This past weekend was utterly exhausting! A lot was accomplished, in a small period of time; Faraaz and I returned home with 2 camera’s full of photos so be prepared for a few intensive posts this week!
The weekend commenced as it does, on Friday evening. Faraaz & I decided that we were going to go on a date and for that to happen, we needed a special place to eat. Ironically I had heard good things about a mysterious restaurant near Cheonan-Asan Station. If you live in Chungnam province and want to catch the KTX train, this is the only place to do it. A restaurant near a train station doesn’t seem very appealing but we kept an open mind.
Some things in Korea are like giant secrets that people only whisper about behind closed facebook groups. People go to amazing restaurants out of Seoul but when asked for the directions, they clam up and “can’t remember how they ended up there.” Alameda Brunch & Pasta is such a place. Tucked away and often ignored due to its proximity across from Asan’s swankiest depart store (Galleria), this place is difficult to find; you would be unlikely to find this gem unless you are a Cheonan/Asan local.
But once you find it, you are in for a treat. Alameda is a tiny restaurant. When we stepped inside we were immediately reminded of going to visit a friend of relative and being seated in their big kitchen while they prepared a meal. You almost feel tempted to ask if there is “anything I can do?”
Owner Jae has opened up the kitchen for all to see his home cooking, and has created a warm homely space which is dominated by wood, with wooden table and chairs, wooden shelving on both walls, and wooden counter tops. The display shelves are filled with good looking imported sauces and beers.
The place is tiny and can seat 15 people maximum. We got a complementary salad to start and ordered one risotto and one cream pasta. The incredible tossed salad (mixed greens, onions, cherry tomatoes and balsamic vinaigrette) was a good prelude to the upcoming meal.
It must be known that the owner is also the waiter and chef; he took our orders swiftly and proceeded to cook our meals all by himself.
My seafood linguine in cream sauce was creamy and flavourful. The taste of the seafood was thick and the portion of seafood was generous, considering the price. It was topped with three different kinds of mushroom and chives. Mouth-watering.
Faraaz’s porcini & field mushroom risotto had a strong tomato taste (perfect for him) with hints of lemon, thyme, honey &balsamic vinegar. He polished that off super quickly!
I was a bit gob smacked by the dessert section in the menu as there were too many things I wanted to try – how to choose? Best fixed by a return visit I think. We couldn’t fit another morsel in us after our main courses so we had to pass on the dessert.
All in all, a fantastic dining experience in an unlikely place. Quite a few vegetarian options if you are not a meat fan. Portions are large and can be shared between small eaters. Prices were a bit above average but you get what you pay for and boy is it worth it! Looking forward to going back for a proper breakfast and a waffle soon.
Bottom line: Combine the food with the service here and you’ve got a real winner.
Best tip: If you are planning ahead do book as the place can get busy.
How to get to Alameda Brunch & Pasta:
From Asan Station, walk to Cheonan/Asan Station. Leave the station through exit 2 and you will see the Galleria department store on your left. This restaurant is right near the Galleria so walk toward it. If you go across the street from the Galleria, you’ll see a Cafe Bene on the corner. Walk away from the Galleria and cross the road toward the Caffe Bene. Keep walking for about 2 minutes and you’ll see Alameda on your right-hand side.
The owner, Jae speaks English. You can email or phone him for better directions: