Name: Hawaiian Makgeolli
Reviewed By: Mamas & Papas on 2nd February, 2013
Thoughts: Tucked underground and away from the chaos of Hongdae, Hawaiian Makgeolli is a quaint tropical getaway that provides its customers with a chance to sample a giant array of makgeolli. All of the makgeolli is charted out with a map from where it came from, as well as a 5 category diagram which ranks each makgeolli according to body, sour taste, sweet taste, alcohol, and carbonation content, to ensure the perfect selection. The friendly and prompt service is a welcoming compliment to the unique blend of East meets West meets tropics fusion. The dim lit atmosphere accompanied by the faint sounds of ‘60s surf rock makes for a pleasurable dining and wining experience.
Style: *** 1/2
OVERALL: *** 1/2
Bacon Kimchi Buchimgae (베이컨 부침개): *** 1/2
Hawaiian Buchimgae (하와이언 부침개): ****
Hawaiian Pizza (하와이언 부짐개): ***
Corn Makgeolli (정산 아우라지 옥수수): *** (mild, smooth, light, semi-sweet, flat)
Italian Millet Makgeolli (경기 보천 조껍데기): **** (sour, smooth, fresh, nutty, mild earthen flavor)
Jujube Makgeolli (경북 구암대추): *** (refreshing, full bodied, sweet)
Mulberry Makgeolli (부안 참뽕(오디)): **** 1/2 (Bittersweet, notes of berries, full bodied)
Blackbean Makgeolli (충북 소백사 검은콩): *** (sticky, mildly sweet, sparkly, buttery)
What Mamas & Papas liked: The Hawaiian Buchimgae. The Mama’s and Papa’s really liked this interesting spin on a traditional Korean dish. One mama wrote, that it’s “Practically a pizza with a touch of 부침개; delicious and cheesy.” Another mama wrote “Soo cheesey! …Love the pineapple!”Among the favorite makgeolli reviewed by our mamas & papas was the Mulberry Makgeolli (부안 참뽕(오디)). One papa commented, “The drink is not as sweet as the color suggests.”
What Mamas & Papas didn’t like: The Corn Makgeolli. The Mama’s and Papa’s were consistent in their consensus that the 옥수수 막걸리 (Corn Makgeolli) was too watery, flat and undistinguishable. One papa even said, “This makgeolli reminds me of bread- something you snack on before the meal.” The Bacon Buchimgae also scored low on the Mama’s and Papa’s list with a common demand for “more bacon flavor”.
Recommendation: Hawaiian Makgeolli is a great place for those wanting to learn a bit more about makgeolli and try some unusual flavors. The menu has a comprehensive taste chart, geography and ingredients list. It also has very reasonable prices for tasting sets, where you can select different types of makgeolli in jugs of 250ml or 400ml. Located in the quieter end of Hongdae, this place is a casual, comfortable and satisfying place for a makgeolli experience.
How to get there: From Hongik University Station, take exit 8. When coming up from the exit, turn right and walk until you reach a roundabout. At the roundabout, you will take a left and follow the strain of barbeque restaurants until you reach a second round about. (note- you’re walking away from the Hongdae epicenter). When you see the CU/Family Mart at the second round about, you will take a left, and continue on down the road another few steps. Look up and you will see a bright sign that says “ALOHA! Hawaii Makgeolli” on your right side. Head down the narrow stairwell and enjoy.
Address: 330-19 Seogyo-Dong (75 Wausan-ro 35-gil)
Have you been to Hawaiian Makgeolli before? Tried more dishes or have more opinions? More questions? Leave us a comment below and tell us what you think!