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Busan's culinary coming out party has three stars

 Earlier this year, Busan debuted on the international culinary scene when it appeared as a Michelin Guide city for the first time. Of the 43 restaurants listed by Michelin, three received the coveted star status.

 Busan's three starred restaurants matches or exceeds the number in other cities, namely Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam, Izmir, Turkey, and Penang, Malaysia.

 The Michelin Guide began in 1889 when brothers Andrew and Edouard Michelin founded their eponymous tire company and were looking for a way to help motorists develop their trips; thereby boosting car sales and in turn, tire sales. The brothers developed a small guide filled with handy information for travelers, including how to change a tire and places where a weary driver could rest.

 Since then, the Michelin Guide has become one of the most reliable sources of information on restaurants around the world, and inclusion on its various lists confers unmatched prestige on an establishment.

 Each restaurant is assessed using the Michelin Guide's traditional and universal methodology, based on five criteria: The quality of the ingredients; the mastery of cooking; the harmony of flavors; the personality of the chef through the cuisine; and the consistency both over time and across the entire menu. 

 Inspectors who have at least 10 years of experience in the industry evaluate restaurants by the Michelin Star rating system: One Star for a very good restaurant in its category; Two Stars for restaurants with excellent cooking and worth a detour; Three Stars for restaurants that offer exceptional cuisine and are worth a special journey.

 Busan is proud of its three One-Star restaurants: Palate, Mori and Fiotto.

Busan's Michelin Stars


Palate's Sea Bream Caper, served with a kelp puree and lemon coulis, is one of the restaurant's most popular dishes.

■Palate (팔레트)

 Palate offers diners avant-garde French cuisine that reflects Chef Kim Jae-hoon's innovative approach. A graduate of Le Cordon Bleu Australia, Chef Kim enjoys an epicurean challenge that incorporates culinary experimentation and traditional techniques. The result is Palate's free-spirited and adventurous meals. 

 Palate's views include Yonghoman Bay Wharf and Gwangandaegyo Bridge, creating an alluring vibe that serves as a fine companion during the meal. The restaurant offers a five-course lunch menu and a seven-course dinner menu.

•Address: 66-30 Bunpo-ro, 3rd floor, Nam-gu

•Hours: Open Wednesday to Sun-day, noon to 11 p.m. Break time from 3 to 6 p.m. 

•Price: 66,000 won for lunch course and 150,000 won for dinner course

•Instagram: @palate.busan 


Ravioli filled with flounder meat, watermelon radish sprinkled with chamomile kombucha, and kale oil with a fresh scent are all handmade by the chefs at Fiotto.

■Fiotto (피오또)

 Located on Dalmaji Hill, Fiotto is a cozy Italian pasta bistro that opened in 2021. It is run and owned by a chef couple. The restaurant's pasta-only courses feature homemade or directly sourced ingredients from the owners' family farm. 

 When the chefs aren't serving fresh pasta dishes, they are on the farm actively growing and cultivating the ingredients they use in the kitchen. This farm-to-table ethos also earned Fiotto a Michelin Green Star, an annual award highlighting restaurants at the forefront of the industry regarding sustainable practices. 

•Address: 432 Jwadongsunhwan-ro, 2nd floor, Haeundae-gu

•Hours: Open Wednesday to Sunday, 5 to 10 p.m.

•Price: 75,000 won per person 

•Note: The restaurant will close from April 1 to 15. 

•instagram: @fiotto_busan 


Mori uses a charcoal grill to give dishes rich flavor and tender texture.

■Mori (모리)

 Opened in 2020, Mori is a Japanese kaiseki restaurant co-owned by a Korean chef trained in Japan and his Japanese wife, whom the restaurant is named after.

 Chef Kim Wan-gyu crafts delicate and delightful dishes that perfectly harmonize Busan's bounty of fresh seafood and seasonal produce. The seafood in every dish comes from the local market every morning.

•Address: 2-4 Pale de Cz, 24 Haeun-daehaebyeon-ro 298beon-gil, 2nd floor, Haeundae-gu

•Hours: Open 7 to 11 p.m. on Tues-days, 6 to 11 p.m. from Wednesday to Friday, and 5:30 to 11 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.

•Price: 180,000 won per person 

•Instagram: @haeundae_mori 

※ Menus, prices and/or hours may vary 

<Voca Spotlight>

culinary: 요리

exceed: 초과하다

eponymous: 이름의 시조가 된

inclusion: 포함, 포용

methodology: 방법론

Sea Bream: 도미(생선)

kelp: 해조류, 다시마

coulis: 쿨리(음식을 으깬 뒤 체에 걸러 만든 소스)

avant-garde: 전위적인

epicurean: 미식가, 식도락

wharf: 부두

alluring: 매혹적인

Ravioli: 라비올리(얇은 반죽에 속을 채운 파스타의 일종)

flounder: 가자미

watermelon radish: 수박무

kombucha: 콤부차(차를 우린 물을 발효시킨 음료)

bistro: 비스트로(규모가 작은 식당)

charcoal: 숯

kaiseki: 가이세키(일본식 코스 요리)