COOKand (Gyeongju)

Review by Stephen Speers, ETA ’15-’16

City: Gyeongju

Restaurant Name: COOKand

Foods Served: Italian

Restaurant Address: 경북 경주시 노동동 14번지 (Just Naver cookand)

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Directions: 

Luckily, the restaurant will pop up if you type “cookand” into Naver! The establishment is right by the tombs downtown. If you’re heading from the train station, walk four streets down in the opposite direction and turn left and continue until the tombs are on your left. From the bus terminal, you can walk down the main street (heading towards the train terminal) and turn left after the second tomb! Your walk from either location should be a nice five to ten minute stroll!

Cost: $$- Considering that Italian food tends to be quite expensive in Korea, I would say that COOKand is a pretty great deal. The meals are in the neighborhood of 9,000-12,000 won and they serve sangrias and glasses of wine for around 6,000 won! If you plan to dine and drink then I would go expecting to spend around 18,000-20,000 won. (Hey– they do throw in a free fortune cookie 😉 )

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Atmosphere / Decor:

COOKand is the epitome of cute meets Italian food. The restaurant looks like something you’d find on a girl’s artsy tumblr page— meaning, it’s creatively designed with a unique color palette, has some hipsterish photos pinned on the walls, and there’s a minimal nature-y vibe going on. But what really set’s this place apart from other restaurants in Korea is that you can view historic tombs just outside the window! The green tombs provide a beautiful backdrop to your delicious Italian meal in Korea.

Wait time:

I think lunch or early evening is the best time to go, so that you can see the gorgeous hobbit-like tombs in the sunlight. The restaurant also lights up quite nicely too.

Service:

I wish every menu in Korea was like COOKand’s— it is in English WITH photos for each meal! How perfect. It’s also a small little flip book which is creative (tumblr-esque~). Ordering can be as simple as pointing and reading aloud! Also— make sure to note that they sometimes have specials of the day on a board.

Specialties:

You’re coming to COOKand for the Italian cuisine and possibly the affordable wine and sangrias! The Sangrias are fruity and tasty as ever. I strongly recommend one for the wait, one for the meal, and who knows— maybe one for dessert? The menu is full of great options to fulfill any pasta lover’s desire. Personally, I love cream sauces so I always go for the shrimp with white cream sauce. However, they also have some fresh tasting olive oil dishes, tomato-based pasta sauces, and so on. I’ve frequented the establishment four times and I always order the same meal— but I also always enjoy whatever I sample from my guest! Also, at the end they provide you with fortune cookies. But beware, the fortune cookies are only in Korean. So unless the power of Korean flows strong with you, then you may feel sad like me wondering what the fortune possibly could have been. Or make a game of it and create your own fortune (wealth, love, fame, world domination)!

Why I always come back:

I always come back to COOKand for the affordable Sangrias and because I really miss pasta. Honestly, the pasta is also much better than whatever I can muster up at home. I hope to go someday with a coteacher… maybe they’ll translate my fortune cookie ^.^