Un Deux Trois. One Two Three. What the heck is bothering me? Oh right, it’s my stomach. After an overindulgence at Un Deux Trois last night in Itaewon, I come to you today with a slightly bothered stomach. However, a green tea at Starbucks is settling the storm. Let’s do this. Un Deux Trois has been on my radar for awhile. Jill and I noticed it a few months ago when we were strolling in Itaewon. We had a little extra cash in the wallet (we needed it) and decided to check this newish French restaurant out. Since we are huge Le Saint Ex fans, we wanted to see how it stacked up against the king of French food in Itaewon.
How to get there: The easiest way to get to Un Deux Trois is to take the subway to Itaewon station (Line 6) and depart from Exit 2. You will walk about 250 meters up the hill slightly. It will be on your left. It’s an easy find since it’s on the main strip.
Atmosphere and Service: The atmosphere was great. The restaurant was lively and I loved how they had the open terrace with a small, wooden chairs and simple tables outside. It was a perfect night for eating and drinking wine outside whilst watching the lovely characters of Itaewon get ready for their Saturday night. Un Deux Trois’s interior was modern, sleek and stylish. I loved the slick, black bar with the rows of spirits at the back of the main dining area. The perfect place for a night cap after dinner. The techno beats punching from the stereo offset the quiet, relaxing ambience of the restaurant, yet reaffirmed that it was trying to be a hip and trendy Itaewon spot much like a Paris discotheque.
Service was okay. I’m not going to rave about it. The server we had was polite enough, but his English was not the best. I really liked the lentil soup and was wondering what spice the chef used. He goes back and asks the chef. He then comes back to our table and informs us the spice he used was “sausage”. Hmmmmm…okay. Dirty glasses and silverware on our table after consumption was also a problem. That said, we received our orders fairly quickly and completely accurate.
Food and Drink: A feast awaited. Although their menu is diverse to the point of absurdity (Who orders a cheeseburger at a french restaurant?) We decided to stay local and order as much French cuisine as possible. We started out with a trio of homemade soups (Potato, French Onion and Lentil) and an order of Rillettes. For our mains, we ordered Boeuf Bourguignon (Beef stew) and Magret de Canard (Roasted Duck in an orange brine). For dessert, we order two Creme Brûlées and a Double Expresso. Drinks included a glass of wine, and two Cokes.
Trio of Soups (Potato, French Onion and Lentil) 24,000KRW: As the old Meatloaf song goes, “Two out of three ain’t bad.” The lentil soup was amazing. I loved the spice the chef used. Could it have been coriander? My palate fails me. The soup was pureed perfectly. Regardless, it had a rustic flavor that was reminiscent of a French cafe in the countryside. The French Onion soup was also very flavorful. Topped with gruyere cheese and baked nicely, it was warm and comforting. It would be perfect on a fall or winter night. The potato soup leaved little to be desired. It was watery instead of creamy. The bacon was plentiful, but the soup itself was bland. I don’t think I would order it again.
Rillettes (14,000KRW): The Rillettes were a new experience for Jill and I. I really liked the look of the description and after a brief Google search, decided to give it a try. Rillette is pork that is slow cooked and then chilled so the fat gelatinizes on top of the pork. It had a similar taste and texture to pate. You spread the rillette on the bread and eat. The quantity of rillette was substantial, however, the amount of bread for spreading was lacking. We ran out of bread quickly. No one came to refill the bread, so we just ate it straight from the dish. This was pretty hard on the stomach as the fat is very rich. An enjoyable dish, but I wouldn’t eat too much of it.
Magret de Canard (32,000KRW): The Magret de Canard advertises that it uses local duck, and after sampling it, it did seem fresh enough to come from Korea. The dish itself was plated gorgeously that my picture didn’t do it justice. The duck was tender and juicy. I love that gamey, smokey taste of the duck and the sweetness to compliment it. It was easily the best dish of the night and I would highly recommend it. It comes with a side of Potato Dauphinoise (similar to scalloped potatoes). The Potato Dauphinoise was creamy and full of flavors including garlic. I nice complimentary side dish to the duck. Well worth the 32,000KRW.
Boeuf Bourguignon (28,000KRW): The Boeuf Bourguignon was a satisfactory dish. The flavor was there, but there was a lot of fat on the beef. One spoonful was basically a large chunk of fat covered in beef broth. The vegetables were plentiful and roasted nicely. The strips of bacon, as expected, were a nice surprise. There was a hint of a red wine in the broth, but it wasn’t prevalent enough. The beef broth dominated the flavor. The salad was a simple salad consisting of greens, shredded cheese with an Italian dressing. It was very filling and rich. I should have shut it down at that point, but alas, the eyes are bigger than the stomach.
Creme Brûlée: I forget to get a price on the Creme Brûlée, but seriously with Creme Brûlée, you just need to order it and worry about the cost later. It was great. Nicely burnt on top giving that hard caramel flavor, the Creme Brûlée was filled with a generous portion of custard with a cinnamon flavor. Take very small spoonfuls to savor this rich French delicacy. Tres bien! A perfect dessert with a coffee or expresso whilst people watching.
Value: Two appetizers, two mains, two desserts, coffee, a glass of Cabernet Sauvignon and two Cokes and the bill came out to 144,000KRW. Well, there goes my budget for the week. The food was good, but not spectacular. I loved the Magret de Canard (Roasted Duck) and the Creme Brûlée. Also, the Lentil and French Onion soup were great. The Beouf Bourgiugnon left little to be desired. There was way too much fat. We will visit Un Deux Trois Brasserie again, but maybe just for a drink and a cheese plate at the bar. If I’m feeling real French cuisine, I’m probably going to head to Le Saint Ex now know as Atelier Du Saint Ex.
Who Should Visit Un Deux Trois Brasserie: Those looking for some good, but not great French food overlooking the streets of Itaewon. Also, they serve dinner until 2am! That is amazing! Late night diners, head there for dinner! I would also recommend 123 if you are looking for a nice, hip place to take a date and enjoy a drink. Their bar looked awesome and their appetizers are great. Like I said, I would head back there with Jill for a drink and some apps.
Who Should Avoid Un Deux Trois Brasserie: Budget travelers should head to Paris Baguette.