Would you pay 140,000 won (116 USD) for a hamburger? Well, in Seoul people are lining up to do just that. Gordon Ramsay Burger in Seoul has become the hottest burger joint in Seoul with their 1966 Burger making headlines. Its grand opening was on Jan 7, 2022 Lines outside the restaurant were massive, visitors waited hours just to get a seat. Seoul has thousands of burger options, why has this particular restaurant become such a huge trend, and is it worth the hype?
Gordon Ramsay’s Korean Rep
Gordon Ramsay is hugely popular around the world and Korea is no exception.
Although Hell’s Kitchen never aired on TV here in Korea and few people have actually watched the show, it would be difficult to find someone in Korea who doesn’t know of Gordon Ramsay. His fame in Korea took off in 2017 when he visited the country and he participated in several variety shows.
Before visiting Korea, few Koreans knew of Ramsay and many who did had a negative impression of the superstar chef. His frank and explosive TV personality doesn’t match well with Korea’s more subtle, indirect culture. However, his in-person visit changed all of that.
In 2017 he visited Korea, participating in a travel food program, a Cass beer commercial, and a popular variety show, what’s in my fridge, among other media activities. Throughout all of his Korean media appearances, Ramsay was unusually polite and calm.
His most famous appearance was with a travel show. He sampled Korea’s classic street food at Gwangjang Market. There, he was hand-fed kimbap by a Korean ajumma and shared positive feedback of all the food he ate. Additionally, he defended Korea’s most popular domestic beer Cass against foreign correspondents who claimed the beverage was weak. All in all, his time in Korea gained him the reputation of one of the most respected and well-liked foreign celebrities in the country.
Naturally, one of Korea’s most loved celebrities launching a restaurant in Seoul was going to make headlines. Additionally, the prices have also played a huge factor in the viral nature of the launch.
Burger prices start at 27,000 won and go all the way up to 140,000 won. This is a huge contrast to other burger joints in Korea which usually range from 5,000 to 10,000 won. Besides hamburgers, the restaurant also offers Snacks including mac & cheese and hummus, Hot Dawgs, salads, shakes, and cocktails. All of which are considered on the higher end of the pricing scale for Seoul.
How is It?
So far the reviews written by those who have eaten at Gordon Ramsay Burger in Seoul have been mixed. Reviewers can be found debating the practicality of the pricing. Some find the idea of a 30,000 won burger outrageous, while others argue that a burger from a Michelin-star chef at the price is a steal.
On Naver, the restaurant has yet to be given a star ranking. However, the top three selected aspects of the restaurant are as follows; ‘Special Menu’, ‘The Food is Delicious’, ‘Chic Interior’. Many of the reviewers on the platform expressed their excitement about Gordon Ramsey’s first launch in Aisa and stated that the wait was worth such an amazing meal.
On Kakao maps, the restaurant has earned a current rating of 3.0. The majority of the reviews have been written by those in their teens and 20s, 59% identifying as women. The comments focusing on the food itself have been overwhelmingly positive. However, the comments about the wait and the price? Not so great.
Many reviewers have noted the price discrepancies between the restaurant’s Seoul location and other international locations. For example, one user rated the restaurant as one star, including a screenshot from the local news showing the price discrepancy for the same burger in three different countries. In the United States, the burger is 20,000 won, 25,000 in the UK and 31,000 won in South Korea.
The controversy related to the pricing has gotten quite heated. Currently, review sites are around 50/50 legitimate reviews and rage comments. Many users have told negative reviewers that they are uncultured and should go to Loteria (an infamous Korean burger brand that is known for its subpar burgers).
Meanwhile, some have been inspired by their struggles to get a reservation. Memes and comic strips have begun circulating both on review sites and Instagram.
However, in my opinion, the pricing disparity isn’t that large and may not even exist when tax, tips, and the price of importing ingredients are taken into account. In Las Vegas, for example, the sales tax would be around 8% and then you would be expected to pay an additional 15 ~25% in tips. Other cities in the US have even higher sales and dining taxes so the price would be even higher.
Nevertheless, I’d be afraid to go to Gordon Ramsay Burger in Seoul at this point. After such a long wait I’d probably lose my sense of judgment and buy the 140,000 won burger. I’m American. And so, I have student loans, I can’t do that. I do love Gordon Ramsey though, so I’d be willing to try it out in a month or two once the lines have gone down.
Gordon Ramsay Burger Address: Lotte World Tower B1, Olympic-ro, 300, Songpa-gu, Seoul Operating Hours: 10:30am - 8:15pm (Last Order) everyday Directions: Jamsil Station (Line 2) Exit 2. Stay at B1 and walk left from Exit 2 towards Exit 1.
Gordon Ramsay Burger in Seoul is located in Lotte World Mall. The mall includes Lotte Tower, Korea’s largest building and the 5th tallest building in the world. To learn more about this amazing sky scraper >>Click Here<<