Gaemi Jip (개미 집)

Name: Gaemi Jip (개미 집)

Location: Apgujeong

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.
Gaemi Jip Interior

LOCATION

Overall: **1/2 (2.5 stars)

Food
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)

Gaemi Jip Cheesy Haemul Kimchi Jeon

MAKGEOLLI

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)

Gaemi Jip Table

What Mamas & Papas liked: The makgeolli. Gaemi Jip JeonThe 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.Gaemi Jip Dong dong Ju 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.

Gaemi Jip OutsideHow 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

Map: Here

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!

Jujeontak (주전탁)

Update:  It has been reported to us that this bar has closed and is now an Izakaya

Name: Ju Jeon Tak (주전탁)

Location: Seollung Station

Reviewed by: Mama’s and Papa’s on: May18, 2013

Thoughts: Ju Jeon Tak is a more upscale makgeolli house that focuses on a unique blend of fusion inspired classics. The interior is a dim lit retrofitted makgeolli house with a faux cherry blossom tree as its centerpiece. It’s clean, quiet and offers some privacy with its sectioned booths. The house offers readily available and common makgeolli’s, with a large menu.

Jujeontak Interior

 

LOCATION

Overall: ***1/2 (3.5 Stars)

FOOD
Kimchi Bacon Jeon: (crisp, oily, salty, good, a bit bacon deficient)

***1/2 (3.5 Stars)

Bossam: (Good sized portion, perfectly steamed, succulent pork with a cinnamon aftertaste, lots of fresh vegetables.)

****1/5 (4.5 Stars)

Haemul Pajeon: (Hefty amount of seafood, a tad oily)

***1/2 (3.5 Stars)

MAKGEOLLI

Baedari (배다리): (Light, sweet, milk like consistency)

***1/2 (3.5 Stars)

Geumjeongsan (금정산): (Clean, sour, small head, big feet, thicker, clean aftertaste)

***1/2 (3.5 Stars)

Gyeongju Bobju (경주법주): (Watery, bitter, super sour, highly effervescent, chalky aftertaste)

**1/2 (2.5 Stars)

Baeknyeon (백년): (Neutral, minimal flavor, very snow-like, a tad pungent, crisp)

*** (3 Stars)

Daebak (대박): (Sweet, watery, fizzy)

** (2 Stars)

Deoksan (덕산): (Thick, refreshing, savory, a twinge on the sweeter side)

*** (3 Stars)

Jujeontak Mak

What Mamas & Papas liked: The service. We received a complimentary bottle of Makgeolli, as well as the Haemul Pajeon. Jujeontak jeonWe also enjoyed the general ambiance. It had a clean and comfortable atmosphere, and it’s one of the quieter places to enjoy makgeolli.

 

What Mamas & Papas didn’t like: The selection of makgeolli.Jujeontak For a makgeolli house in a more upscale neighborhood, we were expecting to find some hard to find makgeollis, with a more diversified flavor spectrum. However all the makgeollis on offer can be easily found at most bars and supermarkets.

Recommendation: This place would be a nice place to entertain some first time guests new to Korea, introducing them to a more internationalized Korean cuisine, and as a fair introduction to makgeolli, especially after a long day of shopping at the nearby COEX. You can comfortably find seating for up to 6 people, and it can accommodate larger groups with advanced notice

Jujeontak ExteriorHow to get there: Go straight out of exit one, and take your first right. Walk straight down the street, first up an incline, then down again for about a block and a half. The restaurant will be on your left, next to a convenience store.

Address: 서울 강남구 대치동 900번지

Map: Here

Have you been to Jujeontak before? Tried more dishes or have more opinions? More questions? Leave us a comment below and tell us what you think!<

MoonJar – (달빛 술담)

Name: MoonJar (달빛 술담)

Location: Sinsa-dong

Reviewed by:Mamas ‘& Papas on: 11th August, 2012

Thoughts:  MoonJar is one of the most famous places to go for an upmarket makgeolli experience, though a little difficult to find for some of us.  It’s always busy (especially on weekends) and despite the spacious interior, reservations are a must if you want in.  The service was prompt, though a little abrupt, and the atmosphere was young and trendy.  We chose MoonJar in particular to check out their makgeolli cocktail range, so our Mamas & Papas focused their reviewing taste buds on a selection of three different cocktails.

LOCATION                                       FOOD

Service:        ***                                Haemul Pajeon (해물파전) :  ***1/2

Style:             ***                                Bossam (보쌈):    ****

Ambience:  ***

OVERALL:  ***

MAKGEOLLI

Citrus Cocktail  (유자):   **1/2   (sweet, silky, appley, earthy)

Honey Cocktail (꿀):       **  (sweet, thick, simple)

Plum wine Cocktail (복분자): ***1/2 (sweet, bit tart, yoghurt-like)

Baedari sal Makgeolli (배다리쌀): **** (dry, light, fresh)


MoonJar is a large, two story establishment in the upmarket lanes of trendy Sinsa-dong, with a unique country-like interior.  There are a number of different levels and sections for large groups or small, giving off the feeling of privacy without actually being in a private room.  The white walls and wooden furniture are offset by low mood lighting, but the whole place is buzzing with  customers and loud music.  The atmosphere is one of liveliness and movement, with one Mama commenting ‘I feel like I’m at a club, not in a makgeolli bar.’

What Mamas & Papas liked : The food.  There is no mistaking the Sinsa-dong quality of what comes out of the MoonJar kitchen.  The Bossam was a particular hit (one Papa describing it as ‘Top Drawer’) as it comes with not only pork but also duck, and excellent kimchi as an accompaniment.  Bear  in mind that this place is on the expensive side of town, so expect the expensive price tag of 29,000won for one serving.

The Pajeon was also well received, thick and crispy on the outside, soft in the middle.  Although the cocktails were not generally raved about by our Mamas & Papas, we did also try some regular makgeolli, which was crisp and refreshing.  One Mama said the regular makgeolli was ‘dry and enjoyable, tastes like what  I would expect the drink to be like.’

What Mamas & Papas didn’t like: The sweet cocktails.  All three selections from the cocktail menu were heavily sweetened, which didn’t suit most Mamas & Papa’s palates.  One Mama described the Honey cocktail as ‘not like makgeolli, more like a unique, new kind of latte’.  We enjoyed sampling them, though most people would not order them again.  The Bokbunja (plum wine) makgeolli cocktail was the least sweet of the three, and was liked better by our reviewers.

Mamas & Papas also felt the music was a little too loud for our table to have comfortable conversation.  We were, however, seated right under the Bose speakers, so be sure to mention it to your servers if that’s where you are seated!

MoonJar is certainly a beautiful place, and the quality of food and makgeolli is undeniable.  It is a good place if you’re looking for a special occasion…or maybe even a hot date…but it’s perhaps not ideal for a relaxed, more laid-back makgeolli experience.

 

How to get there:

Head to Apgujeong Station on Line 3 and come out of exit 2.  Take a U-Turn and follow the main street down for about 10 minutes until you see a large crosswalk with a Gas Station on the opposite side of the road.  Cross the road and turn right, follow the street until you see the Shinhan Personal Finance Centre on the opposite side of the main street.  That’s when you should turn left down a small street, and walk for a few blocks.  Moon Jar is the large white building on the left, opposite Aland.

Address:

강남구 644-19 신사동

Map

Links:

MoonJar  has received a number of other reviews, so if you’d like to check out what other people thought of it, here are some links.

Seoul Grid has a good review here with a lot of interior pictures.

CNNGo’s Elizabeth Eun wrote up MoonJar as one of the 5 best makgeolli bars here.

Their own website is here.

Have you been to MoonJar before?   Tried more dishes or have more opinions? More questions?  Leave us a comment below and tell us what you think!

Chez Mak – Sinsa dong

Name: ChezMak

Location: Sinsa-dong

Recommended by:  Twitter Follower

What we have heard:   ChezMak is an upscale ‘Contemporary Korean Dining Bar’ that is listed as one of the ‘3 Trendiest Makgeolli Bars in Seoul’ by Mnet’s Enewsworld (alongside Moon Jar and Cheongdam (1) Mak).  It’s what you would expect from a makgeolli bar in Garusu-gil, and they have a wide selection of makgeolli cocktails and fancy dishes.  Our recommendation mentioned that most of the cocktail combinations were very sweet.

Photo Credit:  Enewsworld

Address: 536-1, Sinsa-dong, Gangnam-gu

Map: Here

Links to other sites for ChezMak:  enewsworld

Have you been to ChezMak?  Agree with what we have heard, or have a different opinion?  Comment below on your experiences for other Makgeolli lovers, or send us your own review using our Guest Template.

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