Ssam: Refined kimchi power in Sanlitun SOHO

Second course of the four-course business lunch.


Even though newcomer Sanlitun Soho is close to my apartment, I have spent very little time there and instead have been hanging out a lot in Sanlitun North, Shuangjing, and Gulou / Nanluoguxiang these past few months. I am now working on being a better neighbor and will soon have write-ups about Cafe Sydney and Tonton & Tata Alsace French Restaurant and Bar. But first, a short post about Ssam (map), a most excellent Korean restaurant in the complex.

I stopped at Ssam after lunch on Wednesday, and after checking the food and drink lists (the latter includes baekseju, makkoli, and soju, as well as a “kimchi martini” — will give that one a try tonight), looking around the nicely designed venue, and talking to affable chef Andrew Ahn, I had a feeling I was going to like this place. I stopped in yesterday for the four-course business lunch (RMB78) and left happy. I especially liked the second course, the six-item “jeon” set pictured above, and that Ssam was able to include pungent and spicy Korean flavors in a way that did not overpower the subtle ones of the meats, noodles, and vegetables . (By the way, those with a sweet tooth will like the tiramisu with Korean liqueur.) I’ll have more when I go back and try the other lunch options but for now here are two worthy events being held at Ssam this weekend:

  1. Tonight: Makkoli is a milky slightly sweet Korean alcoholic beverage. Ssam will have free-flow Makkoli plus Korean side dishes tonight for RMB100 per person, starting at 7:30 PM.
  2. Sunday: This month’s Beijing Foodies is at Ssam; the charity is Children of Madaifu. How these these dinners work: everyone pays a set amount of money for the meal and afterward envelopes are passed around and people can donate whatever amount they want. This month’s meal is RMB120 and will be worth it: the dishes include beef carpaccio with truffles, pear, quail egg, and soy sauce as well as skewers, (jeon), Korean pancakes, seared mackerel, and more, plus one drink. To reserve a spot, email bjfoodies (at)

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One thought on “Ssam: Refined kimchi power in Sanlitun SOHO”

  1. The Makkoli tonight was awesome! Ssam gave us free-flow Makkoli plus Korean side dishes tonight for just 100rmb each. I was stuffed! Even though the Makkoli is only 6% alcohol by volume we got pretty drunk. great place to drink the night away and watch beautiful Korean girls.

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