Name: Hidden Alley (숨은 골목)
Location: Yeonnam Dong (연남동)
Reviewed by: Mamas and Papas on April 30th 2016
Thoughts: Tucked away in one of the small alleys of the super trendy area of Yeonnam-dong, this is a makgeolli bar with a certain kind of style. The owner is passionate about carrying a variety of makgeolli that don’t contain any artificial sweetners, and his menu has a distinct seafood theme. A cosy, no-frills interior with dark lighting makes for a great shelter from the ever-popular streets of Yeonnam.
Service: **** 4 Stars
Style: **** 3 Stars
Ambience: **** 3 Stars
Overall: **** 3.5 Stars
Kimchi Jeon 묵은 김치전 4 stars (clean, well seasoned, balanced)
Whole Grilled Squid 오징어 통구의 3.5 stars (textured, unique, for seafood lovers)
Deonjang Buchu Jeon 된장 부추전 5 stars (complex, tasty, satisfying)
Tuna Jeon 참치 전 4.5 stars (crisp, flavorful, comfort food)
Haechang 해창 막걸리 3*** (dry, refreshing, bland, watery)
Gotaek Sticky Rice 고택찹쌀 생주 4**** (strong, sweet, fruity, wine-like)
Seon Ho 선호 막걸리 3*** (flavorful, light texture, slightly sour)
Domun Daejak 도문 대작 막걸리 4***** (silky, strong, earthy, boozy)
Cheong Yangju 청량주 막걸리 3*** (Clean, dry, light, slightly acidic)
Dae Dae Po 대대포 3*** (meady, light, sweet, smooth)
What we liked: The Service. The owner of this bar is very much a makgeolli lover himself, and he takes pride in his stock of sweetener free makgeolli. Upon arrival, we were served a special sample of brew he sourced directly from the brewery, and our Mamas & Papas were all impressed right off the bat. After sharing our own thoughts on sweeteners, he gave us a tasting of a brew that he specifically asked the brewery to give him without sweeteners (see the above Cheong Yangju). The favorite food of the evening was the Deonjang Buchoo Jeon, with one Mama exclaiming ‘It’s a completely new flavor for me!’
What we disliked: The food variety. Whilst all the food we had was well received and enjoyed, some commented on the lack of options for those not wanting seafood. Most of the options on the menu are seafood based, so if you are not a fan or are looking for other meats you may be left a little peckish.
Recommendation: In a neighborhood fast becoming one of the trendiest hot-spots in Seoul, this bar offers something straight up and casual. It’s a great place for people who enjoy unsweetened makgeolli and some hearty seafood fare at good prices.
Directions: Come out of Hongik University Station exit 3 and walk straight. As you hit a small intersecting street, turn right and follow the road. Take the third alley on your right and you will see a Chinese restaurant up top, and the makgeolli bar is in the basement 서울 마포구 동교로34길 12.
Address: 서울 마포구 동교로34길 12.
Phone Number: 02-323-4633
Have you visited Hidden Alley? Is there anything we could have mentioned? What were your likes and dislikes? Tell us your story by commenting here or on our facebook page!