Late last year, there came a welcome site and an even more welcome taste for those craving authentic Italian food in Busan. While Korea has more than its fair share of Italian restaurants, it’s not often that you find one that is owned and operated by Italians.
Enter Federico Rossi, a native Italian chef, and his newly opened restaurant, Locanda Rossi. The name, which Federico says translates to family, offers a traditional taste of Italy right in the middle of the rapidly expanding, posh Marine City neighborhood in the Zenith Center near the shores of Haeundae.
Rossi, who has been running the kitchens in several prominent Italian restaurants before opening his own here with his wife, Mina, says that most Italian establishments in Korea generally steer away from the traditional Italian style of food preparation.
The Korean style of Italian food is more fusion, they like to mix, said Federico. I like to make it simple, more traditional and 100 percent Italian.
A quick perusal through Locanda Rossi’s menu will bear out Federico’s dictum to keep it traditional. From la bufalina con pomodoro e basilica (buffalo mozzarella cheese with marinated vegetables) to the bianca pizza covered in imported mozzarella and gorgonzola cheese, walnuts and spinach, the menu is a traditional trove of native Italian ingredients.
While the Antipasti and the pizzas are excellent, it’s hard to resist not ordering from the pasta section of the menu. All of the pasta at Locanda Rossi is handmadeâbe it the lasagna, ravioli, gnocchi, spaghetti or a wide variety of other pastas, you know with each bite that what you are eating is made fresh right there in Fredrico’s open air kitchen and that it will all go great with Locanda Rossi’s large selection of exclusively Italian wines.
Along with great soups and appetizers, the menu also features a succulent dish of beef tenderloin served with porcini in a Chianti truffle wine sauce, or beef tenderloin Romana with spinach, ham and cheese in a wine sauce. And the grilled lamb chop with seasonal vegetables in a mint parsley sauce is an excellent choice.
The restaurant itself, which seats up to 50, offers the warm feel of a brick and natural wood interior along with a heated deck for outdoor dining. While it’s perfect for an intimate dinner with someone special, Locanda Rossi also seats large groups as well as catering your next get together at home or the office party. And if there is something you don’t see on the menu that you would like to special order, just give Federico a call and he can have something special made to order for your visit.
Getting there: Locanda Rossi is located in Zenith Square in between the towering Zenith skyscrapers in Haeundae’s Marine city. Take the escalator to the second floor, go to your right and then take a quick left to Locanda. You can call them at 051-744-8807 or visit their website at www.locandarossi.com.
Locanda Rossi is closed Mondays but open the rest of the week from 12-3 p.m. for lunch, and then from 6-10 p.m. for dinner.