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Top-notch service creates the ‘total experience’

Apr 12,2018
Left: Chef Anders Groenholm is the new executive chef at the Millenium Seoul Hilton in central Seoul. Right: Guests to afternoon tea at the hotel will see chefs come out to the floor and “paint” their dessert for them right on the spot. [MILLENIUM SEOUL HILTON]
Unlike what you can find at other hotels in Seoul, chefs will come out to greet you, bring out your food and explain what is being served and even say goodbye as you leave if you come to the restaurants in the Millennium Seoul Hilton, located on Mount Namsan in Jung District.

The change is something new executive chef Anders Groenholm is introducing in an attempt to provide better dining service to guests.

“You don’t get the total experience without interacting with chefs,” said Groenholm adding that the food is, of course, “super.”

“In the end, this interaction gives more motivation to the chefs as well, which makes the overall experience better for guests.”

The hotel’s ongoing afternoon tea service is where one can see the most changes. The selection of one bite desserts and tea don’t just come on a tiered serving tray, but a chef comes out to paint your dessert on a white plate. They squeeze out pre-prepared sweet sauces in multiple containers and use them to paint like an artist on canvas, and place small cakes and fruits on top to finish their masterpiece.

Based on his years of experience in Seoul, Groenholm has become confident in fitting the tastes of his guests. He worked at Banyan Tree Seoul Spa and Resort about six years ago, and during that time he met his wife, and got to travel around Korea learning about local flavors.

Living in Korea has been something he long wanted to do since he was born in Korea and then adopted by a family in Sweden.

He also acquired some international experience while working at hotels in Dubai, China, Australia and Turkey.

“The food I will be doing is different,” said Groenholm, “and flavors from the Middle East, from Asia and from Europe will be part of something different.”

Building a new dining trend is something he wants to take time to achieve. Just as someone figured out that the mix of coffee and Wi-Fi works well in cafes he said, he will continue to look for new ideas in order to keep the loyal customers at the hotel, as well as to bring in the new crowd.

“Dining is all about the person and touching them with personalized service,” said Groenholm. “Here [at Millenium Seoul Hilton, you will get] a dining experience that is better than [the] one you had a day before.”

BY LEE SUN-MIN [summerlee@joongang.co.kr]