A cozy Italian restaurant down at Coex Mall, Pomodoro is where I'll be having lunch today after all the spiciness I encountered the last couple days. I was craving some fresh al dente pasta or a pizza; Pomodoro came first, a few meters from the hotel entrance. Unfortunately much finesse and know how are needed.
A wooden floor, one wall with frames and another with designer tiles together facing an open kitchen. International music plays in the background, dimmed lights, fresh aromas and wooden tables, the space is relaxing.
- Spadellato di Cozze al Pepe Nero: Mussels in spicy tomato sauce.
- Spaghetti alla Caprese: With basil, mozzarella cheese and tomato sauce.
- Spaghetti alla Carbonara: With bacon and cream sauce.
- Risotto alla Siciliana: With beef, chicken and tomato with cream sauce.
First impressions, the mussels are delicious! Very appetizing flavors, richly acidic tomatoes, tender mussels, a zesty punch in a large bowl hosting large sized mussels. I've rarely had something as good as this in our part of the world and surely wasn't expecting to be impressed in Seoul. We loved it so much that we ordered another portion as soon as we had the first bite.
Now for the main plates:
- The risotto is tasty but it surely isn't Italian risotto. More of a ragout of mini rice mixed and boiled with lots of onions, chicken slices and meat in their tomato sauce with mushrooms. Spicy and flavorful, I liked what I was eating despite its bulky un-Italian finesse.
- Pomodoro Pasta: A load of them, a generous portion filled with spaghetti and tomato sauce, covered with cheese and served extremely hot. Again, lovely flavors, a tasty plate, perfect ingredients, but a pasta that's not chewy or al dente, something bizarre in between.
- Carbonara: Bread chunks, bacon strips, tomatoes cut in squares and a very creamy sauce. A chewy pasta in a very creamy sauce. Garlic!!! Why does a Carbonara contain garlic? French bread in a pasta mix? Bad and not what I expected anyway.
I wasn't expecting better from an Italian place at a mall on the other side of the world. Finesse is what this cuisine needs, definitely more finesse, cooking the pasta less, lightening up the concentration of sauces and checking what the real ingredients of plates really are.
This place deserves its name "Pomodoro"; the tomato sauce is unique!