Name: Mak Ka Pa (막까파)
Reviewed by: Mama’s and Papa’s on: August 20th, 2013
Thoughts: Located on the second floor just blocks away from Hongik University, this funky, retro styled Hongdae bar offers an affordable makgeolli experience. Each table is set with retro Korean snacks, and the low-lighting, combined with the converted cafeteria feel make for a casual dining and drinking experience. The fresh varieties of house made Dong-Dong-Ju cocktails give the customer an added incentive over the more premium bottled varieties of Makgeolli available. It’s a very accessible lounge-like atmosphere with prompt and friendly service.
Overall: *** (3 stars)
Beef Jeon: (Delicious, bounty of beef, spongy) ***1/2 (3.5 Stars)
Seafood jeon: (Omelet like fluffiness, fresh seafood taste, uniquely layered) ***1/2 (3.5 Stars)
Spam Jeon: (Unique, savory, salty, juicy) **1/2 (2.5 Stars)
Potato Jeoni: (oily, pasty, latke-like) **1/2 (2.5 Stars)
Bul Dak: (cheesy, spicy, delectable) ****1/2 (4.5 Stars)
Sobaeksan Blackbean (소백산 검은콩): (Nutty, smooth, dark, creamy, sticky, fine sediment) ***1/2 (3.5 Stars)
Dongdongju (동동주): (Citrusy, clean, smooth, silky texture refreshing with ice) ****1/2 4.5 Stars
Banana Dongdongju (바나나 동동주): (Chunky (bananas), frothy, natural tasting, tropical) ****1/2 (4.5 Stars)
Honey Dongdongju: (꿀 동동주) (Honey settled in the bottom, overpowering, sweet) **1/2 (2.5 Stars)
Gapyeongchat (가평찻): (Pungent, crisp, watery) **1/2 (2.5 Stars)
Gongju Chestnut (공주 알밤): (Earthy, nutty, artificially sweet, thick) **1/2 (2.5 Stars)
What Mamas & Papas liked: The service. Prompt, friendly, and receptive, there was never a moment without food or drink in hand. Mamas & Papas also liked the dong-dong-ju. It was super refreshing, and it tasted great, even when infused with different fruits. We were also impressed with the Buldak (spicy chicken), with one Mama commenting ‘It really packs a flavor without knocking your tastebuds off’.
What Mamas & Papas didn’t like: The lighting. For those wanting to take photos, they may struggle if they are ushered into one of the black light lit side rooms, as they will invariably be blue. Mamas & Papas were also not sold on the honey dong-dong ju that wasn’t well mixed. If it hasn’t been carefully mixed, the honey sinks to the bottom and is beyond sweet.
Recommendation: To feel the pulse of Hongdae in the heart of its entertainment district before a night out on the town, head here with a group of friends and enjoy the cheap food, fresh drink, and merry atmosphere. You could stay a while, or just for a stopover, but either way it is a fun and vibrant place to enjoy company with friends.
How to get there: Come out of Sangsu Station, exit 1 and walk down the hill towards Hongdae. When you get to the main street just before Club Evans and the 7-11, turn left. Follow this street for three blocks (make sure to move over to the left side of the street), then turn left. You will see a café on the first floor, and the second floor is where Mak Ka Pa is.
Address: 서울특별시 마포구 서교동 405-13 3층
Phone Number: 02-714-1224
Have you been to Mak Ka Pa before? Tried more dishes or have more opinions? More questions? Leave us a comment below and tell us what you think!