Name: MoMoKo (모모코)
Location: Seochodong, Nambu Bus Terminal.
Reviewed By: Mamas and Papas on 22nd of March
Thoughts: Venturing off the beaten track in a city like Seoul always yields unexpected and memorable results. Getting off at Nambu terminal station and walking through what seems like any other outer district of Seoul will take you past ubiquitous apartment buildings, little coffee shops and to MoMoKo. This is not the half house/half tent, cheap Makgeolli in steel kettles, marker pen romances on the walls joint that you may expect. MoMoKo is a polished, homely and accomplished restaurant, with the open kitchen routinely illuminated with the flare of flambéed meat dishes. The walls are confusingly adorned with the likenesses of cats, endearingly hand painted performing various acts of feline mischief which entertain as the large bowls of the vividly coloured, fruit makgeolli smoothies (for which this place is known) are brought forth to our table of wide eyed makgeolli lovers.
Overall: **** 4 Stars
Pork and Raddish Wraps (간장삼겹살): **** 4 stars (Sweet, Sour, Tangy, Succulent)
Pork belly and Lotus Chips (된장삼겹살): ***** 5 stars (utterly delicious, umami, fried lotus garnish )
Jjimdak (찜닭): *** 3 stars (soft, tender, spicy, nectarous)
Seared tuna (참치타다끼): **** 4 stars (delicate, silky, very onion-y,)
Seasoned Makchang (Intestines 막창): ***½ 3 ½ Stars (Smokey, Chewy, Spicey, rich)
Chili Cheese Fries: *** 3 stars (nacho cheesey, comfortable, shamefully seductive )
Oguksaeng (오국생): **1/2 2 1/2 stars (Convinience store makgeolli, mild, standard)
Blueberry (브루베리): **** 4 stars (Luxuriously thick, striking colour, delicious,)
Apple (사과): *** 3 stars(Mango overtones, creamy, very sweet, pulpy )
Tropical (트러피칼): *** 3 Stars (Tart, Febrezey, Zingy, passion fruit and cherry )
What Mamas and Papas liked: The Food. Unquestionably this place is a restaurant before it’s a Makgeolli house (It is allegedly an Izakaya, though we are not quite sure how it fits into this category!). The restaurant is centered around it’s kitchen and has a very extensive menu. We ate a lot more than at regular meetings and would have kept on going. The prices are quite high, though not unreasonable, and all of the food (even the chili fries) went down well with the group. Their pork dishes are truly excellent and the Makchang was very well prepared. I think most of the group would eat there again given the opportunity. Highly Recommendable.
What Mamas and Papas disliked: The Makgeolli. The blueberry cocktail was undeniably the favourite in terms of general consensus. Leaps and bounds beyond the makgeolli based cocktails available in most stores. All of the cocktails are made with a Oguksaeng makgeolli base. This is a cheap, supermarket bottle, which you could call the best of the worst. In terms of what is available in stores, it is one of the more acceptable. However, as the focus of this restaurant is undoubtedly the food, as the selection of edible delicacies far outstrips what is on offer in terms of makgeolli.
Recommendations: A nice restaurant for a date if you are in the area. It is also accommodating for large groups, making it quite flexible. If you are in the Nambu bus station area, or a couple of subway stops away at Seoul National University of Education, then it definitely worth your while to visit. I think the most enjoyment could be had by those who are not too familiar with makgeolli, as the cocktails may be the perfect gateway drink for those yet to be charmed by this most wonderfully diverse of alcohols. Also, a must for cat lovers …
How do I get there? Come out of Nambu Bus Terminal Station on line 3, Exit 4-2. Walk straight until you hit the big intersection with a Hana Bank on the corner. Turn right here and walk straight. You should see Hyundai Superville Apartments on your right. Keep walking until the street comes to an intersection. Cross the intersection and keep walking straight and the bar should be on the corner of the second intersection.
Address: 1451-74 Seocho-dong, Seocho-gu, Seoil Bldg (서울특별시 서초구 서초동 1451-74 서일빌딩 1층)
Have you been to MoMoKo before? Tried more dishes or have more opinions? More questions? Leave us a comment below and tell us what you think!