Le Jardin Kyungsung
Le Jardin, in Kyungsung, is the newest French establishment in Busan and the least expensive. It’s already getting an overflow of business, so reservations are required. The owner, Breton chef Guillaume Strub, prefers to do all the cooking in his open-air kitchen while his wife, Shim Seonhyeon, runs the business end of their enterprise. Like most other Korean French restaurants, Le Jardin has a limited menu, but what they offer is authentic, and Strub bakes fresh baguettes every morning. 051-611-0937
Tres Bon Gwangalli Beach
Ham Chung Min, the chef-proprietor of Tres Bon, the oldest French restaurant in the city, was born and raised in Busan before studying hotel management in Australia. While working at an upscale hotel in Lausanne, Switzerland, Ham took a cooking class that sparked his interest in French cuisine. He then studied his new passion for two years in Lyon in addition to a stint studying wine in Bordeaux. His mission is bringing good-tasting and nutritious food to people. Tres Bon has sizeable portions and mid-range prices. 010-8339-7736
Merciel Dalmaji Hill, Haeundae
What makes the trip up Dalmaji Hill worthwhile is Merciel’s chef, Yun Hwa-yeong. The nephew of a former Korean ambassador to France, Yun has been connected to the country for a good part of his life. He studied at Le Cordon Bleu and the Ecole Superieure de Cuisine Francaise, and has worked at a variety of Michelin-starred dining establishments in France over the years. Upstairs is a casual brasserie with mostly Italian cuisine; downstairs is a more formal affair with all-French set menus. Yun sometimes adds a Korean touch to his dishes, but they’re still Gallic. An added bonus is that Merciel is Busan’s only recipient of the Wine Spectator Award of Excellence, and one of only six in the country. So, the food, the view and the wine are all an experience not to be missed. www.merciel.kr 010-9177-0735
Maitre Artisan Namcheon
Another Franco-Korean couple, Damien Guilleux and his wife Kim Eunsook have opened Maitre Artisan near Namcheon station. The offerings differ greatly from what you will find at typical bakeries in this country, being made with imported French flour and French equipment–including the oven. Maitre Artisan offers cakes, breads, a variety of quiche and great sandwiches, as well as real hot chocolate, all for prices below that of the bakery chains. There’s nothing Paris Baguette-like about this place. 070-8829-0513
ICI Lounge Seomyeon
Though mainly serving Italian cuisine, proprietor Kim Dowoo and chef Cho Miyoung have made available some fine French offerings, including raclette cheese on potatoes, quiche Lorraine and Bourgogne escargots, with the piece de resistance being the lamb chop steak with apricot sauce–a truly heavenly offering that must be tried. The escargots are served in an iron pan with a side of bread and are finely chopped and mixed with mushrooms and squash. 051-343-2003
Dal Mi Cocco PNU
Dal Mi Cocco in PNU serves mostly homemade pasta and pizza, but offers several French dishes, like choucroute, as well. It is small and cozy, with ample lighting from its windows and a color scheme in bright white with yellow trim that adds to its warmth. The menu is not large, and the prices are medium, but the food does have a special touch that makes it worth trying. The female Korean chef, Yoon Jiae, studied in Italy and worked in France. 010-3352-7545
La Pause Crepe Kyungsung
Yet a third Franco-Korean pair, Jonathan and Youkyung, run La Pause Crepe, Kyungsung’s best place to go if you have a sweet tooth after dining at Le Jardin. It is very small, but well-stocked with Nutella chocolate spread and Bonne Maman preserves. Like Maitre Artisan, this is a real piece of France transported to Korea, with a warm atmosphere to prove it. 010-8698-1712
The Latest Haps
The government is hoping railway services will be running without any major disruption despite a unionized railroad workers’ scheduled strike next week.
The Korea Meteorological Administration(KMA) is predicting that more aftershocks with a magnitude of three to four will likely continue in Gyeongju, for as long as several months.
The magnitude of the earthquake measured in Gyeongju was 4.5, but the earthquake intensity that people felt was 3 in Busan and 2 to 3 in most areas of Gyeongnam.
The Busan One Asia Festival will have five main K-pop concerts at the Busan Asiad Gymnasium throughout the first 23 days of October.
The Busan International Film Festival has released its main event schedule for this year’s 21st edition. Updates as of September 22, 2016.
Wired magazine has chosen local cartoonist Ryan Estrada’s “Big Data” as one of its top 5 podcasts of the week.
The 6th Seomyeon Medical Street Festival is starting on September 30th.
That’s not a misprint, but just the way it seems to work when you live abroad. John Bocskay explains.
Korea ranked dead last on the 2016 HSBC Expat Explorer Survey to raise a family, one of the largest global independent surveys of expat living.
Pei Wei Asian Diner is set to open a location in Busan by the end of 2017 according to a company press release.
McDonald’s Korea has introduced its newest offering, the Chicken Mac.
A new survey by MasterCard shows that Seoul is once again the 10th most popular city for travel in the world.
Busan’s neighbor to the north has a lot going for it for a fun weekend that’s not so far from home.
While many head to Thailand in search of its magnificent culture, Chiang Mai is a great place to start and one of her best offerings are her awesome temples, known as “Wats”.
North Korea’s goalkeeper gives up one of the worst goals ever — to the opponent’s goalkeeper in an AFC U-16 championship match.
A 29-year-old woman was seriously injured this month when a bungee jump operator failed to secure her rope to the safety hook.
Suyeong-gu Office runs the Stand Up Paddle Board Academy at Gwangalli Beach in September and October.