Isabelle’s serves mouthwatering steaks
By Cathy Rose A. Garcia
Dosan Park is already one of the up-and-coming neighborhoods in southern Seoul, with a mix of stylish restaurants and luxury shops.
Isabelle's the Butcher, a steak restaurant, recently opened in Dosan Park, just next door to Jimmy Choo and a stone's throw away from the Hermes flagship store.
The restaurant exudes sophistication ― from the discreet signage to the elegant interiors and the vases of white calla lilies. If the name sounds familiar, Isabelle's is an upgraded version of the steak house of the same name in Itaewon.
The dark brown interiors, leather seats, crisp white linen on the table and discreet lamps ― all combine to create an elegant, calm ambience.
The menu offers a variety of steaks: New York Strip, Cote de Boeuf, Fillet Mignon, Strip Loin and Rib Eye; plus soups, salads, appetizers and side dishes.
Bread was served first, followed by a small pot of French onion soup. This incredibly creamy soup offers a steaming bowl of onions, croutons and melted cheese with a rich flavor. On the other hand, the Caesar salad was a disappointment, with limp leaves and a dry texture.
For the main dish, we were served Cote de Boeuf (rib of beef) with roasted bone marrow. It is USDA prime beef at 9,000 won per 50 grams.
When the Cote de Boeuf arrived, we could barely restrain ourselves from digging in to the mouthwatering slices of beef, with roasted bone marrow covered in a variety of spices.
The roasted bone marrow was the real revelation, with its gelatin-like texture and wonderfully spiced taste. It's not a common dish you'll find on the menu of other steak restaurants in Seoul, so this is definitely one that will make it worth a visit to Isabelle's. The steak might take awhile to be served, but it is worth waiting for. It was juicy and chewy,
According to the chef Jung Ji-uk, the bone marrow was roasted in the oven for 20 minutes. He said the trick to eating the bone marrow is to combine it with the beef.
Side dishes ― creamed spinach, grilled corn on the cob and grilled mushrooms ― perfectly complemented the Cote de Boeuf.
We were so stuffed from the meal, we thought there was no way we could eat another bite. But then the dessert, a chocolate fondant with a scoop of caramel ice cream, arrived. We gave in to the temptation, taking a bite of the fondant which had a gooey chocolate and peanut butter center. Surprisingly, it was not cloyingly sweet. The homemade caramel ice cream added the right amount of sugary goodness to the dessert. It reminded us of ``bbopki'' or the Korean caramelized sugar candy.
The restaurant also offers lunch specials, Butcher's burger (15,000 won), Isabelle's steak sandwich (15,000 won), grilled steak and cheese sandwich (12,500) and shitake steak sandwich with miso dressing (15,000 won).
To get to the restaurant, head over to Dosan Park. From the Hermes flagship store, turn left and walk straight for about 100 meters. Isabelle's Butcher is located on the first floor of the same building as My Daughter's Wedding and Jimmy Choo. The restaurant is open 11:30 a.m. to 11 p.m. every day. Call (02) 518-9828 for information.