Name: Gaemi Jip (개미 집)
Reviewed by: Mama’s and Papa’s on: June 8th, 2013
Thoughts: An upscale venue in the midst of Apgujeong, Kaemi Jip fuels its customers with refreshing house brewed makgeolli, expensive food, and a fast paced atmosphere in the setting of a concrete bunker. The prices don’t necessarily reflect the quality of the food, but you definitely get your money’s worth on the interesting makgeolli infusions that are made on site. It’s a true reflection of the Apgujeong lifestyle with its high prices, trendy young crowd, and scotch infused makgeolli cocktails.
Overall: **1/2 (2.5 stars)
Oyster Jeon: (Pungent seaweed, crispy, heavy, mildly spicy, doughy) ***1/2 (3.5 Stars)
Pork Bindaetteok: (Crispy, millet-like earthiness, neutral) ****1/2 (4.5 Stars)
Cheesy Haemul Kimchi Jeon: (Greasy, salty, sultry) ***1/2 (3.5 Stars)
Honey Galbi: (Small, chewy, sweet, L.A. galbi style, overpriced) *1/2 (1.5 Stars)
House Makgeolli (개미집 막걸리): (Neutral, enjoyable, refreshing, ice cold, fresh, balanced) ***1/2 (3.5 Stars)
Citron Makgeolli Cocktail (유자 막걸리): (Super citrusy, juniper/gin tang, pungent, sweet) ***1/2 (3.5 Stars)
Macellan Whiskey Makgeolli: (Oaky, sweet, the makgeolli brings out the scotch flavor) **** (4 Stars)
Dongdongju (동동주): (Clear, smelly, roux like, strong, stale and sweet, reminiscent of soju) *1/2 (1.5 Stars)
What Mamas & Papas liked: The makgeolli. The house made makgeolli was absolutely delicious, and reasonably priced. Their infusions of makgeolli with citron, as well as with the scotch set a new bar for makgeolli coctails
What Mamas & Papas didn’t like: The food prices. Be prepared to shell out around 30,000 W per dish. Even for that price, the portions were relatively small. Mamas & Papas also found it difficult to talk in the loud and boisterous smoke-filled atmosphere. The dongdongju was also disappointing. One mama wrote that she thought it was mislabeled.
Mama Julia’s Note* Dong-dong ju is notoriously ill defined. This is true in English and in Korean, and the long story short is that nobody truly can say with any authority what dong-dong ju is as yet. Sometimes you will see it served as a clear liquid like here, more similar to Cheongju/Yakju, and other times you will see it appear more like makgeolli but be a bit stronger. Message of the story, prepare for the unexpected.
Recommendation: This place is great for a smaller group who wants to enjoy some fresh brewed makgeolli in the midst of trend setting Apgujeong. It would be a perfect stop before a night out on the town, while kicking back and listening to throwback music from the ‘90’s.
How to get there: Come out of Apgujeong Station (line 3) Exit 5. Walk straight, following the main road for quite a while, 7 blocks, until you see the Shinhan Bank in a grey brick building on your left. Take a left, and walk about 100 m until you see a CU. It’s right next door.
Address: 서울특별시 강남구 신사동 528-4 화인빌딩 1층
Phone Number: 02-541-5955
Have you been to Gaemi Jip before? Tried more dishes or have more opinions? More questions? Leave us a comment below and tell us what you think!