Name: Daehan Soondubu Makgeolli Salon (대한 순두부 막걸리 쌀롱)
Reviewed by: Mamas and papas on March 1st, 2014
Thoughts: In the basement of a commercial building, Daehan Soondubu is more of a restaurant than a busy bar. It has a clean and inviting atmosphere, with wooden tables to accommodate couples or large groups. Its true forte is tofu, but it touts itself as a ‘tofu and makgeolli collaboration project’.
Daehan Soondubu is not the usual scene for makgeolli, and being in the business district of Gwangwhamun, it has a quieter atmosphere on a Saturday night. The makgeolli on offer is described as being from their own sourced brewery, however when pressed for information about where this brewery was, nobody on staff could tell us. This left us unsure, as we assumed a ‘project’ would have more to it. However, both the food and makgeolli were of decent quality and we were more than satisfied.
Overall: *** (3 Stars)
Plain Tofu (순두부): (Clean, fresh, soft, melt in your mouth) *** (4.5 stars)
Tofu Donkatsu (돈까스): (flavorful, unique, satisfying,) **** (4 stars)
Budae Jigae (부대 찌개): (Spicy, meaty, thick) *** (3 stars)
Yujal (유자): (sweet, fruity, astringent) *** (3 stars)
House/Daehan (대한): (milky, crisp, clean, fresh) ***1/2 (3.5 stars)
Jin/Strong (진) (sweet front palate, sour back palate, creamy, alcoholic) **1/2 (2.5 Stars)
Omija (오미자): (sweet, earthy, tart) *** (2.5 stars)
What mamas and Papas liked: The tofu. It’s true what they say about being ‘Daehan Soondubu’, because their shining gem is the delicious tofu. Even those that were die-hard meat eaters could appreciate how delicious the plain tofu was. One Mama said ‘It’s so tasty, even though it’s tofu!’ The consensus favorite makgeolli was the Daehan Makgeolli for its balanced and fresh flavor.
What mamas and papas disliked: The Omija Makgeolli. Even though most Mamas & Papas in attendance preferred sweeter brews, the omija scored low across the board. One Papa described it as ‘The One Night Stand of makgeolli…can only have one glass’. Mamas & Papas were also not sold on the ‘Jin’ makgeolli, which proved to have too much of a strong alcoholic flavor.
Mama Julia’s Note: This location was truly an enigma, in that previously we have always been able to figure out which brewery the bar is supplied from. However, the staff we encountered were part-timers and had no idea about makgeolli in general, let alone where their own stuff comes from. It is my guess that the ‘Daehan’ is a regular single stage fermentation, and the ‘Jin’ is likely an Iyangju because of its strong flavor and thick consistency. For those that like a more dry, strong flavored makgeolli, I recommend the ‘Jin’.
Recommendations: Daehan Soondubu is a good place if you are working in the area and want to have a good meal with your makgeolli. It is not a place for those looking for a high energy, entertainment district style bars. However, if you want good quality food and satisfying makgeolli in the Gwangwhamun area, this place will do the trick.
How do I get there? It’s very close to Gwangwhamun Station exit 8. Note: This station is a bit funny, you MUST follow the directions for exit 1 & 8, because they are not all connected. Once you come out of exit 8, you should see a Kookmin on the corner diagonally across the road. The bar is in this building, and it’s called Daehan Sundubu Salong (대한순두부 살롱).
Address: 서울특별시 종로구 당주동 160 변호사회관 B1
Phone Number: 02-725-0717
Have you been to Daehan Soondubu before? Tried more dishes or have more opinions? More questions? Leave us a comment below and tell us what you think!