A friend and I recently went to Seoul. No, not the city! There’s a restaurant on the East side of Milwaukee called Seoul, or when you Google it, it comes up as Seoul Restaurant.
This place is known as the best restaurant to get authentic Korean food in Milwaukee. Though it’s hard to imitate the real thing from the Korean Peninsula, for Milwaukee, it’s considered a great place to go to even by Korean locals and exchange students. Compared to Stone Bowl Grill or any other pan Asian restaurants in the city, Seoul has many excellent Korean dishes.
This place can be very busy. Luckily there were very few people when we arrived. We were seated immediately and given waters to drink. I personally wanted to order half of what was on the menu but I settled on just a main entree.
While I didn’t have the chance to take photos of the in-house menu, I did take a take out menu. Some things may be missing, for example the list of drinks available, but the take-out menu includes nearly everything they offer.
Compared to how the place was years ago when I first visited, it had truly changed. Now they have flat screen TVs and Kpop playing in the background. It’s a Kpop wonderland. They play a variety of artists, as well as popular non-kpop & folk songs. While my friend and I were there they played mostly BTS songs but also Infinite, MonstaX, Shinee and EXO. On the TVs they mainly had EXO, BTS and Suju. Not many girl groups were played but they did play Gashina by Sunmi and a few Korean classics.
The service was speedy and attentive. Though we spent a lot of time talking and took a while to order, our waitress was nice and patient. We were checked on by another waiter throughout our meal as well. He was very kind and enthusiastic. At the end of our meal, they gave us some complimentary fruity candy.
This restaurant, as far as I know, can get busy especially Fridays and Saturdays. Unfortunately, they are closed on Sundays so you can imagine how the first 2 days of the weekend can be. Since it operates as a late night restaurant, they open from 4pm to 10pm. Specifically, Saturdays can be one of their busiest nights. It gets full very quickly and it could take up to an hour to get a seat when it’s full. It may seem strange but many Asian restaurants operate like this; when I go to New York, some of the best shops I visit are only open at night.
My Dish: 짜장면 (Jjajangmyeon)
Seoul is also known for their large portions but if you’ve gone to enough Asian restaurants, portions are much larger than most Western restaurants. Also you get sides, which Korean cuisine offers with most meals. I ordered the Jjajangmyeon (Noodles in black bean sauce) with pork. I was so happy they included the pickled radish 단무지 (danmuji), because the noodles don’t taste the same without it. My food came out steaming hot.
Interesting thing to note, Jjajangmyeon originated from China and a soy bean sauce was used instead of black bean. It’s called 炸酱面 (Zhajianmian). If you pronounce it correctly, you can see how similar the Korean name is to the Chinese (Zha = Jja / jian = jang / mian = myeon). I tried the Chinese version before (instant Jjajang; not from a restaurant) and it was clear to me that I loved the Korean version more than the original. Maybe one day I can try the original at a Chinese restaurant.
Would I go again? Definitely.
This isn’t my first time going to this restaurant. Last time I was there I had their eel with rice on stone bowl. It was amazing. There aren’t many Korean restaurants in Milwaukee but it seems to be growing. I recently heard a restaurant called Char’d that opened up. Also there may be a Korean Fried Chicken place opening up soon near Seoul Restaurant too. If I find myself nearby, I’ll definitely be popping up there to check things out!