I never expected to eat Italian food while staying in Seoul, but according to my friend, it is one of the more popular cuisines here. Since she is a vegetarian, my friend also said that she likes eating Italian food while living in Korea because most of it is vegetarian-friendly. While Primo Bacio Baci was friendly towards vegetarians, the server was definitely not friendly towards hungry eaters!
The story is actually pretty funny. My friend and I were definitely hungry, but as a food writer/blogger, I also like to order a lot of food just to have the opportunity to try different items across the menu. And with a restaurant like Primo Bacio Baci (the location in the linked blog post is Hongdae, but the one my friend and I ate it is located in Myeondong, a popular tourist shopping area), where I am not sure when I will be able to return again, I definitely wanted to try a lot of their menu! Well…apparently this type of ordering doesn’t go over too well in this restaurant. My friend and I each ordered an entree and then we decided to try an appetizer and a pizza. The waitress, shocked, said “4 items???” And we said, “Yes, 4 items.” After she took our order, my friend spotted her whispering to another waitress with something along the lines of “Wow those girls ordered 4 items!!!” with a hand gesture indicating the number “4.” Whatever, I just shrugged it off and we polished off the entire meal. No way will I ever be shamed by having a large appetite and a penchant for trying different menu items!
Somewhat rude service aside, the menu is pretty easy to navigate and really cute as well (actually the entire decor of the restaurant is super cute – I love how the photographs on the walls convey a sense of comfort to the restaurant). There probably are many tourists who eat here because each menu item is photographed and the ingredients are all written out in English.
Garlic bread is complimentary and my friend warned me that Korean Italian restaurants like to add honey to their garlic bread. I love the taste; it was not weird for me at all. The sweetness matched well with the garlic and I love honey so I gobbled down the bread pretty fast!
Another quirk about Korean Italian restaurants that my friend warned me about is that pickles are always served alongside pasta dishes because Koreans find pasta sauce (particularly creamy ones like alfredo) to be too rich to eat on their own. It makes me wonder why not just eat kimchi alongside the pasta. I love pickles though so this didn’t really weird me out too much except that I didn’t really understand how pickles came to be representative of Italian cuisine! These pickles were mild and slightly sweet and went along well with my pasta, but first I’ll talk about the appetizers!
We started out with a caprese salad, which came with its own side salad. My friend said that this is the best mozzarella she’s had in Korea, and while I haven’t eaten mozzarella in Korea up to this point (or for the rest of my trip), I could definitely see that being the case. The cheese and tomato were super refreshing and while I normally don’t like the taste of balsamic vinegar, I found this sauce to be very complimentary and pleasing to the tomatoes, basil, and mozzarella. I didn’t really understand the extra cheese on top as it didn’t really add anything to the dish. The side salad was pretty forgettable.
We also ordered a gorgonzola and honey pizza to share. I wouldn’t really call this a pizza, but they do have more traditional red sauce pizzas that probably tasted more like pizza. I loved loved loved this dish – it totally satisfied my craving for sweet savory foods! The crust on the pizza resemble more of a cracker than anything and with the lightly melted cheese and drizzled honey, this was one addicting plateful of food. And before I knew it, we had eaten it all!
My friend ordered an alfredo pasta which I didn’t get to try, but it definitely looked addictingly rich and creamy. It’s also vegetarian friendly!
I don’t remember the name of my pasta but it had tomato sauce, bacon, and spicy pepper inside. The peppers were a little too spicy so I ended up leaving them behind on the plate. Pasta was well-cooked, but the tomato sauce was a little too sweet for my taste and the bacon was soggy. This dish tasted good with the pickles though as the pickles definitely helped to refresh my palate. I wasn’t too impressed with the pasta dish, but if I do go back, I definitely want to try more of their pizzas! They are also famous for pasta bread bowls, which I almost ended up ordering. I decided not to because I was afraid of falling into a food coma that I wouldn’t be able to awake from (bread + pasta + cream sauce is a little too much!), but I ended up in a food coma after all, so next time I’ll be braver!
Our dinner ended up with a complimentary mango sorbet, which really was more of a mango ice because of the texture. Delicious and soothing, I didn’t think I would be able to eat anymore, but I ate all of the sorbet too. I can’t even begin to imagine what our waitress thought of us!!! Not only did we order way more food than she thought we were capable of eating, but we finished it all too!
Lastly, Primo Bacio Baci has puppy toilet paper. That is just ridiculously cute.