Braai Republic: From South Africa to Seoul

This new restaurant brings a uniquely South African gustatory experience to the burgeoning Itaewon food scene.

Braai Republic, referring to the South African term for BBQ, is the brainchild of South Africans Chris Truter and Roddy Bancroft. The two opened the restaurant and pub recently in hopes of offering adventurous customers an authentic taste of the African veld.

The restaurant opened right at the beginning of the 2011 Rugby World Cup and quickly became the South African supporters’ HQ for the duration, but the owners plan to take things even further. They have added a South African chef and will offer customers the chance to buy their signature SA delicacies to take out and enjoy at their leisure. These include boerewors, the farmer’s sausage that is the mainstay of any braai; droewors, a dried, chewy version of the same; biltong, the SA version of beef jerky and a truly South African symbol; chili-bites, a spicier biltong; and assorted SA fruit juices such as pink guava, mango, and lychee.

From the kitchen, hungry souls will be able to sate their cravings with homemade SA dishes like ox-tail stew, bobotie (a lamb curry casserole) and assorted other treats, all served with a traditional coleslaw and the ever-popular mielie pap (corn meal)—all classic SA tastes brought to bear in fine style right here in Seoul.

The owners hope South Africans from all over the peninsula will make the trek to their doors, where a comforting slice of home awaits.

Getting There From exit 4 of Itaewon Stn. (line 6), walk straight and turn left at the alley just before the McDonald’s. Go through the intersection, past the Juliette clothing store, and Braii Republic is on your left on the second floor. Open Mon 5 – 11 pm, Wed – Sun noon – 11 pm. Closed Mon, and the kitchen shuts down between 3 – 5 pm on weekdays. Search for “Braai Republic” on Facebook. 070-8879-1967

Words by Michael Berry and shot by Dominique Buck