As a heads up to anyone who hasn’t started planning yet, Valentine’s Day is next week. I don’t know what that means for some people, but for me, it means an excuse to eat nice food and enjoy even nicer company. Around this time of year, one of the most common requests I get is for ideas on where to take that special someone for a romantic dinner that costs a little more than instant noodles. I can happily say that this year I’ve come prepared.
I was invited by some friends to check out The Moon by a few friends who decided to gift me the greatest Christmas gift of all: delicious food. They had done a lot of homework to try and find the best restaurant to take me as a belated present, and had found this place by chance. After looking at a ton of Korean reviews and doing a ton of research, they decided upon this little spot right at the edge of the Uncheon reservoir. My friends are pretty amazing, aren’t they?
We arrived on a chilly Sunday morning for lunch, as that was the only time we were available. Though the hours stated that the restaurant was already open, it appeared that they weren’t quite ready for customers when we arrived. That being said, they still let us in and let us order some coffee as we went through the difficult process of deciding what we wanted to eat as we looked through the thankfully multilingual menu. Before I even started reading through my options, I was to distracted by the countless awards and medals that decorated the entire restaurant. The chefs at this restaurant had clout, and they were not afraid to show it off. As it was a French restaurant, I went in expecting ridiculously high prices, but was surprised to see how affordable the majority of the menu was. Some of the more interesting looking items included the Herb Wet Aging Pork Belly and Garlic Sauce, the Sous Vide Chicken Breast and Pepper Sauce, the Beef Tenderloin and Olive Crub, the Avocado Soup, the Bisque Sauce Crab Fettucini. While these all looked nice, once we were informed that we could enjoy one of the three dinner sets were lunch, that’s where all of our attention went. There were three different courses at three different prices that all offered some unique choices that just got fancier as a price went up. As my friends insisted that we get the best of the best, two of us got the 430 Dinner Course, which came with thirteen different dishes while one of us got the 241 Dinner Course, which came with seven.
As we sat back, relaxed, and enjoyed the view of the reservoir while listening to jazzy covers of Radiohead songs, we received our first course, the Amuse Boucher. It should be noted at this point that not everything we received seemed to exactly match what the menu said, but considering how not all three of us ordered the same course, we certainly didn’t mind. It was somewhat expected that there would be some inconsistencies with the food that arrived, and we figured the chefs also added their own spin to some dishes. Anyways, what we received was an adorable portion of salmon that had been mixed to resemble an fancy dip that had been topped with a mild salsa that all sat on a thin sliver of crispy bread. While this definition wasn’t traditional by any means, it was definitely a tasty, complex bite that left us all excited for the next dish.
Once our first dish was cleared, we got what I assumed was a unique take on Salmon Gravlax with Mushroom Salsa and what was listed in the menu as the Moon Baguette. The cured pieces of salmon had a great flavor that was similar to the salmon we had eaten with our first dish, especially with the salsa. It sat on a creamy sauce had that also been drizzled with flavored oil before being topped with black truffle flakes, greens, and a thin slice of radish. This tasted lovely on its own, but it went even better with the fresh baked bread that had a delicate, yet crispy crust while staying piping hot and soft as cotton on the inside. It came served with a light, homemade butter that had been mixed with some fruit, giving it a hint of sweetness while adding a lovely richness.
Our next two courses were a Pumpkin Soup and Slow Cooked Scallops. While we weren’t exactly thrilled at the sight of pumpkin soup, especially since we were craving something a little more savory, we were all happy with what we got. The creamy and silky smooth soup came topped with thin, crispy slices of bread and a few black truffle flakes that had elevated this usually bland dish to resemble something closer to a flavorful pasta sauce. The scallop was cooked to perfection and came with a beetroot sauce and some other complex, citrus flavors that made it into a tasty, tender bite. After that came what I could only assume was some sort of seafood sampler that came with smoked salmon, grilled octopus, and curried shrimp. The dish came with multiple sauces that all added a nice layer to the already tasty seafood. Considering my general dislike for seafood, I was impressed.
Up next was the Pasta of the Day, which was a garlic and oil pasta that had been tossed with mushrooms, basil, and topped with a healthy amount of grated cheese. The garlic flavor was quite strong, making each and every bite of what looked like a boring plate of carbs into a memorable one. There wasn’t a single noodle that had not been dressed with that lovely sauce. Once that was done, we received our Fish course, which came with equal portions of monkfish and lobster. Though I’m a huge fan of lobster, I was surprised to see how much I liked the monkfish, which had been topped with a combination of creamy and citrus-based sauces. The lobster had much more aggressive flavors that held up well against its sweetness.
As we crushed our way through each course we got, we received our Meat dish, which came with a healthy portion of lamb that had been topped with a bread and chickpea crumb. On the side were some cooked vegetables and a small portion of luscious, silky potatoes. The lamb was cooked a little longer than I asked, but as I requested medium, medium-well wasn’t the end of the world. Each bite was still tender, juicy, and incredibly easy to cut into. At the end of that course, we received our Sorbet (which had been listed as Shervet), which I assume was meant to be used as a palate cleanser. The sweet and sour yuja flavor took me back to a more innocent time when a heaping cup of something similar was my preferred dessert.
Our next dish was our Salad. It came with chicken that had absorbed a good amount of a marinade that offered hints of chicken tikka masala. The dressing was mildly sweet, but the smokey, curry flavor combined with the mild bitterness of the greens made it work. Instead of the Roast that had been listed on the menu, we also received a piece of toasted bread that had been topped with cheese and came with ham. The bread also contained some creamy elements and had two different sauces on the side. Though I’m not sure what the actual name for any of this is, it was indeed delicious. Each bite was rich, savory, and bordered on the edge between tasty and a little too salty. Considering how late in our meal we were receiving this, some of my friends thought this portion was a little heavy, but I certainly didn’t mind.
The final portions of our meal were made up of our Cheese course, which was basically some nice cheeses that aren’t terribly hard to find at bigger stores served with some berry reductions, and our Dessert, which was a dark chocolate mousse that had its bitterness cut down with more of that berry sauce and some mint. We also got a choice of coffee or green tea to help settle our delectable meal.
Overall, my visit to the Moon was indeed a long and memorable one. As someone who hasn’t had a lot of experience eating my meals in such a fancy way, I genuinely appreciated the journey that came in the form of a very filling lunch. This place is a definite for couples looking for romantic spot, especially those that like to not only consume, but also experience food. My lack of any real background regarding this type of cuisine leaves me in a position where I can’t really speak on just how unique or complex the meal was, but I can easily say that this was one of the better experiences I’ve had, especially when considering what I believe is a very fair price tag. The only warning I can give is to not be surprised if the food received doesn’t perfectly match what’s on the menu.
Address: 광주광역시 서구 치평동 241-3 (literally right next to the Uncheon Reservoir)
Hours: 10:00AM to 11:00PM
Average Price Range: 38,000 to 70,000 per set