Monday, July 23, 2012
Dining Out: CHA:N, Seattle WA (PIKE MARKET)
Note: Their website has an incredible photo gallery. I would encourage you to look, the food styling and photography is phenomenal.
Tucked away off Pike Street in a small area known as Inn and the Market lies Cha:n.
Cha:n is a Korean fusion restaurant that is small and intimate.
Being near the market, parking is challenging. We ended up valet parking, which Cha:n doesn’t validate (note that other restaurants validate parking). There is obviously street parking and lot parking in the area, but be prepared to search out for it.
As I entered the restaurant, I noticed the small space and low ceilings. Being it was somewhat in a basement of a building natural light was limited.
We sat in a table set for two, where on one side was a chair and the other was a long stretch of a booth that accommodated other tables.
We picked up the menu and noticed the humble offerings. On one side of the menu was traditional Korean dishes and on the other were selections a bit more creative – Korean inspired dishes.
Our server was prompt and attentive. Our small table didn’t offer much room for the dishes we ordered, so our server was constantly at our table clearing and replenishing.
One thing that stood out – banchan and kimchee came at a modest price. I’ve been to several Korean restaurants around the country and for the most part, these items are free. They are small dishes that offer diners a little nibble and accompaniment to their meal. Similar to an amuse-bouche, they are usually a gift from the chef. Just note that at this restaurant, you’ll have to pay additional for these items.
Definitely this restaurant offers innovative Korean dishes that pushes the envelope when it comes to traditional Korean cuisine. It’s not at all a bad thing, it is just different. I appreciate the step that Chef Heong Soon Park to take Korean dining to another level.
I would recommend dining here – but if you have any preconceived notions of Korean dining, leave them at the door and enjoy what Cha:n has to offer.