Coreanos Kitchen is a restaurant on Apgujeong Rodeo Street serving Mexican Korean fusion dishes such as galbi short rib burritos and kimchi nachos. The restaurant, which is now located in Seoul, originated in the city of Austin, Texas.
In Los Angeles, California, Korean Mexican fusion food trucks such has Kogi have become extremely popular. This popularity spread to Austin, Texas where owner and chef Gene Cho launched Coreanos food truck in 2010.
The food truck, which has been recognized as one of the best in Texas and America, has served unique and fresh Korean Mexican fusion food to many hungry people all across Texas.
Chef Cho decided to open Coreanos Kitchen, a full service restaurant in Seoul, after his success with the food truck in Austin. The restaurant now serves many of the popular food truck dishes from Texas along with many new items.
Some of the most popular dishes include Three Wise Fries with french fries topped with chicken, beef, and pork (voted the best fries in America) and the Pork Kimcheese Nachos with pork al pastor and sauteed kimchi. Unfortunately, this review does not include the amazing Three Wise Fries at this time.
The restaurant is located down a flight of stairs near the end of Apgujeong Rodeo Street, where it is hidden away from the nearby high end luxury and fashion shops. Inside the floor plan is wide open with dim lights that creates an intimate feeling. The vibe inside is energetic and youthful with popular American songs being played in the background on the speakers throughout the restaurant.
As the restaurant has roots in Texas, most of the restaurant servers speak English and are very friendly.
While looking over the menu, you will be delighted to be offered chips and salsa on the house. The red salsa features a deep and smoky flavor that is not spicy. On the other hand, the green salsa gives off more of a kick after an initial sweet taste. It definitely gives you a sweet taste and then before you know it your mouth is burning. You will keep going back for more.
But wait, there’s more. If two kinds of salsa weren’t enough, you will also have a choice of two delicious sauces to add to your chips or any of the other dishes you are about to order. Just as with the salsas, there are two sauces, a green and red. The red sauce is a thicker version of the red salsa, with the same great smoky flavor and not a lot of kick. The green sauce is thicker as it is made with guacamole. It has a smooth, creamy, and sweet taste followed by a bite of spice just as with the green salsa.
On to the food as you probably didn’t come here just for the salsas and sauces.
The first item ordered this visit was the Grilled Shrimp Taco (4,000 won).
Shrimp is easy to overcook and when this happens, it tastes like rubber. The marinated grilled jumbo shrimp in this taco was cooked to perfection. It had a crispy charred outside and a tender and flavorful inside.
On top of the shrimp was a special savory sauce, cilantro cream sauce, cabbage slaw, a hint of lime, and a classic pico de gallo featuring a good amount of tomatoes. All the flavors come together perfectly. Add one of the salsas or sauces for a little more spice as needed.
All of this goodness was then served on top of a soft, handmade corn tortilla which was honestly one of the best tortillas tasted in a long time.
Coreanos Kitchen definitely knows how to cook a great shrimp taco, which is surprising for Korea, let alone Asia.
If shrimp isn’t your thing, you have other taco options that are just as delicious including carne asada, galbi beef, al pastor pork, and citrus chicken.
If you didn’t think it could get any better, then you haven’t tried the OG Galbi Short Rib Burrito (9,000 won) served with a side of sliced pickled jalapenos.
The plating may be basic but this burrito packs a lot of flavor. Inside its 12 inch flour tortilla are small diced up pieces of tender galbi short ribs along with cabbage slaw, caramelized kimchi, spicy ssamjang sauce, sesame oil vinaigrette, and potatoes.
Just as with the shrimp taco, all the flavors of the burrito come together wonderfully. The galbi is small and diced, but tender and full of flavor. The ssamjang sauce adds a little bit of spice while the kimchi and cabbage adds a distinctive crunch and texture to each bite. You also can’t go wrong with potatoes in any dish with meat. The only downfall of the dish is that it may be a little on the sweet side for some, but to fix this, just add some of the salsa or sauce for a little bit of spice.
Mexican food in Asia to most seems like a joke or just something you want to try once. True, there are many disappointing Mexican restaurants in Asia, but Coreanos Kitchen is the exception. Coreanos Kitchen is without a doubt one of the best, if not the best, Korean Mexican fusion restaurants in Korea. They take pride in the food they cook and the ingredients they use and you will want to come back time and time again.
Tuesday-Thursday : 11:30-15:00 and 17:30-22:00
Friday : 11:30-15:00 and 17:30-23:00
Saturday : 12:30-23:00
Sunday : 14:00-22:00
Monday : Closed
Take Subway Bundang Line to Apgujeongrodeo Station (Exit 5).
Continue to Apgujeong Rodeo Street and turn right.
Continue for 260 meters until you reach a 3 way intersection.
The restaurant will be in front of you down the stairs.
657-11 B1 Shinsa-dong, Gangnam-gu