There is one new winery restaurant that is on everyone's lips at the moment... Chef Mun at Casarena Winery. After only opening a month ago, this Korean born chef has already made it to Number 1 on Trip Advisor for best restaurant in Mendoza, and it is no surprise with his fantastic food and unique flavours.
Open only on Saturday nights for now, you arrive at the winery with all the other guests at 9pm (with unusual punctuality for Mendoza!) for a glass of champagne outside by the vines. Everyone sits together inside the atmospheric wine cellar, for what Chef Mun explains as a chance to 'share food with new people and make new friends'. Although at first the usual awkward 'what do you do?' conversation ensues, this is fortunately fabulously easy food to bond over...
The five course menu features small, well presented dishes cooked with authentic korean ingredients as well as lots of local produce. Some of the highlights include his Korean Summer Soup paired with a Sauvignon Blanc, the complexity of the soup between sweet and sour; earthy flavours of sesame, shitake mushroom and mustard; and fresh combination with cucumber makes it quite an explosion in the mouth and disappears from the plate within an instant. Interesting pairings like Pinot Noir with korean style sushi also keep your palate entertained.
A great example of his blending of Korean and Argentina dishes is the final savoury course of filet mignon served in a soy sauce and malbec reduction with a spicy wasabi mash potato. Other courses are a bold statement of loyalty to Asian flavours like the green tea ice cream with summer fruits, which is very unique alongside the late harvest Cabernet Sauvignon.
Without a doubt the evening wraps up with tickled taste buds and a group of new friends around the table. Spice-starved gringos in town will instantly fall in love and Chef Mun's experience in Mendoza is certainly memorable. This will undoubtedly be a hot ticket in Mendoza for quite some time.
Dinner parties will be hosted for the rest of the year until February when a new separate restaurant will be inaugurated. The menu includes five courses and a tasting of wine with each for $320 pesos. More wine can be ordered by the bottle. www.chefmun.com
Amanda Barnes is a British journalist living in Mendoza and is desperate for a bit of Korean kimchi in case anyone would like to recommend a secret supplier or international cabbage mule. She is also oh so very excited to see more sushi being made in Mendoza!