CONTRIBUTED BY ANJALI LIND
There are a lot of choices for Middle Eastern food in Itaewon, but Petra Restaurant was so good that I’m not sure we’ll spend time trying any other ones! We set out for Petra on a chilly Friday night, and it was just a 5-minute walk from the Yongsan gas station gate. Petra sits high on the hill overlooking the Itaewon arch, and it’s one floor up the street via a set of stairs on the left side of the restaurant.
The restaurant is cozy and it’s clear that a lot of time and effort have gone into the decor, which was warm and inviting. We were seated at a table with a chair on one side and a higher-than-normal bench on the other; if you don’t like towering over your dinner companion, I recommend asking for one of the tables away from the benches.
The standard water jug and glasses were already on the table, as they are in so many restaurants in Korea. The menu was huge, and we decided to start with the hummus. Be aware that pita bread doesn’t come with the hummus; you order it for 1000 won per piece. The hummus was amazing – creamy, a perfect amount of oil, and there were two delicious sauces served with it, one a creamy garlic yogurt blend, the other an addictive spicy chili mix.
For the main course, we ordered the mixed kebab and chicken biryani. The chicken biryani was very different from the Indian biryani I grew up, but it was equally good and had a fantastic blend of spices. The chicken was boneless, but ridiculously tender and succulent. The mixed kebab had pieces of grilled and spiced chicken and lamb, as well as ground lamb kebabs. All were excellent and paired very well with the biryani.
At the end of the meal, the waiter brought over two mugs of black tea. The prices were reasonable, the food was delicious, and we will be returning soon!
click to enlarge menu photos
Petra Restaurant, Seoul
Hours: Daily, 11:00-21:00
Address: 197 Itaewon-dong, Seoul
GPS Coordinates: 37.5400456, 126.99210170000003
Directions: From Noksapyeong Station (Line 6): Go out Exit 1. Cross the overpass bridge and turn right. Petra will be just a little ahead on your left, on the second floor.