Recently a string of new establishments has been popping up near our house. This area is known as “Passion Street” or “Passion Island.” As the new places come up, we have been slowly but surely checking them out one by one. Surprisingly, some of them are quite good! So over the next few weeks, I will be sharing our thoughts starting with Dall Pasta, which has been open for about two months now.
Dall Pasta (달파스타)
51-1 Cheongpadong 3(sam)-ga, Yongsan-gu, Seoul (서울 용산구 백범로 90 라길 19 (2층))
We have walked by this restaurant over a dozen times in the last couple of months, but have always been reluctant to go in. Why so reluctant you ask? Well Italian food here in Korea has disappointed us one too many times. Usually the Italian food is like boxed pasta and watered down tomato sauce, basically lifeless and lacking any flavor. But we decided to be adventurous and give it a shot.
The restaurant is located up on the 2nd floor, so after you ascend the small flight of stairs, you will be actually welcomed by a nice bright space. We were immediately greeted and seated.
The menu has the names of the dishes in “Italian,” but all of the descriptions are in Korean. Immediately I decided to try the Vongole (₩16,500), but Scott needed a little more assistance. After utilizing my very rudimentary Korean skills and my knowledge of Italian food names, and a little google translate, we were able to determine what all of the dishes were, and opted for the Arrabiata (₩13,900), the menu claimed that this traditionally spicy dish combined the Italian and Korean flavors. Though we were a little scared of this statement, we figured we would give it a shot.
While we were waiting for our food, we were brought a small slice of garlic bread. It looked really buttery and smelled awesome. The bread was toasted nicely and still very hot, I was super excited to take my first bite….until I processed the flavors….how can garlic bread be sweet? If not for the sweet taste, the garlic flavor would have been on point! Now were were getting more wary….
Then my Vongole came out, it looked good and smelled really garlicky, which I love. I went ahead and dug in and was so elated to find that the dish was delicious! The pasta was super hot and the clam and garlic taste resonated throughout. There was a decent amount of clams in the pasta and I was super pleased.
Next up was Scott’s Arrabiata, now we had high hopes. The first thing we noticed was the pile of Korean chilies atop the pasta….and let me tell you, the sauce packed a real punch! The sauce was very flavorful and there were little pieces of bacon mixed into the sauce. Bacon makes everything better. I think I may have tasted some gochujang that was mixed into the sauce, but honestly, I didn’t think that there was anything overwhelmingly Korean about this dish.
The portions were decent and the prices were reasonable and most importantly we left Dall Pasta with happy tummies and a lot of hope for the future…future meals that is!
Since that visit, we have been back many times and one of our favorite things to get is the Varieta Funghi (aka Mushroom Salad). It has a great variety of mushrooms on a bed of arugula and is topped with a balsamic sauce and parmesan.
We’ve also tried almost all of their pastas and they are all quite good.
If you stop by, and I hope you do, don’t forget to get your loyalty stamp card, which entitles you to ₩3,000 off after 4 visits, ₩5,000 off after 8 visits and ₩10,000 off after 12 visits.