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!
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!
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!
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!
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