It’s that busy time of the Chungdahm calendar again. Summer intensives, Toefl testing and end of summer semester has arrived. CDI instructors are working hard ironing out those student report cards and preparing for summer intensive weeks. All teachers are in need of some downtime and what better way to enjoy some relaxation than eating delicious food and sharing memories with co-workers at the fancy Vizavi Buffet restaurant in Gangnam.
Vizavi is one of the newer restaurants to be added to the expanding Coex shopping mall. Vizavi is on the second floor of the convention center and it is a premium buffet restaurant for families and business meetings. “Vis a vis”, a French phrase meaning ‘face to face’, proves it’s worth by offering a relaxing and calm atmosphere which can be spent in the close company of work colleagues, good friends or loved ones. The staff makes the restaurant feel lively by making their customers feel like they are paying for quality and an experience that is unique. The buffet restaurant’s food is some of the freshest I have eaten in Korea so far, and I would without any hesitation return to Vizavi and pay the steep price because of the amazing food.
Vizavi is very impressive on first entrance; it is decorated in ivy vines and boasts an impressive buffet selection of Mongolian BBQ, Sushi, an array of fine desserts and a large wine selection. I particularly enjoyed the pickled salmon, lamb chops and plain yogurt gelato that they had on offer. Lunch hours are between 11.30 a.m. and 3 p.m. from Monday through Saturday and 11 a.m. to 3.30 p.m. on Sundays. Dinner is offered from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. throughout the week. Lunch costs 49,000W on weekdays and 53,000W on weekends. Dinner is 60,000W on weekdays and 62,000W on weekends.
Upon arriving at Vizavi you are escorted to your table by a welcoming hostess. You can either have the option of open plan seating or you could book a reservation in a private room. As our academy is a smaller branch we could fit into one of the rooms that had a long 16-20 seated table. The table was arranged with the fine dining sets and the waiters made sure that our glasses were always topped up and our plates were cleared away once finished. It is a perfect setting for a business lunch and it was well enjoyed by all of our colleagues.
The general rule for a buffet restaurant is not to eat a lot before going there. I tried really hard to eat as much as I could, but even I couldn’t fit in every delicious meal and delicacy that was on display. First, I started with a salmon salad topped with walnuts and cranberries, and then I had a lamb chop with sautéed vegetables and sun-dried tomatoes. After that I had sashimi with asparagus and mango, and then shared a variety of desserts with a co-worker. The desserts were my favorite section of Vizavi. There is an impressive dessert selection which included strawberry cheesecake, mini chocolate brownies, carrot cake, plain yogurt gelato and pecan nut pie squares. And even more, there is a delicious selection of coffees and espressos. There is nothing better than a chocolate brownie topped with plain yogurt gelato and cherries with a cup of espresso!
Vizavi is a buffet that is easily overlooked in Seoul, as not many people know about it and the location is a little hidden away. After trying many buffet restaurants in Korea I think Vizavi should be on the top recommendation list of buffet restaurants. Buffet restaurants are not cheap in Korea and generally I am always disappointed in the quality of the western meals. At Vizavi the price was still hefty, but it was the first time I was nowhere near disappointed. The food quality was up there with western affiliates and I found myself enjoying a decent western meal for the first time while living in Korea. Don’t get me wrong there are plenty of amazing Western restaurants in Itaewon and Gangnam alike, but if we compare buffet restaurants Vizavi is by far up there with the best.
So next time you are in Seoul and feeling really hungry and want to spoil yourself, Vizavi buffet restaurant is the place to go. It’s spacious, trendy and stocked with all your ultimate food desires!
It is no surprise that Tijana Huysamen, a South African born Capetownian, avid traveler and travel journalist, fell in love with South Korea and its people. After Tijana arrived in South Korea in 2010, she had the opportunity to live in the heart of the Korean countryside. During her time spent in Chungnam province she learned to speak Korean, prepare Korean food and experience the humble nature of the countryside people. After a year break in New York, Tijana jumped at the opportunity to return to Korea again, and is currently working at the CDI Jamsil Branch, in Jamsil, Seoul. Read Tijana’s Aclipse blog to gain a unique perspective on Korea and her shared experiences and adventures both in a major city and in the countryside. Follow Tijana on Twitter @TeeAnni or email firstname.lastname@example.org to request more information on teaching in Korea!