BUSAN, South Korea – Whether you feel the urge to pose next to a brightly lit reindeer or embrace a ‘hug me’ statue, Nampo-Dong is certainly putting forth efforts to draw crowds to the area. The opening of the new Lotte Department store has marked a new beginning for Busan’s original “downtown.”
From Guess to The North Face, to the little ajuma-run shops, this shopping area has something for everyone. Of course, all of that shopping can wear the most ardent spender down. You’ve gotta refuel.
Whether its a cup of joe, a light snack, or a full-on meal, when you want it you’ve got to have it, but at that point you’ve had enough walking around. Wouldn’t it be nice to satiate yourself all in one place?
Why not try The Terrace? Making its debut last November, this sprawling eatery/cafe has three unique spots set neatly inside: The Pho,” “The Pan” and “The Cafe.”
With a blend of fusion food and a European like atmosphere, it succeeds in creating a unique dining experience. The trendy interior design makes for an intimate date or a fun meal with friends. However, the gem of this restaurant lies in the outdoor dining patio. With heat lamps surrounding the tables, even on chilly nights you can enjoy your meal outdoors while watching the passersby.
As the design accentuates the aesthetics, the food aims to please the pallete. The Pho, specializing in Vietnamese cuisine, offers a moderate sized menu with highlights such as fresh spring rolls and Vietnamese coffee. This restaurant is definitely vegetarian friendly as the chefs will prepare some dishes without meat at your request. However, the options are limited.
The Pan, on the other hand, offers an impressive menu with a wide array of options for the meat-eater, the veggie lover, and for those in between. If you are looking for a light meal, there are a few salads and a substantial appetizer menu.
For those looking for a hearty meal, there are many pasta, rice, and pizza dishes as well. The Potato Pizza, a cheese pizza topped with deliciously seasoned mashed potatoes, certainly wins my vote for best pizza. Though not quite as flavorful, second place goes to the Gorgonzola Pizza.
As far as pasta, the Spaghetti with Seafood Gratin Pasta seems to be a favorite among diners. This dish is served in a steaming oversized bowl and is covered with baked pizza dough. Upon serving the dish, the server cuts the soft warm dough and allows it to mix into steaming pasta below.
For those craving red meat, there is a pricey sirloin steak option. However, if you are in the mood to pay nearly 40,000 won, it may be a better idea to go for the Sirloin Steak set menu. All of the set menus include bread, salad, a main course, dessert, and coffee. If you’d like the benefit of an all inclusive meal but rather not break the bank, the cheapest set costs 18,000 and features a pasta dish as the main course.
Other features include a substantial variety of alcohol and a small dessert menu including Crème Brulee —a rarity in Busan. (Be advised that this is not an option for the set menu.) Perhaps you are thinking that this restaurant sounds like a dream, but keep in mind that there are some kinks that have yet to be worked out.
First, The Terrace is not so much of a fusion restaurant but more like three separate restaurants; You can only order from one menu. Second, perhaps they should have fused some of the Korean ‘table bell’ culture into their business, as it can be very difficult and overall annoying to track down your server. This, of course, is mainly a consideration for those who choose to sit outside.
Overall, in just a few short months, this restaurants’ baby steps have proven to be impressive.
Directions: From the Nampo-Dong subway station, Exit 7 turn left and walk down Gwangbok-Dong walking street. After 5 minutes you will see Holly’s Coffee on your right. Shortly after, turn right at the fork and walk for about 1 minute. The Terrace will be across the street on your left.
Hours: Main Menu 12:00-9:30 daily. Appetizers: 8:00-9:30 pm. Drinks served all day.