By Dan Foley
When you think of movie theater food, the typical cinema sustenance will most likely come to mind: tubs of buttered popcorn, snacks oversaturated in sugar, salt, or chocolate, and of course, mega-sized soda. While there’s nothing intrinsically wrong with this selection, for some, it leaves something to be desired. What about the movie-goer who’s craving a little bit more, the man who wants a sandwich before an action movie, or the woman who wants some pasta before a drama?
Enter Eat Nine. Funded by At Nine, this restaurant was built inside of the newly renovated Megabox Cinema next to Isu Station. Chef and food consultant Eddie Lee came in with a simple philosophy: create a menu that people would actually want to eat before sitting down for a movie. “You want to eat light before a movie,” he said. Therefore, the menu is based around food “you can eat anytime, anywhere.” Standard fare at Eat Nine includes pastas, soups, salads, and sandwiches.
Don’t think that just because the options are simple, the quality is going to suffer as a result. Eddie specializes in quality. Receiving his formal training at French Culinary Art Institute in New York, his culinary education is sound. His resume is composed of a plethora of experiences in a variety of restaurants and hotels, which ultimately led him to consulting and his current position at Eat Nine.
Quality is ensured by freshness, epitomized by the pasta. All of the noodles are freshly made, never dry, guaranteeing the pasta tastes like it’s supposed to taste. The Reginette is perhaps the best of the mix, and the mushroom cream sauce is especially tantalizing. Shying away from greasy or oily texture often found in cream sauce, Eat Nine makes a point to embrace each of the ingredients’ unique flavor for a result that is complicated and delicious. Also worth trying is the pasta served in bread bowl, a rarity in the Korean restaurant scene.
In addition to the pasta, Eat Nine offers an assortment of quality salads, sandwiches made on real bread, and two house soups (broccoli and clam chowder), all for reasonable prices that the casual movie-goer can afford. If you’re looking for a lighter fare, Eat Nine features a café, containing a range of baked goods and a decent selection of coffee and latte beverages. If you need a night cap, there’s always house beer on tap, as well as wine.
Opening night at Eat Nine consisted of an impressive brunch: jumbo prawn, kebabs, beef tar-tar, raw oysters, and an array of fruit and finger food, served with an unlimited supply of Vin Chaud, the house wine served hot. Considerations are being taken into making the buffet a recurring event.
Located on the twelfth floor of the building, the Megabox Cinema is equipped with several standard movie theaters, along with a gorgeous outdoor terrace. The terrace includes a projector and sound system, giving patrons the unique ability to watch movies while overlooking the Seoul skyline. The interior, known as “Art Nine,” exists as an art gallery and creates a classy ambiance to the cinema.
In all, this hybrid movie-theater-restaurant-café-art-gallery is certainly a must see. The food alone is worth the trip, but the atmosphere and movies truly take this venue to the next level.