This is perhaps my first ever official retraction here on Gyeongjublog. In my last post I was complaining about the terrible selection of western restaurants here in Gyeongju. Although my criticisms regarding “craptapulous fast-food joints” and “so-called Italian restaurants downtown” still stand, I made these comments before being introduced to the fine dining of 11 Chesterfield Way. We had the pleasure of joining friends at 11 Chesterfield Way for dinner on New Year’s Eve and I dare say that it was the best western food I’ve had in Gyeongju, if not the whole of Korea.
The proprietor, Kim Jeong Hwan, has professional experience as a chef in several European countries, and it shows. It’s no surprise then that his cuisine is reminiscent of the finer restaurants I’ve enjoyed in Barcelona and Berlin. In fact both the food and atmosphere of 11 Chesterfield Way would sit more comfortably on a broad avenue somewhere in Southern Europe then on a back street in Seonggeon-dong. Luckily for us though, it doesn’t.
On New Year’s Eve 11 Chesterfield Way was serving a special eight course dinner that we savored for well over three hours. The meal began with an appetizer of raw oysters lightly topped with diced spring onions and sesame seeds served on a bed of sea salt. This was followed with a shaved parmesan chicken salad and a savory leek and onion soup served with scrumptious freshly baked bread (which incidentally is for sale for 3,000 won a loaf). These were but a warm up for the two delicious main courses of grilled mackerel served with pickled veggies and a beef medallion served on mashed potatoes.
The remaining desert courses included a refreshing homemade pineapple cilantro sorbet, petit fours, and a rice pudding served with raspberry sauce. This feast, which included coffee and a glass of sparkling wine, cost 38,000 won a person, which is amazing considering it would’ve cost double or triple that back home. I regret that I was shooting photos with my Panasonic Lumix, so my pictures here don’t quite do justice to the food.
According to my friends who’d been several times before, the cuisine served for the normal two course and three course dinners (18,000 won and 25,000 won a head, respectively) at 11 Chesterfield Way is no less stunning or creative than it was New Year’s Eve. Mr. Kim varies the menu weekly and all the food is cooked to order. This means reservations are pretty much essential for lunch or dinner, which is served until 9:00 pm Monday through Friday, although walk-ins are welcome before 7:30 pm. An a la carte lunch menu is also available for 10,000 won from 12:00 to 2:00 pm, coffee included. Unfortunately 11 Chesterfield Way is only open until 2:30 pm on the weekends. For reservations or to find out the day’s menu, call: 054-621-7045 or 010-3628-7045. Mr. Kim speaks excellent English and is quite accommodating.
To get to 11 Chesterfield Way from the Dong-Dae Sagori intersection in Seonggeon-dong, head towards the river and the Dong-Dae Gyo Bridge, passing the Wa Bar and GS 25 on your right. After 4 or 5 blocks, turn right at the “Woodstock II” Bar on to “18 Dongdaero” Street. The restaurant is building #4, down the block on the right, just up from the “Grazie Italian Restaurant.” For more information on 11 Chesterfield Way, visit the restaurant’s Facebook page.
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