Everything about Guilty Pleasure screams charming, from the ambient lighting to the steps leading up to the patio seating area on the ground level to the presentation of the food in those adorable mini cocottes and skillets. But isn’t that part of what makes Southern food (and life) great? The charm of it all… plus the fact that this place plays better music than all the clubs in Seoul combined. (Sajangnim, you owe me a mix CD.)
After a short business trip to Atlanta (post coming soooon-ish) where I was exposed to the smorgasbord of Southern food from corn bread to collard greens to fried everything, I had a hankering for the stuff upon my arrival back to this side of the world. Hannah was craving mac and cheese so I figured, why the hell not and we tottered in our heels down the steps leading to the restaurant and found ourselves at the bar waiting to be seated. It’s a little difficult to find this place because there’s construction going on but it gives it that speakeasy feel which is charming too right?
So generally speaking, I am not one of those girls who half asses anything, (except for maybe my work outs) but unfortunately somebody wasn’t drinking and I wasn’t in the right state of mind to polish off a whole bottle. I eventually settled on the American Pie Cabernet Sauvignon which they sell by the glass (W9000) and my girl date had a sparkling water. (Just a quick sidenote here but Joyce Kong where are you when I need you?)
We decided to start with the mac & cheese (W9000) and shrimp & grits (W15000) and I just stuffed my face while Hannah tapped out some work emails and jumped on a conference call. Oddly enough, it was a bit of a deja vu experience except the last time I had someone do that to me, I was on a proper date with a hedge fund guy at a steakhouse in Manhattan and ended up having a wonderful conversation with the two lovely gay men seated at the table next to me who obviously felt very sorry for me… Yep, I guess my love life needs work wherever I am in the world…
But I digress.
The mac and cheese at Guilty Pleasure is that great combination of carbs and melted cheese that you just can’t get out of a box. Top that off with some pulled pork and you know you have a winner. And I don’t even like macaroni… I’m more of a twirl your pasta type of person. The shrimp and grits was probably my favourite thing on the menu because of the little bit of dried corn in the silky grits. Despite shrimp brain getting all over my silk blouse (note to self, must dry clean), life was good while I had this meal.
Hannah and I have a tendency to get a little greedy when we’re out so we overestimated the capacity of our bellies and ended up ordering the buttermilk fried chicken with gravy (W17000). This was the one dish that was a let down for me because the chicken was dry and the whole thing was too salty overall but the other things compensated for this particular faux pas.
By this time I was too stuffed to the try the brownie but we heard all the girls around us gushing about it so I suppose that’ll have to be saved for next time.
Addendum: I hijacked some photos from the owner’s Instagram account
2-10 Itaewon-ro 20 gil
Yongsan-gu, Seoul, Korea
T: +82 2 794 4332
Closed on Mondays