From Seoul with love

If you can’t be the first, be the best – or at least – be different enough to attract people to come to your newly opened restaurant and give it a try. I stumbled upon an article recently saying that the hottest travel destinations amongst millennials are the ones that look best on Instagram. Is it the same with food? Well, even if it’s not, it’s not far from it. The shift from just good food to good food that makes you drool all over your screen is pretty obvious. It’s not necessarily a bad thing either, imho.

The first thing that catches our attention is the image and that’s when we decide if we’re going to even glance at the headline and click through to the article. If the food is good and it looks the part – double win. Otherwise, you probably wouldn’t be here reading this and would never have found out about one of the tastiest new burgers in town. OK. Now we’re talking.

50 A burger & champagne bar was one of the places that was super-hyped when it opened its doors last summer. So, naturally, I skipped it. Yes, I’m not a well behaved, rule-obeying food blogger. You should know that by now. I eat where I want and don’t chose places based on the number of clicks the story would get. If I did, I would be writing about this place the day it opened its doors.

I did however get a chance to try one of their burgers in September at Zagreb Burger Festival. It was a solid burger but, it was not as memorable as some of the others (remember that PB&J bacon burger, guys?). And, mind you, their burgers are not cheap. I’m the first person who’s willing to splurge on a burger, but, if I’m already doing it, it has to make me feel something, it has to get me excited. And yes, I’m still talking about food here.

After almost a year my dear friend from abroad came to town and after some coffee and cake – we’re living that Eat dessert first life – he asked if I wanted to grab something to eat. So funny that guy. Like there’s ever a time when I’m not. It was pretty late on a Wednesday night and many places were closing up soon and we really didn’t know what we were in the mood for. And, if you’re ever uncertain about your cravings, grab a burger. One more rule I live by.

Since he hasn’t been to town for a while, and I already took him to a cafe he’s been to a thousand of times, we we’re feeling adventurous. Well, kind of. I just wanted to show him I actually am the know-it-all when it comes to food in this town. Luckily, earlier that day it popped up on my feed that 50 burger and champagne bar opened its doors after a short winter break and has a new menu. Couldn’t find it online so decided to just go and give it a try.

While some of their signature burgers like the Classic and Hvar made the cut and are still on the menu, there are some new additions, and not only in the burger section. Both pork and chicken ramen, Korean chicken sandwich and the Vietnamese salad made it quite clear that 50 decided to spice it up with some Asian flavors this time. One glance at the menu and we both knew that the Seoul burger was the way to go. Well, they had me at kimchi. The rest was just an added bonus. One of the very pleasant surprises was that the waiter informed us that the patties are cooked medium-well and asked if that’s ok with us or we wanted them prepared differently.

It’s usually the smell that wakes up your taste buds, rarely the sound. Except, when it comes to the heavenly sound of meat sizzling on the grill. If you’re lucky enough to visit this place when it’s half-empty, you may experience that, followed by that oh so glorious scent. After a couple of minutes, the waiter came with our order.

At first glance, a very well-assembled burger. A thick, well-seasoned patty and a bun that had been thrown on the hot grill for just a moment to get that light chard around the edges – definitely a nice and a tasty touch. Although it may not appear so, the burger is compact enough to be eaten the way every burger should be, with your hands, without all the fillings oozing out. The rest of the toppings like miso mayo and baby greens pair up well with the kimchi and give the burger a nice, but not to exocit twist. Familiar enough for the Croatian taste buds and foreign enough to entice you.

The fries were well cooked, crispy and it was a shame that they serve them with basic, plain ketchup. There are other, more exciting options on the menu, like their signature polenta fries and Complex with all the cheese you can think of, so I just guess I’ll have to go for one of these options the next time I’m around as I’m coming back for sure.

If they keep stepping up their game and adding new and refreshing flavor combinations on a regular basis, this place is on my watch list. But, even if they don’t, I’ll still swing by from time to time, whenever I need my kimchi fix.


Chocoholic, #yolkporn aficionado, LA bound. Eats well, travels often.

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