Vault Steakhouse | A Seoul steakhouse you can bank on
Do you know the difference between a dry-aged steak and a wet-aged steak? Yeah I didn’t either. But I got well and properly educated when we visited Vault Steakhouse in Seoul for our 7 year wedding anniversary.
It all sounds very complicated, but wet-aging refers to a process where vacuum-sealed cuts of beef are aged in the transit time between slaughter and sale. Dry-aging, on the other hand, involves a specially designed fridge. Humidity and temperature are carefully controlled to create the perfectly aged piece of beef.
What’s so special about Vault Steakhouse Seoul?
Vault steakhouse stands out in a city full of awful to average steakhouses, not just for these perfectly aged steaks, but because it was the first steakhouse in Seoul to sell USDA Prime meat. This is the top 3% of beef produced in the entire United States and it’s the best of the best.
Sure, this might not sound all that exciting to those of you that live in countries where a quality steak is just around the corner. But when even the meat at steakhouse chains, Outback and VIPS, are chewy and full of veins, it’s really something to write home about.
Steaks at Vault are sold per 100 grams and shared between at least 2 people. Jean, the Manager at Vault steakhouse (and Agri’s soccer teammate), recommended the dry-aged porterhouse which cost 26,000 KRW/100 grams.
When our hunk of beef was cut off the cow, it weighed a grand total of 770 grams – making it the most expensive steak I’ve ever eaten in terms of absolute cost. Yes, even more than the Kobe Beef I ate at its source in Kobe, Japan.
Fortunately though, at Vault, the steak comes with 3 free side dishes – fries, balsamic onions, creamed spinach – and dessert (panna cotta) included in the price. We were graciously offered free starters of chop salad, a bacon plate, and wine by Jean, which made the price somewhat easier to swallow.
As for the steak? It was cooked perfectly medium rare, sliced into bite-sized cubes, and melted in my mouth with a depth of flavour I haven’t tasted in Seoul for quite some time. There was so much of it, that we had trouble finishing (doesn’t mean, we left a single morsel though).
Sure, it ain’t cheap. But if you’re looking for a Seoul steakhouse you can bank on, Vault is a sure bet.
Visiting Vault Steakhouse Seoul
Located in the ritzy Cheongdam area of Seoul, Vault’s 2nd floor space has a masculine feeling interior, with low light, smooth jazz and dark panelled walls. It makes you want to sit down with a fine cigar in one hand and a high quality drink in the other.
It’s strongly recommended that you make reservations for your meal. It’s been successful since its opening in August of 2014, but it’s enjoyed a recent jump in popularity since it was featured in a scene of the popular Korean drama 수요미식회.
It was also included in Korea’s inaugural edition of the Michelin Guide in 2017.
There’s valet parking outside the restaurant for 3000 won, or you can reach it via Apgujeong-Rodeo subway exit 3 or 4.
What’s the best steak you’ve ever eaten? Do you have a favourite steakhouse?
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My ex Wayne was a huge fan of steaks, and we frequently ate at places like the Fairmont Chateau Whistler (Canada), and whichever hotel we were staying at on any given weekend. In Korea, we really enjoyed the steak at “The Kitchen Del Vino” in Pyeongtaek, which arrived still sizzling on an iron skillet.
Oh man, I miss Canadian beef. I lived in Alberta, home of Alberta beef for most of my youth, and steak was always guaranteed to be good, pretty much anywhere…even for a Denny’s $10 breakfast special!! Is the one in Pyeongtaek soft? And how’s price point? I would def travel for affordable, good steak in Korea. 😉
A place to visit!!!! But on a very special occasion, given the cost. Also, it would be a good excuse to hang around the Cheongdam area and look like a Cheongdam myeonuri, hahaha! Hppy anniversary to the both of you! Cheers!
Definitely for a special occasion, although if you think that the price is for 2, it was actually $100 per person, and included all the sides and dessert. We were lucky to have the starters and wine for free, but it’s not actually as bad as the $200 sounds. Haha… still I won’t be going there too often. 😉
Travel with Karla
Wow! Happy 7th anniversary! It seems that you found the perfect place to celebrate it. The price may be expensive but you deserve to reward yourself for a wonderful occasion. I only tried eating steak in VIPS for my birthday LOL. It’s nice to know that there are other fine dining restaurants in Seoul. Their napkin fold is so cute! Very Instragrammable, indeed.
The napkin fold is adorable isn’t it!? Very clever I think… Did you find the steaks at VIPS chewy too? Every time I’ve been there, the steak has some big vein in it that I can’t even chew through. 🙁
Congrats on you anniversary! 7 years is a while 😉 And what a perfect way to celebrate – with a juicy and very expensive piece of meat! The price is definitely hefty but i’m a firm believer in treating yourself here and there, so good for you guys! The wet vs. dry aging is a pretty cool bit and a great point of differentiation for vault – props to their biz model!
7 years is a long time for sure…I think it’s time to return him to the store, and get a new one. 😉 I can’t believe how much I’ll pay for a quality steak in Seoul, but I’ve had so many bad or average $30 ones, that it was nice to KNOW that this would be perfect…and it was. And it was really only $100 per/person with all the sides and dessert included…I’d almost rather 1 amazing steak than 3 bad ones…
Happy 7th Anniversary first of all!! That must be the most expensive steak I’ve heard of and at 26,000krw/100g it better come with some free sides and a desert (or two) lol. I’ve also never heard of dry aging vs wet aging and I can only imagine the all the customers eyeing each other’s plates to see who got the largest chunk.
Thanks! 🙂 Lol to be honest, I didn’t know how much it was before we went. After 7 years, you don’t really plan (well, at least we don’t), so we were driving around trying to think of somewhere special to go, then Agri remembered his friend’s restaurant. Thank goodness for the freebies…otherwise it would’ve been REALLY expensive. I was kinda wishing for a smaller chunk of meat when I found out the price… hahahaha 😉
Wow that is super fancy! I think i would only go there for a special occasion as well. But the food looks delicious, although im not a big steak person. This is a cool place to keep in my back pocket though, just in case!
Yeah, it’s pretty expensive for anything OTHER than a special occasion! But it was nice to have a super-high quality steak in Seoul for once. I’m so disappointed every time I try to eat one at Outback or VIPS…just do not understand why they cannot cut the meat so that it doesn’t have stringy veins in it!!! 🙁
Oh man, I can just imagine the taste of that meat…never thought Seoul would have such places like these though, how things have changed..very useful to have inside contact for places like these though…;)
You know how Seoul is…once a trend takes hold, there’s no stopping it. I remember when you couldn’t get a good burger here, and now there’s a burger joint on every other corner. Haha…and yeah, def helps if you know someone…
Oh yeah, there’s always a something new each time I visit, hopefully some will stay for good…it’s nice to see some of the changes since back then…Are you back in Seoul? 🙂
Yup yup! Back in Seoul until Chuseok, and then heading out to Thailand for a few weeks…
Cool! Getting away from the cold I see….hehehehe…I might be going there in Dec…I haven’t really decided yet though..haha
From the sounds of it, either way of keeping steak prior to cooking and sale seems like a long time. But if it makes the steak more tastier, so be it. I’ve had steak a few times in my life. I like my steak well done, but not until the point it is hard and tough. Nothing more annoying than chewing a piece of steak until it tastes of nothing! Those fries don’t like your average fast-food chip shop fries – looks handcut and handmade 🙂
Haha, Agri and the manager are soccer teammates. Always thought Agri was quite athletic because he looks like that kind of person 🙂
Some steak connoisseurs say that if u cook it anywhere past medium rare, u might as well not eat the steak. I’ve even heard that if u ask for steak well done in a restaurant, they give you the worst cut! ? I don’t care though…I always get mine medium…I don’t like blood dripping all over my plate.
Agri is a total jock! And I’m still slightly surprised that I ended up married to one of those…if ya know what I mean… ?
Lol, really. Cook well done and they serve the worst cut. So unfair 🙁 I’m the kind who likes my meat well-cooked, haha. So I like to play it safe by going well done, all the way.
You never know where love will take you. You and Agri always look like you are meant to be together 😉
I knowwww…it’s like a mean trick right? I used to cook mine more, but have since reduced it to medium. Don’t know if I’ll ever be able to go to rare like Agri though. (My sister calls Agri a “Himbo” – Him+Bimbo – hahahaha) He hates it!! 😉