People generally admit that South Korea has pretty much become a massive soft power machine. When you look at the swaths of K-Pop and K-Dramas oozing into international culture, you can’t help but be amazed at the rise of the ‘Korean Cool’. Yet, European countries and Japan have constantly occupied the peak of high culture domains, such as fashion and cuisine. With the new Michelin guide for Seoul dropping later this year though, that may change.

J J.S. Lee and Eudon Choi are some of the examples of Korea pushing stronger into the Fashion industry. Furthermore, when Asia’s 50 Best dropped its list, the restaurant Mingles from South Korea jumped up to 15th place, becoming the Highest New Entry in the list, as well as becoming the Best Restaurant in Korea. A small victory, given that there are only three South Korean restaurants in the whole list, as opposed to countless rankers from Japan and China.

So this 27th addition to the Michelin restaurant guide collection may just be the push to further increase the country’s standing. Michael Ellis, the international director of the guide, seems to wish the same. “The city is well-known for a wonderfully eclectic dining scene that range from popular Seoul traditional fare to gourmet restaurants. Seoul’s dining scene has evolved into a world-class culinary destination, and our inspectors are impatient to start wandering the streets of the city and discovering the high quality of its culinary scene,” he said in a statement.

One of the other Asian countries soon to be graced by the guide’s presence is Singapore. That was also along awaited, given that the small island nation has two restaurants ranked in the top 10 of the Asia’s 50 Best list, and many others in other guides and listings, and has attracted culinary heavyweights such as Daniel Boulud, Gordon Ramsay, Joel Robuchon and Jamie Oliver over the last few years.

This story was written in-house, referencing an AFP wire story. Images courtesy of Michelin via AFP

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