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Bicena: Haute Korean Cuisine in Seoul

Experience haute-Korean cuisine at Bicena, a Michelin one-star restaurant nestled on the 81st floor of Signiel Seoul.

Under the helm of Chef Kwangsik Jeon, Bicena promises a journey into the refined essence of Korean gastronomy within an opulent setting.

Amidst a landscape where many establishments claim inspiration from Korean culinary heritage, Bicena stands out for its unwavering commitment to authenticity. It distinguishes itself by delivering meticulously crafted traditional Korean fare, earning its place alongside esteemed Michelin-starred counterparts like La Yeon and Onjium.

Bicena's culinary narrative unfolds as a harmonious blend of tradition and innovation. Recognizable Korean staples are artfully reimagined into exquisite creations, offering patrons a taste of familiarity infused with unparalleled quality. Each dish resonates with a profound sense of sincerity, reflecting the meticulous attention to detail invested in its preparation.

Chef Kwangsik Jeon's culinary journey is as diverse as it is illustrious. From honing his skills at the Italian and German embassies to his tenure alongside esteemed figures like Byungjin Kim at the renowned Michelin 3-star establishment Gaon, Chef Jeon's expertise is a testament to his passion for culinary excellence.

For the past six years, Chef Jeon has led Bicena's kitchen with unwavering dedication. His vision transcends mere culinary innovation; it is a celebration of Korea's rich culinary heritage, meticulously researched and beautifully reinterpreted for the modern palate. Through his culinary artistry, Chef Jeon invites diners to embark on a gastronomic journey that is both timeless and tantalizingly new.

What I experienced…

At Bicena, each dish was a delightful exploration of Korea's culinary treasures. If you are looking for the very authentic Korean cuisine, this can be one of the best options.

My journey began with a welcome drink infused with the refreshing essence of pine needles. As I took my first sip, the cool, invigorating aroma instantly transported me to a tranquil forest, setting the stage for an unforgettable dining experience.

The small bite dish, reminiscent of a miniature bibimbap, was a modern twist on a classic Korean favorite - milssam. With each bite, I savored the perfectly cooked vegetables, delicately seasoned with a spicy mustard sauce. The crisp, thin crust added an element of surprise, delivering a burst of flavor that left me craving more.

Next, I indulged in the spring egg crockle, a decadent treat that tantalized my taste buds with its rich, sea-inspired flavors. The soft-cooked crustacean sauce, infused with the subtle heat of red pepper paste, provided the perfect complement to the dish's delicate texture.

Next, the thinly sliced pork and crunchy vegetables creating a harmonious symphony of flavors and textures that left me longing for another bite. Alongside, Bicena's signature shrimp dish was so good. The minced shrimp balls, wrapped and fried with Sakura ebi, offered a delightful contrast of textures, with the crunchy outer layer giving way to a soft, moist filling that melted in my mouth.

For a taste of tradition, I savored the Yukhoe, a quintessential Korean dish bursting with flavor. The tender beef, marinated with pear and soy sauce, offered a refreshing burst of sweetness with each bite. And the 30-day wet-aged striploin, seasoned with nuruk salt and dry-aged to perfection, provided a depth of flavor that lingered on my palate.

Finally, I delighted in the flounder, pan-fried to perfection and infused with the subtle aroma of mugwort. With its crunchy exterior and tender, moist flesh, this dish captured the essence of spring, leaving me feeling invigorated and satisfied.

The journey continued with a soft-cooked abalone dish that captivated my senses with its delicate texture and rich flavor.

Bicena's Charcoal Grilled Pork was marinated in a homemade soybean sauce for four hours, then cooked sous vide for two hours before being grilled over charcoal, each bite was a revelation of smoky, savory goodness complemented by the freshness of chives and wild parsnip.

The seasonal fish, Geumtae, was a culinary masterpiece. I was very impressed. Just cooked to perfection and served with a sauce inspired by Jeju's local flavors, it showcased the exquisite taste of Korea's coastal cuisine. The moment I tasted the fish - I even felt it is super sweet (Sweet means 'so delicate with the origianl taste of the ingredient inself in Korean) - it was heavenly.

As a palate cleanser, a bitter Korean herb and a small milk-based ice cream refreshed my taste buds, preparing them for the next course.

The Striploin, wet-aged for 30 days and dry-aged for an additional six days, was a testament to Bicena's dedication to quality. Grilled over charcoal, each bite melted in my mouth, releasing a deep, savory flavor that lingered on my palate.

The Beef Radish Soup, served alongside fish pot rice, was a comforting delight. The rich aroma of beef combined with the subtle flavors of lily cold soup created a harmonious symphony of tastes and textures.

For dessert, I was treated to Bicena's unique Dried Persimmon Sujeonggwa, a sweet rice punch infused with the warm flavors of cinnamon and raw sugar. The marbles of ground dried persimmon added a delightful texture to the sweet punch. Also, the Candied Kumquat dessert was a vibrant explosion of flavors. Served atop ginger cream and kumquat chips, it offered a refreshing burst of tanginess that perfectly complemented the subtle spiciness of the ginger.

Michelin Inspector's comment attahed.

Towering above Seoul on the 81st floor of the Signiel Seoul Hotel, Bicena is trying to stay true to the spirit of traditional Korean fine dining. Bicena continues to respect the most fundamental details of slow Korean cuisine such as Jang (fermented sauces) and kimchi, the outcome of time and nature doing their work. The views from the restaurant - officially the tallest traditional restaurant in the world - are unrivaled.


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