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Crossing borders

Monocle 24: The Menu

29:11 min | 1 year ago

Crossing borders

"Hello and welcome to the menu with me. Markus Hippie this week. Our one shift in Zola story and to create a coronary connection between North and South Korea. I had no idea what is North Korea's like 'cause I never tried in my life and I never seen some place who sells North Korean food. Then how the creation of one of Brooklyn's most talked-about boss have brought. There's a great hospitality to London. We liked that idea that living in an industrial city. Whether it's New York or London that set five or six o'clock you can get an elevator. Get into a car within a few minutes to be transported to another place ozone how one feminist reviving a long extinct pools. Wayne plus Dennison's recommendation. That is ahead on this week's edition off the menu here on Monocle Twenty Four. North Korea must be better known for its brutal regime than its feasts. Birth South Korea becoming more familiar with cuisine from northern neighbour. Thanks to escapees who brought their recipes with them across the border and that has inspired at least two one shift from Seoul to breach the peninsula's culinary divide more Nichols Jason Star the reports. The Restaurant Jinshan is located down a short flight of steps in what is known as a half basement. It's the kind of partially subterranean layer. That's meant to be a bomb shelter in case North Korea attacks. So maybe it's fitting that cuisine from above the border is what's on the menu here. Chinchillas head chef legion. Ho is prepping with his three sous chefs ahead of the dinner hours. I ask him what he's chopping up on the cutting board this spring onion. What kind of dishes would you use this in here at the restaurant reuse this spring on your for the Congress for one meal which is which is a signature dish? Which is come from This korea bottles of North Korean. Soy Sauce and Ginseng. Alcohol are on display in the restaurant and on a small table are four. North Korean cookbooks. That Lee somehow got his hands on south. Koreans aren't allowed to travel to the north. And there's no trade between the two Koreas. Lee gives me a tour of the kitchen hostage and we do like in monkeys Dumplings Mondays. Dumpling and also we do like sausage which is so we make Sunday in here. And we sting leap. Who's thirty-seven trained in New Zealand to cook Italian French and Spanish cuisine? He only learned to make South Korean dishes about a decade ago and has since published a cookbook solely says when Chin Chin's owner approached him about creating an entirely North Korean menu. He was ready for the challenge but there was just one problem. Oh actually I had no idea what it's like because I never tried in my life. I don't even know what it is and I never soon someplace who sells North Korean food. Every South Korean is familiar with at least one North Korean Dish Nang me on noodle served in an icy broths. But that's been around for decades. Lee wanted to offer more contemporary North Korean Fair. So he went looking for help. From North Korean refugees. There are about thirty three thousand. Who have defected to the south most within the past decade We budget most Korean lady a Refugee Yup. And she's sure how to do it when you started learning about North Korean cuisine. What surprised you about it. I actually surprised because insults growing food. We don't really make spring onion oil. Which is a day. Saute the Spring on an oil or really low hit to make it like oil flavor a spring spring onion flavor oil in South Korean food. We we would never do it in that way. And in South Korea they use a lot of chilis in every dishes is very spicy in South Korea. You can easily find food which is red. But it's quite hard to find red food in. North Korea and South Korean food is also a little bit sweeter than most great food because in North Korea. They are really hard to find sugar. His shoe is really expensive in those some of the items on. The menu are quintessential North Korean market meals. Like in Jogi which means artificial meet its ground soybeans and rice stuffed into Tofu skin. And there's a noodle dish called Noma Gook Soo that I as well as Lee had never seen in South Korea is that you cannot find. I never seen it. I never heard before and it's really hard to make that compete to Pasta Pasta flour. Egg Yolk This this noodle has potato such an flour and buckwheat and some soult like leaving associates will really make hot to make into fit texture. Lee explains that in globalized South Korea North Korean cuisine somehow seems more authentic and he thinks that's why his customers want to try it so those Korean is changing moody. I about food coach these days a lot of young people. They don't it much Korean food so they they like to eat like hamburgers places. Mexican food is big here and we love Chicken Fried Chicken. I think we love fried chicken more than anyone in the earth. Lease Korean customers aren't all from the southern half of the peninsula. He tells me that some North Korean defectors have dropped by to what North Korean customers. Tell you about the food here. Oh really liked it. They will really pull in those career so day and they will try it in your life. Artificial meat out of your. It's kind of ironic. That North Korean has to come all the way to South Korea to try food from their hometown. This one can't survive on artificial meat alone to help wash that down. Chin-chin has a very well-stocked Fridge. You have quite a beer refrigerator. Here with some selections from all around Asia so we have improved along McHugh. The Tae Dong River Veer puts this is not for sale. Just North Korean. Beer tastes good. No try the deployment life so so really just for show got just supposed to Lee says trying. North Korean beer is at the top of his list. If someday South Koreans are allowed to travel above the border for Monica and soul. I'm Jason Structure and to you with the men you want monocle twenty. Four Joshua Boise increased of this car. The duo behind Brooklyn semes- on Premier. A Bar with loyal following as well as having been ranked the best bar in the US. It has been on the fifty bars in the world list for years and has also got James Beard Award last year. The restaurant or steamed up with the Hawks. Ten Hotel Group opening the restaurant. Eze Burt at the hawks. Ten Southern Hotel in London Joshua Christopher and body rector William Elliot to join me here at Midori House. Studio one of beets earlier to talk about the new venture and how different the business is between London and to New York. Let seventy seven Christoph and myself. We met at a restaurant in two thousand six and packing district. We had worked together. For a number of years I took over a restaurant in Williamsburg in two thousand seven. That was a failed restaurant was a French bistro and him and I became basically partners in that restaurant. He wasn't an owner but he was a good friend of mine and so together. We learned how to turn this restaurant around. And it's even better. Josh lives on top restaurant on top of this restaurant and a French gentleman who owned it and when I hit it off one day when he was about to close the restaurant he asked me if I want to be a partner. I said I didn't have any money to buy restaurant. And and he said you don't need any we put our money into the place and we're going to lose it so I took a risk and my became a fifty percent partner in the restaurant became the president of the company and Christoph came on board immediately and assisted creatively with changing out the products and establishing a brand identity curing a cocktail program in wind program and and so over the course of a year and a half. We fought every day seven days a week to turn the restaurant around and eventually it turned around became quite successful became a neighborhood institution. It's been open for fourteen years and just recently closed because we lost release but it was definitely a significant part of the community so two years into that we started thinking about creating our own brand something that we felt strongly about and maison premier was really our response to this craft cocktail movement. That was happening in New York. There was just a handful of craft cocteau bars that had emerged and they're focused on like old principles and practices and techniques for proper cocktail service. And we're inspired by that. But we felt that they were lacking a lot of other things like hospitality and their wine list weren't very good. Their beer menus weren't very good and they didn't have great. Atmosphere tend to be a small bar maybe underground or often alley and they had proper ice and acre using fresh ingredients and drinks were good but it was lacking atmosphere so we wanted to create something that was a bit more complete an immersive and some as premier was an evolution over the course of probably two years developing creatively. The idea we are inspired by Paris and inspired by New Orleans and inspired by old oyster taverns in New York City and so it's kind of a hybrid of lots of things one being a cocktail bar one being inspired by old hotels proper service. That were kind of grand and opulent and then this kind of Parisian craftsmanship quality and that kind of attitude and so it's really kind of a combination of all those things together some months ago. Now you teams the hawks. Ten oser groups open sea bird here in London on his collaboration. Come to happen. Well I believe number of the Members of Hawks Tin had visited restaurants and Brooklyn and really enjoyed the experiences they reach out to us and said that they're opening hotel in London and contacted us about taking a trip over to check out the space and it was intriguing and exciting for us to travel to London. Potentially to work with the hotel group here so we did came over and checked out the space. The rooftop of the Hawks ten suffolk and we realized that the space was amazing. I had tons of potentials really large space. One hundred see restaurant indoors under eighty five seats outdoors and it was a big concrete box with lots of glass windows at the time and so it was a bit intimidating and so we took some time to think about how we could develop a vision for the space that was compelling interesting and that would drive people to want to cross the river and explore this rooftop and a neighborhood that maybe was less familiar to most and so the concept for us was about kind of escapism and travel in this idea of escaping this industrial city and potentially taking someone from London to maybe the Mediterranean within a short elevator flight from the ground floor to the rooftop so josh and Kristof. You've been working together for a long time and William many who saw the bud rector has been your was it longest-standing staff member right. Yeah nine years. We just turned nine years last week. And we'll sit down with us They've gotten out six weeks before month or six weeks before opening. Now telling me about the bruises what kind of discussions you had before opening seabird was it. You wanted to bring to London from Brooklyn is your idea of greatest retaliated that you thought underneath. Well I think that you know. We tried to immerse ourselves in Lund in food and beverage for a couple of weeks trying to take in everything. Obviously there's a lot to take in but as time went on. I think we realized that again. This sort of hybrid notion that Josh's mentioning seem to be a gap in London being on a rooftop having excellent quality in food and beverage and hospitality style. I think is something that we really want to focus on and most of all just sort of bringing a warmth in strong concept to the hawks. Ten Hotel brand. I think was key element. I think is interesting. What you just mentioned earlier that he talks about creating a lovely environments a contract worth you mentioned but it was very much about the atmosphere about the feeling you get when you get these escapism. Yeah we use escapism. We're just that meaning. What do you create? What are the small tricks that created that right welcoming feeling when customers come in for sure and I think for us? It has a lot to do with our travels to Paris years ago when we were developing our first restaurant. I took over the first restaurant which was a small bistro fourteen years ago. You know we went to. France studied these restaurants. But at the same time we were there. We're just kind of totally blown away by the amount of history integrity that was involved in the design and the set dressing if you will and so that influenced us this idea of creating environment that when you step into it. You believe you're somewhere else so if it's a French bistro and you're creating French world when you step inside and the curtains block out. Today's reality on the street. And when you're inside that restaurant for an hour you believe you're in Paris or maison premier when you step in the doors and the doors closed behind you and those opaque glass that blocks out the storefront. You're in our world and so we can manipulate you with the sound in the sense and the service and the drinks and the atmosphere so it's like stepping into a movie and so we believe the restaurants that we build we approach it like moviemaking so you obviously have a narrative and then you have your set design and you have your characters which would be your staff and the uniforms and all the props which would be the things that you're servicing your guest with and so you're creating this immersive experience into a world as opposed to just dining room and even restaurants that are chef driven. It's really about potentially an ego from a chef for a bartender. Let's say it's really about their food and beverage and what's in the drink and for us. We think a great experience goes beyond just food and Bev which are striving to have the best food in bed but at the same time we want you to be in an atmosphere that is completely transporting. So if it's a French story want to feel like you're in Paris and if it's seabird we want you to feel like maybe escaped the city and you're in the Mediterranean. We're not telling you wearing the Mediterranean but the tropical atmosphere the colorful drinks the attitude and the design of the uniforms. The white floors the soft curtains. You know the fresh air and the sun and the playlist in the background. It's really transporting you not to be in the mindset. You're in the hawks ten or you're in London or something but that you're somewhere celebrating on holiday. We liked that idea that living in an industrial city. Whether it's New York or London that set five or six o'clock you can get an elevator get into a car within a few minutes transported to another place. I'd like to. Yoy deals when it comes to good customer service so definitely have our own internal kind of operations manual that we have a template that will use for each restaurant but then obviously each restaurant has a different style of service different atmosphere and potentially geographically. It's a different city or country so I think you take into consideration what it is. You're trying to achieve with the narrative and so I think a place like maize on premier. The standards of service are much higher. Because we're inspired by refined courier service. That's a bit more kind of timeless and sophisticated a place like seabird. The attitude was kind of summer holiday. And so there's a laid back confidence that we want to staff to have lots of smiling and interaction kind of playfulness. So less serious. We want people to have a good time. So I think it's important that the staff are trained to contribute to the atmosphere by having kind of a light attitude and be friendly and engaging as opposed to some restaurants where there are a bit more formal in serious. You train your staff Aug the a bit more formal in terms of the communication with the guest. How different saw London and New York as destinations for boss? Do you think people want different things? If it's more cocktail bar related. I think that the answer would be a little different. If it's more food related and I just think there are two separate things obviously. There's lots of overlap as I said earlier when we really immersed ourselves in for the first time in food and beverage here in London. I think that we were really excited by a lot of the restaurants that were on our lists. You know I think the thing about New York is that you're always moving and always pushing forward and always going out to restaurants and try new things. I think it's very much a part of the culture there and so you know we're excited to get on a plane and just try a bunch of new things. I think that London really has a lot of emerging talent. I think that New York seems to have a style of diversity and energy. Though that we're still trying to find here not in a bad way but tells more about us talking about it often and I think we WANNA be careful about how we sure opinions on because I think London's a great city it's obviously diverse and there's a lot of exciting things happening but I think we all reference New York privately in London as London. It reminds us of New York fifteen years ago so a lot of people here think it's really progressive and there's so many things happening but I would say New York is many times more competitive many times more creative and many times more immersive in terms of some of the experiences that are happening. I think it's just the nature of New York and it's because it's such a competitive city of people from around the world that historically immigrants coming there nothing that are fighting to establish themselves and today that still exists. Maybe it's not the same type of person that travels to New York from a different country but it could be people that are from Ohio from Chicago. La have packed up their bags and moved to New York and they want to make a name for themselves. There's a competitiveness General New York that obviously translates into the food and Bev scene. And you happen to see things that on a daily basis we take for granted were there but are obviously above average now when we think about it and we visit London so there's a great food scene here but I think New York is definitely a decade ahead and a lot of ways not to contradict or feelings about New York but the downside of that. Sometimes if you. I think we've talked about this. A lot is sorta chase her own tail. So you know. I think London is going awesome direction but in New York. There's just sort of a lot of people picking up on trends and following trends and it's the same everywhere you know is globalization happens. I think you're starting to notice that every city this one question. I have to ask about see birth. So can you give us an idea of what's wrong with F for example when it comes to cocktails anything that particularly proud of? I think we're looking at the idea of rooftops in is. Josh was saying escapism and trying to play into that while not you know making seabird a cocktail bar. I think that the power that Maison has talking about is that it's a lot of things it can be any number of things any time of Day. You walk into it so it seabird similarly. It's a rooftop but it catches a lot of sunlight and it's a beautiful place to be during the daytime not. Everybody feels like drinking cocktails or certainly not heavy cocktails in the daytime. So I think there's sort of a just like Josh was talking about the attitude of servers and service style. There's a lightness. There's a playfulness. There's whimsical drinks. That sort of don't take themselves too seriously. But they're still emphasis on sort of the primary nature of each ingredient. Sourcing is very important to me personally for spirits and for all ingredients that go into the drinks as his technique so those are sort of key elements that we employ as on that we really try to bring to seabird but in a slightly lighter way those ingredients you mentioned. I think London seems to have an obsession with non alcoholic drinks as well as a low alcohol drinks as well as just sort of up and coming different ways of serving drinks like draft cocktails and such so those are things that are not as trendy in New York at the moment and I thought it would be a good time to tip our feet into it so we do play around with some of those things but for me when I talk about sourcing. I really am talking about choices of Skirt producers and who we choose to support and think a lot of times that seems to be an afterthought with a lot of bars and it seems so in London as well certainly as New York but we really tried to bring that front and center here before I let you go just you and and kristoff plans to have for the future. Now see boats being running for a few months now to have something in the horizon. What kind of future plans seabird is alive and well and for US? We definitely have an interest in expanding our company and our brand and right now we have some interesting opportunities in the hotel world. So I can't get into too many details right now but we're definitely going to be growing and growing pretty quickly here in most likely growing in different parts of the world in also in the US. Yeah not only in the US. So it's exciting to travel in the bill to learn about new cities new cultures and work with New People and were inspired by it inspired by London and the opportunities we have here and we want to continue to do great work and bring compelling stories to different parts of the World Josiah Boise Kristof Discount William of Brooklyn Semester Premier and London's Seabird Ristorante. There you are with the menu and monocle twenty four before this week's Dina zones recommendation. We head to the door of Valley in Portugal to talk about one of the country's most priced exports pours wine for centuries this well-known fortified wine is being produced by a collection of well established names under strict regulations. But now one family of grape growers has decided to end to business by reviving a long extinct pours. Wine House Monaco's Ivan Cavalier reports from the DOE Ravelli where he has been meeting up with the new owners of noble antimony. Lots Portugal's Dora. Valley is the world's oldest demarcated wine region. It all began with mother. Nature as Door River Corp. deep valleys out of the land two thousand years ago man then transformed the schist mountains into soil and planted vines on steep terraces today connoisseurs visit for its most famous product. Port Sima Corrigo in the heart of the door is home to the top. Poor producers is also home to Alexander Batallio and his uncle Antonio Tavita a family who has grown grapes for fourteen generations in past decades winds from their vineyards were bought by well-known port. Wine labels to use in blends to make great dishes in two thousand twelve. The family opted to sell under their own label noble and Murat making port according to traditional methods. Now we are inside noble. And we're at winery. This is where the magic happens. So we typically. We had pick six parcels very vines from around Sima Core Region. Which is the best region for sourcing Grapes for port wine? And we hadn't picked them and we feel individually with each parcel like this which is basically a shallow grammy tank where fermentation takes place. In the first two nights they'll are foot through them by a ratio of two men for each five hundred fifty liters which is quite a lot of people in niche like add and they foot trade this which is the traditional method. They've put this as the two first nights for three hours. This commitment to the old ways is seemed to in the name. The two chose for their company. The noble in Morocco name has an important legacy in the world of port. Nolan Moran was one of the first British brands to be established in the eighteenth century in Porto at the time they were general traders. Which was the way to go at the time they were very very important illustrious brand and they ended up disappearing or ceasing. The brand in the beginning of the twentieth century so we decided to make reborn. These faded brand to his former glory and twist former fame despite being a young company. The family has an advantage. Thanks to vineyard plots some century old older parcells we we pick. They are made a very very old vines with mix grape varieties. So we know exactly how many and what creeper riotous make the blend the total blend so what we seek in Oakland Moratti's to isolate and expression of Harare of the mix the grip variety mix and blend of which plot so even the brandy. We use we try to be. The most neutral in terms ever Roma's possible to not spoil this profile leaving their estate Broza on the North Bank of the door. We had south of the river to Valdo Taylor. We'll tell you and uncle age wine in massive chestnut barrels here as Antonio poor samples. His nephew explains their focus on quality. Instead of making sweet will be boards and classic Tony's they produce vintage and late bottled vintage ports wines matron from a single year rather than blended from different harvest. The Lake Popovich. It's very important for novel and more. Because in our production we focus on production of vintage port each year. We tried to get the best of the plots week. And then if it is vintage is having such port. We buckled it as vintage and if the year is not outstanding we choose to wage this these winds for a little further and buckle them as a lake buckle vintage which is what the name means. It's vintage buckled. Two years later so we can sense here the the pretty much the same aromas vintage port but with the extra aging. We tried to round the wind a bit to commit ten. The tenants F. A. Y. Of the vintage 2012 seeks years in Chestnut Alexander. What do you think this is a mixed Evertonian? The Ruby to wind that as still some fruit aromas very present but also has some aging aromas of leather and chestnut the proper chestnut where it's a very balanced wine It's very elegant. And it has the trademark acidity and dryness of Noble unwrap ports after several releases news has gotten out about their niche product with critics near and far happy to see the revival of the Noble Murat name a pioneering Port Company but now appears to be in safe hands for monocle in the door. Oh Valley I'm having volume and thus offer this edition of the menu for previous episode of this program. Kyoto's website soundcloud or apple podcasts. And remember to subscribe to the so that it automatically arrives onto your device every week. For more food and stories check out our menus spinoff show food neighborhoods. It's a special podcast. Thus takes you to some of the world's most interesting cool in our district and it premiers every Tuesday. This show was exit and to mix to by David. Stephen Silas Bluffs Nora. Hugh and check Julius models. Hey Babe was again we finish this broker with Edina sounds recommendation? These weeks direct is from Norway. Here is Anna off the north with lovers. Thanks for listening. Shut Down Simon.

London New York City South Korea North Korea Lee Brooklyn Josh North Korean Dish Nang US Restaurant Jinshan Hawks Paris red food hawks North Korean Fair maison premier Seoul Mediterranean William Elliot