Review: Cafe Grevin (카페 그래뱅)

Grevin Musee opened up last fall in Seoul. It's the renown Grevin Museum's first branch in Asia. I'm not a fan of wax museums in general but I've been there twice now for work-related stuff and it's actually very creative and well thought out.

And while the museum has been doing some pretty extensive advertisements- from billboards to buses- fewer know they have a pretty nice cafe inside that's more secluded and with some good food to match.

Standard drinks- coffee, tea, and likewise are mostly between 4-6K and quite extensive. 

A range of cake by the slice and other sweets are available and quite inexpensive.

Their mains include sandwiches, pastas, pizzas, and some rice dishes that should cater to just about everyone's taste with its mix of Eastern and Western dishes.

Located on the museum's first floor, Cafe Grevin is quite spacious with a bright atmosphere that reminded me of spots like Panera Bread back home.

They have some lovely table displays as well.

All real plants!

My visit was for work so my colleagues mostly decided the menu. This was the blueberry ricotta cheese salad. An obvious Korean-catered mix with the ever-so-in blueberries and ricotta cheese. I'm sure you'll already know more or less if you're a fan of such a dish but if you're not too much of a purist, it's a perfectly fine salad. Note they didn't just empty out a bag of iceberg lettuce. The mix of greens had a nice amount of ricotta cheese in a just-right ratio.

The extra crunchy fries are reminiscent of pommes frites using shoestring fries and complete with mayo and ketchup on teh side. Nice and crunchy though, aside from the crunch and the bit of cheese and parsley flakes sprinkled on top, it's nothing too noteworthy.

Here's a trio of pasta we ordered including the seafood tomato, aglio olio, and spicy chicken cream pasta.

And a classic tart pizza.

The spicy cream chicken pasta was pleasantly delightful as the cream was balanced just right that it wasn't too rich. The bits of thin, raw mushroom was a surprise but worked fine to give an earthier note to the cream sauce. I found the spicy kick very mild but one of my colleagues, who isn't Korean and normally cannot tolerate spice at all, found it quite spicy. 

When it comes to pasta, I always judge a place by their pasta and, particularly, how expertly they cook it. All three pasta came out al dente. 

The seafood tomato pasta was the only one that was a bit disappointing as the seafood didn't taste as fresh. Not that the seafood was going bad or anything but there was a strong fishy aftertaste to the otherwise pleasant tomato sauce. 

The aglio olio was a nice demonstration of good simplicity. Good olive oil definitely went into it giving the plump noodles a nice fruity tone with the shavings of cheese.

Regarding the pasta overall, it would be nice if they could diversify the pasta types to better fit the different sauces though.

If you're a fan of flat, French pizza already, the classic pizza will do just fine for you.

 On first glance, it's a rather healthy looking pizza with its mound of rocket greens with cherry tomatoes.

Underneath the salad though, is a generous coating of melted cheddar and roasted vegetables on the thin, pizza crust. Nice balance and execution.

Rating: 3 out of 4 stars
A rather unexpected gem in the Euljiro/Myeongdong vicinity, this will make a nice meeting spot or brunch place for hangouts or meetups that isn't too fancy or too casual and certainly away from the noise and crowds of Myeongdong. The food is solid and, with a few tweak-ups, Cafe Grevin has strong potential.

서울특별시 중구 을지로 23 을지로별관
23, Ipjeong-dong, Jung-gu, Seoul, Korea

Come out exit 1 of Euljiro 1-ga station and walk about 80 m. Cafe Grevin is within the Grevin Musee on its first floor.




Various beers (including Mexican) and cocktails available

On Sundays, until 6PM only drinks, desserts, and sandwiches are served.

If you make advance reservations, you can pre-order course menus which are 5K, 7K, and 9K.