Name: Jeonju Makgeolli (전주 막걸리)
Reviewed by: Mamas & Papas on: 13th October, 2012
Thoughts: Jeonju Makgeolli is a place tucked away down an alley at the quieter end of Hongdae. We heard about it from some Korean friends and blogs, that the owner himself was from Jeonju and offered an authentic Jeonju makgeolli experience in Seoul. We weren’t disappointed when we discovered we could just order the makgeolli and a table filled with side dishes would follow.
Service: ***** Set Menu (반찬): ***1/2
Style: *** 1/2
Jeonju Makgeolli (전주생막걸리): ***1/2 (smooth, clean, refreshing, drinkable)
‘Jeonju Makgeolli’ may not be much to look at from the outside (or inside) but it makes up for it in service and authenticity. Jeonju style makgeolli is famous for its sheer number and variety of side dishes, and whilst this place doesn’t quite match, it certainly gives it a good run for its money. You simply choose makgeolli (or soju…but hey, it’s Jeonju makgeolli!) for a set price of 20,000won which will buy you 3 very full kettles, and a whole array of side dishes for your picking pleasure.
What Mamas & Papas liked : The variety. Before we had even ordered, the table was covered with all sorts of traditional delicacies, and we were never wanting for something to pick at. One Papa exclaimed ‘so much bang for your buck!’. Mamas & Papas also really enjoyed the service. The owner is in fact from Jeonju, and he is proud of the makgeolli he imports straight from his hometown. He took the time to come to our table and explain more about his particular makgeolli of choice telling us, ‘If any of you get a hangover I will give you 200 bottles for free’. It’s a no-frills place, which, if you have been to Jeonju you will know to be the traditional interior of most makgeolli bars.
What Mamas & Papas didn’t like: The atmosphere. Mamas & Papas were all in agreement that Jeonju Makgeolli was missing just two things; music and dimmer lights!
It was not a very busy night when we were there, so Mamas & Papas basically took it over. Mamas & Papas also weren’t ‘wowed’ by the quality of the food. One Mama said ‘the quantity is ok, but the quality is just so-so, I could eat it…and I did, I ate a lot!’. You can also order more food outside of the set menu if the set sides are not enough.
Recommendation: Jeonju Makgeolli is a place to take visitors to Korea who may not get the chance to actually visit Jeonju. It is the most authentic Jeonju style makgeolli we have discovered so far, and it’s a great place for a low key hangout with a group of friends. It’s a casual place to really settle in, and also ideal for large groups of people.
How to get there:
Come out of Sangsu Station exit 1 and walk down the street towards the bottom end of hongdae. After about 5 minutes you should pass ‘Standing Coffee’ on your right, and you will soon come to the big main street of hongdae. Turn up this street and take the first left, and you should see a CU on the corner. Take the first little alley on the right of this street and ‘Jeonju Makgeolli’ should be the first place on the left.
Address: 마포구 서교동 402-4 (010 261 1542)
Have you been to Jeonju Makgeolli before? Tried more dishes or have more opinions? More questions? Leave us a comment below and tell us what you think!