I can recall encountering in Korea – was crunchy on the outside, juicy to the point of wetness inside, excellent balance of salty and spicy.  The richness of the deep-fried patty was offset by the tangy coleslaw and pickles.   The bun was perfectly toasty and squishy.  Everything about the dish, including the quality and composition, preparation and plating, and of course taste and texture, was expertly conceived and executed.

Special Burger Yuringgi

Beyond the food, I was pleased that the prices were reasonable, almost cheap – the Signature just 11,800 won, the small plates all under 10,000 won – which strongly suggests that ownership is serious about building long-term customer loyalty rather than cashing in while hot.



Leave a Reply