It was on the first day we arrived in Seoul that our long-time business friend and hosts took us to Korean Culinary Legacy to experience dining "like a king" (in our host's words).
When we arrived at the location after a 20-minute drive from Dongdaemun, we saw that this part of town was relatively quiet; our host explained this was the business district and on the weekend it often feels desolated.
That said, when we took the elevator up to the 50th floor of the FKI Tower (Federation of Korean Industries Head Office Building), the restaurant was lively with families enjoying the 360-degree view of Seoul from the windows surrounding the restaurant on all sides. The entrance area of the restaurant doubles as a shop, where beautiful ceramic pieces and other art pieces are on display. The waiting area outside the restaurant is also beautifully designed, with a spiral staircase reminiscent of a fairytale and a small room where people can host baby showers and other special occasions for an intimate gathering.
The reason why my host referred to this dining experience as dining like a king is because of the way the menu is set up. You choose a main course from the menu that comes with small bite-size pickled vegetables and a bowl of soup and rice. Prior to your main course arriving, you can also enjoy everything from the buffet, which consists of a fried food station, noodle/soup station, stir-fry meats section, cold appetizers section and last but not least a dessert station filled with fresh fruits and patbingsu (shaved ice). So, like royalty, you can taste 20-30 different small dishes and also enjoy the main course.
We ordered the uni rice bowl, handmade hamburgers, and the grilled fish as our main courses. It was a good-sized portion, given that we had already, like royalty, went around to the food stations and filled half our stomaches with delicious dishes.
While enjoying your meal, you should not forget to take a walk out to the waiting area where you can enjoy a beautiful view of the Han River. We finished off our meals with plates of fresh fruits including supremely juicy Budo (grapes), chewy mini donuts and a patbingsu with packed with red bean and mochi. A great way to end our first evening in Seoul, stomachs full and ready for a restful sleep.