The last lunch before my departure and why not try something international for a change? Walking the famoustouristic street ofItaewon we stumbled upon a nice looking logo and a professional style American restaurant. Canadian Maple House (Canucks) it is and my mouth start watering at the thought of having Poutine.
Maple House is up the stairs nestled on the first floor of an old building offering a beautiful view of the busy street below. A artistically designed restaurant with a bar, a sofa, benches and another space facing a big screen where sports are broadcast. Glazed concrete covers the floor, signboards from the roads in Canada, leather, metal, decorative frames and posters with two colors used all around: black and red.
A relaxing space with positive vibes, I felt good especially when the waiter welcomed us with perfect English.
The menu don't reflect the place. I expected more colors and more fun, less bizarre fonts and photos like all Korean restaurant menus. It needs to be more American, more design oriented and clearer.
The menu has the Maple House main dishes, Maple House burgers and sandwiches, salads and bar snacks, poutine, hotdogs, desserts and cocktails. The choices are pork confit, braised pork, purine, steak sandwich, burgers and street style hotdogs.
The food is fine for a Canadian place in Seoul but surely doesn't reflect the real Canadian diner flavors:
- We had three plates. The steak sandwich has a delicious filling inside a crunchy ciabatta bun that's unpleasantly chewy on the inside. It is served with mini fries that are crunchy and tasty as well.
- The poutine has nothing to do with Canadian poutine. The white cheese is cold and not melting, the gravy is not enough and needs a boost of flavor, the fries are too crunchy for a poutine. I would have expected tender fries molten and soaked with gravy, a stronger taste and the chunks of meat on top don't have a smoky smell.
- The hotdog is good. Most importantly it doesn't taste like a canned hotdog. A tender bun, the same crunchy mini fries and ketchup dip on the side.
The best part of this lunch is the Kloud beer, a smooth local beer that's full bodied and light at the same time leaving notes of red fruits around the palate. I had another beer, the Alley Cat which is stronger in taste and body. Loved those beers! They take you on a journey and stay around your buds for a long time. Richly aromatic with notes of nature.
Despite the imperfections, if I visit Seoul again, I'll be back to the Maple House. I enjoyed my time, the mood, the service and the good looking and generous plates.