There have been a few posts about this new up and coming Italian joint and I had to check it out for myself! Il Gattino is not even open yet, but if you are able to call/message ahead to get a reservation, you may be able to enjoy a quality, fresh homemade Italian meal with all ingredients made from scratch!

Giovanni, the restaurant owner, wanted to open up an Italian restaurant with the concept that they have in Italy - that you go out to eat a great Italian meal simply because you don't want to cook at home! Italian restaurants in Seoul have more of the concept of either fancy over-priced Italian dishes or flavours/combinations altered to fit the Korean palette. Il Gattino's main chef, Flavia, is also actually Italian, and all items are made from scratch, fresh, cooked and prepared at the time of it being ordered. Think fresh homemade pastas, cheese, sauce, breads, starters and desserts! Mamma mia!

The most amazing addition to all of this is that Giovanni was outraged at how all the Italian restaurants in Seoul are so overpriced especially for what you get. Il Gattino's food is not only amazingly fresh and delicious, but it is also amazingly priced for such a quality Italian meal - whether in Seoul or in Italy!

This lovely starter comes with your meal. Hot toasted ciabatta bread with mushroom spread and a black olive tapenade. I looooveee this black olive spread. It wasn't too salty here and the flavours were rich mixed in with the good quality olive oil. 

This lovely starter comes with your meal. Hot toasted ciabatta bread with mushroom spread and a black olive tapenade. I looooveee this black olive spread. It wasn't too salty here and the flavours were rich mixed in with the good quality olive oil. 

Since they aren't even open yet, I wasn't too sure what their drink/wine list was. We went with a red wine, but when I asked the new server what kind of red wine it was, he was obviously still in training because he answered very matter of fact that I ordered a red wine. I just said thank you while we had a good laugh. 

Since they aren't even open yet, I wasn't too sure what their drink/wine list was. We went with a red wine, but when I asked the new server what kind of red wine it was, he was obviously still in training because he answered very matter of fact that I ordered a red wine. I just said thank you while we had a good laugh. 


Part of the different experience eating here was that Giovanni comes to your table and has a full discussion about the menu and what we should order according to our preference. I normally have so many questions with waiters about the dishes that they get annoyed, but Giovanni was great and was willingly offered suggestions and described all the menu items with passion. It was clear he was proud of his quality and freshness of his dishes by also explaining how many minutes and seconds each dish would take to prepare and come out!

We went with the pasta with fresh tomato sauce, eggplant/aubergine and generous portion of mozzarella. There was one pretty basil leaf on top for decoration. It was nice to look at, but the only thing I wish is that we had some more basil! I love fresh basil!

We went with the pasta with fresh tomato sauce, eggplant/aubergine and generous portion of mozzarella. There was one pretty basil leaf on top for decoration. It was nice to look at, but the only thing I wish is that we had some more basil! I love fresh basil!

The noodles were cooked to a perfect 'al dente", and the fresh mozzarella complimented the acidity of the tomatoes as it melted into the dish as we ate. The sauce to noodle ration was great with just the right amount of sauce left at the bottom of the plate to try with the last bites of gnocchi we had at the end. 

The noodles were cooked to a perfect 'al dente", and the fresh mozzarella complimented the acidity of the tomatoes as it melted into the dish as we ate. The sauce to noodle ration was great with just the right amount of sauce left at the bottom of the plate to try with the last bites of gnocchi we had at the end. 

Fresh gnocchi made with real butter and fresh parmesan cheese. There was a touch of lemon zest and black pepper  on top which you could also really tasted to contrast against the creamy and richness of the gnocchi and sauce. They called this "alfredo sauce" but it is not the butchered fake cheesy white sauce you will find in a glass jar or at Earls (for the Vancouver folks). They serve this with tomato sauce and fresh mozzarella cheese as well, but since we had a tomato based sauce for our pasta, I'm glad we went with this. It was great to eat together with the tomato sauce of our other dish too. It is a bit milder of a flavour than you may expect, so if you're looking for something very cheesy/creamy, this isn't what you may thinking. It's just all natural straight up butter and parmesan cheese!

Fresh gnocchi made with real butter and fresh parmesan cheese. There was a touch of lemon zest and black pepper  on top which you could also really tasted to contrast against the creamy and richness of the gnocchi and sauce. They called this "alfredo sauce" but it is not the butchered fake cheesy white sauce you will find in a glass jar or at Earls (for the Vancouver folks). They serve this with tomato sauce and fresh mozzarella cheese as well, but since we had a tomato based sauce for our pasta, I'm glad we went with this. It was great to eat together with the tomato sauce of our other dish too. It is a bit milder of a flavour than you may expect, so if you're looking for something very cheesy/creamy, this isn't what you may thinking. It's just all natural straight up butter and parmesan cheese!

I am normally the type to over-order, eat a bit of everything, and then be okay if there are leftovers. That is not okay in the house of Italians, so that was not okay at Il Gattino's either! He strongly suggested us not to order starters so we could finish our main dishes and taste the desserts - which we weren't able to have until every bite of pasta was finished! I am so thankful we weren't allowed to order the starter because there would've been no way we could've finished everything! I was already stuffed after sharing the bread and two mains, but we had to try the desserts of course!

The tiramisu. I haven't had a real tiramisu I liked in a long time until this. Homemade, from scratch with fresh ingredients. How can you go wrong?

The tiramisu. I haven't had a real tiramisu I liked in a long time until this. Homemade, from scratch with fresh ingredients. How can you go wrong?

The lady fingers were well soaked in coffee and rum and there was a perfect ratio of mascarpone cheese, cream and vanilla with shaved bitter-sweet chocolate on top. The only down fall was the design of the jar - as you ate it, the lid out-weighed the bottom, so it kept tipping and falling over. I would change the design of the jar, but there are no complaints about the dessert itself!

The lady fingers were well soaked in coffee and rum and there was a perfect ratio of mascarpone cheese, cream and vanilla with shaved bitter-sweet chocolate on top. The only down fall was the design of the jar - as you ate it, the lid out-weighed the bottom, so it kept tipping and falling over. I would change the design of the jar, but there are no complaints about the dessert itself!

Il Gattino's special secret dessert. He called it several different names, but pretty much it's a lady fingers in a creamy chocolate and vanilla type pudding/mousse with walnuts sprinkled all in the dessert. 

Il Gattino's special secret dessert. He called it several different names, but pretty much it's a lady fingers in a creamy chocolate and vanilla type pudding/mousse with walnuts sprinkled all in the dessert. 

The lightness of the cream melted in your mouth. My friend loved this dessert - I don't love walnuts so that was the only thing for me. My preference was the classic tiramisu. 

The lightness of the cream melted in your mouth. My friend loved this dessert - I don't love walnuts so that was the only thing for me. My preference was the classic tiramisu. 

Next time, I really want to try the eggplant/aubergine starter, the meat lasagna or short pasta with bolognese sauce. I love a great tomato base pasta sauce made from scratch and the one definitely did not disappoint!


I love Italian food whenever I'm in Italy (Rome and Vicenza area are the only two places I've been), but I was never a fan of Italian food in Korea because it was over-priced for something that didn't taste the same. 

Our whole meal - 2 main dishes, 2 desserts and 2 glasses of red wine all together only came out to 45 000won!!! For the quality of food we got, that is incredible! He even offered us coffee on the house after the meal to enjoy!

Il Gattino's concept is spot on and if you are looking for a fresh, delicious home-cooked Italian meal, Giovanni will serve it to you. I don't know if they will continue to be able to cater when they officially open, but for now, if you message him specific dishes you are craving, he will do his best to even prepare them for you if you can get a reservation. I hope that once they are in full operation, they will still be able to maintain the great food, service and price that we got to experience during this soft opening. 


Round 2 of Il Gattino!

Toasted grain bread with home-made fresh butter with salt & cracked black pepper, The butter was light and melts as it even touches you tongue. They whip this up from fresh cream in the restaurant - nice touch of sea-salt and cracked black pepper in each bite. It was so good we actually even just ate the remaining butter!

Toasted grain bread with home-made fresh butter with salt & cracked black pepper, The butter was light and melts as it even touches you tongue. They whip this up from fresh cream in the restaurant - nice touch of sea-salt and cracked black pepper in each bite. It was so good we actually even just ate the remaining butter!

Got to try a starter this time - Layers of eggplant, tomato sauce with melted mozzarella, parmesan and basil. Some of my favourite ingredients all in one dish! I would order this again and again. 

Got to try a starter this time - Layers of eggplant, tomato sauce with melted mozzarella, parmesan and basil. Some of my favourite ingredients all in one dish! I would order this again and again. 

A hearty portion for a starter - well balanced ratio of eggplant to sauce and cheese. We finished this off with more toasted bread.

A hearty portion for a starter - well balanced ratio of eggplant to sauce and cheese. We finished this off with more toasted bread.

The original carbonara - made with just egg yolks, bacon, onions topped with fresh grated cheese on top. 

The original carbonara - made with just egg yolks, bacon, onions topped with fresh grated cheese on top. 

Noodles were cooked to an al-dente, just the right thickness to pick up the sauce with each bite. Giovanni told me the name of the pasta but I can't remember now! It started with a "t" I think!

Noodles were cooked to an al-dente, just the right thickness to pick up the sauce with each bite. Giovanni told me the name of the pasta but I can't remember now! It started with a "t" I think!

Delizia al limone - a lemon cream dessert to finish. We hardly had room for this, but shared one anyways. 

Delizia al limone - a lemon cream dessert to finish. We hardly had room for this, but shared one anyways. 

Nice light melt in your mouth cream with a citrus touch and soaked ladyfingers. It was good - but we are always too full at this point, and have more of a savoury tooth than a sweet one. I still prefer the tiramisu the best - it's bias though because tiramisu and creme brûlée (although French), are my two favourite desserts!

Nice light melt in your mouth cream with a citrus touch and soaked ladyfingers. It was good - but we are always too full at this point, and have more of a savoury tooth than a sweet one. I still prefer the tiramisu the best - it's bias though because tiramisu and creme brûlée (although French), are my two favourite desserts!

The starter was 10 000w, pasta 12 000w and the dessert 5000w. He change the white wine to a nice chardonnay and each glass was 5000won. Again, amazing prices for such a great quality meal!


Currently a soft opening, so all of the official information/menu is not out yet. But it's kitty corner across from Bonny's Pizza in HBC. It is currently located inside "Good to Go" cafe, but it will soon have a new sign and be revamped once it is officially opened!

Here is the facebook page for more details: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Il-Gattino/447958158677680?sk=info

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