Aile Mediterranean Restaurant requests menu input

The good folks at Aile Mediterranean Restaurant in Kyungsungdae (Busan) plan to revamp their menu this summer and would appreciate any feedback, requests, & suggestions. 

For those who have eaten there, are there any favorites you want to make sure stick around and/or dishes that aren't on the menu that you'd like to see?

Team Aile would also like to make the menu as veggie-friendly as possible. There are already some veggie options (hummus, falafal), but they are open to other Mediterranean style veggie requests. They're also open to providing a faux meat alternative to dishes that come with chicken or lamb, but aren't quite sure how to go about.  Again, any input appreciated. 

Current Menu Here

Re: Aile Mediterranean Restaurant requests menu input

I've only been there the once and thought the food was pretty damn good. However a couple of things nagged me.

First of all is the ridiculous pricing for the set menus on the menu.

For example. If you order the lamb shish kebab just as the main dish it costs 10,000, if you order the set (plus soup, bread, dessert and tea) it costs 16,000.

However if you order the Kofte as a main it costs 8,000 but with the set it's only 11,000. Although the extra items are exactly the same they are charging double. I can't work out the logic behind that thinking.

The other place they do themselves no favours is the signing. I would have walked past the place if I had not known exactly where it was. The sign on the side of the building says something in Korean that translates as Mediterranean Food (내해푸드) The smaller sign on the front says Turkey, but again only in Korea. Its' not until you look straignt up at the floor they are on that you actually see any English. I know that Korean customers are the key to making a business a success, but it's often the foreigners who can keep a business of this nature ticking over in the quiet times.

All said and done though as I said earlier the food was good and despite of the odd descrepencies in the menu pricing I found the overall prices reasonable.

Re: Aile Mediterranean Restaurant requests menu input

The Aile restaurant is lovely; great food and a very nice staff.

How thoughtful of the owners to ask for customer's input when considering changing the menu.

I would like to see more vegetarian foods on the menu, too. I love the hummus and falafel, and come to the restaurant once every few months to enjoy them.

Maybe the menu could include some more dishes with chick peas, and a lentil and rice dish would be great too.

Stuffed grape or cabbage leaves, stuffed peppers, roast potatoes, babagnoush, tabouli and couscous are all ideas that come to mind when thinking of how Aile could expand their menu.

As for providing a meat alternative, using the beans is good, or substitute meat with roasted tofu.

I appreciate the opportunity to share my ideas. Looking forward to sampling the new, improved menu.

Re: Aile Mediterranean Restaurant requests menu input

@Angiegoes -

Interesting idea. Although readily available at the Asian grocers in Sasang for those unable to get out there having somewhere closer to home to buy such ingredients would be handy. I'm sure most people wouldn't mind paying a small mark up on the retail price.

Might as well throw tahini and a whole bunch of other canned or dried goods in there as well.

Re: Aile Mediterranean Restaurant requests menu input

The hummas was thick and dry and very cold and they are very stingy with the oil.  Hummas should be smooth and soft.  I wasn't able to dip or mop with the flat bread.  I had to use a spoon to scoop and spread the hummas onto the bread.

The specialaites are a little expensive such as the lamb chops and kababs, so I opted for the pide and kofte which were pretty good.

The place has potential if they price their menu to meet university student's budget and having some student specials being located in KSU, but if they plan to focus only on expats they might find themselves falling short. 




Re: Aile Mediterranean Restaurant requests menu input

Wow, great news! I've never been to this place but I'm sure to check it out. Adding any veggie options would be great, great, great!  And if the owner is really out to get opinions, mine would be- don't Koreanize the food please:)

Re: Aile Mediterranean Restaurant requests menu input


I don't know if this is exactly Turkish, probably more Indian...but when I lived in Singapore, they had Curry Puffs which I miss a lot. I haven't seen any restaurants with them here. 

Here's a video of them being made.

There are many recipes online.  I like the versions with plenty of hard boiled eggs in them.

Good luck to you!




Re: Aile Mediterranean Restaurant requests menu input

I agree with the earlier post about the hummus. It was a small serving and not the consistency or flavour it should be. It was thick and bland.

I also agree with some of the pricing comments. However, the other food- kofte, falafel and wrap that my friends and I tried were delicious! We also had the lamb kebap but at 10,000 for 2 kebaps, we wouldn't bother again.

Re: Aile Mediterranean Restaurant requests menu input

A few vegetarian options would be great!


I would especially love to see some:


larger portions of houmous (also packaged for take away)


haloumi sandwiches/salad






...amongst other things :)


(no offence intended, i am very sure my Turkish friends have served me similar foods, but I only fremember the greek names..sorry again)

Re: Aile Mediterranean Restaurant requests menu input

I'm posting this on my husband's account, but since we're both vegans and we both love Aile, I'm sure he'll agree with me!

So anyway, we love the restaurant, but we only know of two dishes for sure right now that we can order - the hummus and the falafel wrap. The hummus was not as oily as we're used to, but pretty good. The falafel is fantastic, however, and we order it about once a week! (We are Jennifer and Lee, by the way, if the owner is reading this!)

Anyway, we are vegans - no meat, no fish, no eggs, no dairy products. So if there is any way to have more items which are vegan, we would be overjoyed. I haven't asked if the lentil soup is vegan - perhaps it is? If the lentil soup is not already vegan, a vegan lentil soup would be great!

I looked on one website and found these (some just vegetarian)

Cig Kofte and anything with chickpeas would be particularly appealing! Selling hummus to-go would also be amazing. I would buy it by the vat, as hummus used to be a whole food group for me back in the States!

Here are some other things I found on-line that now I want to try!:

Imam Bayildi (The Imam has fainted) The general belief among food aficionados in Turkey is that the Imam (religious leader) fainted when he first tasted this dish, because it was so delicious! A whole aubergine is lightly fried and filled with sweet onions, tomatoes and herbs before being cooked in its own juices. Served with fresh flat bread.
Asure - a very traditional and seasonal desert traditionally consisting of 41 ingredients including dried fruits, nuts and grains. It is slow cooked and then served cold with pomegranate and sesame seeds. The healthiest desert you will ever taste!

Anyway, I will eat at Aile regardless of whether more vegan dishes are added to the menu, but it's always good to have more variety in life so new dishes I could eat would be greatly appreciated!

Thanks so much for the friendly service and excellent food!


Jennifer Howell

Re: Aile Mediterranean Restaurant requests menu input

i don't know if this is still the case...

shortly after they opened, a group of friends and i went there to eat and relax.  we were really surprised there was not an alcohol selection on the menu.  for that reason, we have not gone back.  we enjoy sitting for an hour or two eating our meals and drinking/having a good time.  thought this was the meditteranean way.

secondly, we agreed about the hummus...too dry.

Re: Aile Mediterranean Restaurant requests menu input

@Sims: I'm not sure if there is a "Mediterranean way" regarding eating and drinking, since the said sea encompasses a large area, much of which is Muslim.  I suspect the owners of this restaurant are Muslims, which would explain why they don't serve booze.  To do so is strictly verboten among observant Muslims.

@Jennifer:  While I respect you and your husband's (hi Lee) dietary commitments, I personally cannot fathom what it would be to move to another country and basically be able to eat almost none of the local food.  Food is culture, and you're really missing out.

As far as this restaurant is concerned, it sounds decent enough, but I'll probably never go.  I stopped bothering with Turkish and Middle Eastern food in Korea some time back.  Whether it's in Itaewon or Kyungsungdae, it's always the same.  Tiny portions and ridiculous prices.  If I have to spend 25 bucks on a meal for one (and with my girl I'm always paying for two) and leave the restaurant still hungry, something's seriously wrong.  I get my foreign fix when I'm back in the States or in SE Asia, where I'm currently typing from and pondering the ridiculously cheap Indian meal I'll take down tonight.

Re: Aile now selling chick peas & lentils

Spoke with Ribab yesterday and all system are go for bean sales!
You can now pickup 1kg bags of chick peas and lentils at Aile for W6,000. 
They can also sell 'hummus to go' - not sure about size or price yet. 

Re: Aile Mediterranean Restaurant requests menu input

@Tharp - This "food is culture" argument gets bandied about quite a bit, often as a legitimate reason to eat dogs who have been beaten to death (I believe one should find arguments that cause them to rationalize eating dogs highly suspect, by the way). Here are some of my responses to this argument, off the top of my head:

1. Food is a part of culture, not all of it. And while food is a particularly large part of Korean culture compared to some other countries, there is a lot more to Korea than its food. On Buddah's birthday this year, I visited a temple. On Children's Day I hung out at Children's Park and witnessed all the excellent family fun. The other day on Independence Day I went to Busan Station and witnessed an Independence Festival including the singing of patriotic songs and historical reenactments. I try to participate in Korean cultural events on a regular basis and enjoy many aspects of Korean culture like noraebang and jimjilbang. I sang at my Korean co-worker's wedding. I miss out on some things, sure, but I experience plenty of culture without having to ingest it by mouth.

2. Vegetarian and vegan food are also part of almost every culture in the world, including Korean culture. I eat at Loving Hut in Seomyeon several times a week so that the staff knows me by my first name and I know them, even after the staff recently changed, I still know many of the kitchen/counter workers, so much so that the last time I ate there someone from the kitchen came and talked with me on her break. Almost all the food on the menu there is Korean food, albeit veganized. It is delicious and it is spiced the same as its meat counterparts. The only real difference is that there's not a dead animal in the pot. And I am very happy with this difference. There are a growing number of Korean vegetarians and vegans and they also have a valuable culinary culture. Temple food is a specifically vegetarian/vegan Korean cuisine which most non-veg people I know in Korea have never tried. I do eat Korean food quite often and enjoy it without sacrificing my moral and ethical convictions in the process.

3. There are more important values than "experiencing culture", I would argue. One of those is "respecting life." Another is "protecting the environment." I would gladly sacrifice "experiencing culture" (were it necessary, which it isn't - as stated above I can experience culture very well) to greater goods such as saving the lives of animals and eating in a way which is more environmentally responsible.

4. I would argue that a lot of foreigners who come here actually think they can experience Korean culture only through passive activities such as eating and drinking and this becomes, in fact, their main vector for doing so. The idea that you can eat culture, however, seems very dubious to me, especially if most of your "cultural experience" time involves going with other waygookin to eat samgupsal and drink. Yes, that's experiencing Korean culture in a way, but I'd argue that eating Western food with a Korean friend would be just as much a cultural experience if not more of one. Of course it's not an either/or proposition and some foreigners who maw on Korean food also actively seek out other cultural experiences. But many don't and instead of learning Korean or going on a temple stay or attending Korean festivals or making Korean friends, they merely eat some boshintang and then talk about it to anyone who will listen as a "cultural experience" they have collected.

So for the above reasons, I call foul on that argument that somehow Lee and I aren't experiencing Korean cultural well enough. I'm currently working on what I would argue is one of the main ways to experience Korean cultural - learning Korean!