Midam (미담) CLOSED DOWN

This location is now CLOSED as at January 2016

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Name: Midam (미담)

Location: Sadang

Reviewed by: Mamas & Papas on February 28th 2015

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Thoughts: Midam is an established Makgeolli brewery, that produces a decent premium makgeolli we have known about for a while now. Imagine our surprise when we found out that they have their own bar!? We couldn’t believe it had slipped under our radar, and we had absolutely no choice but to check it out. It’s very close to exit 14 of Sadang station but is a little tricky to find as it is (as a lot of the bars we review are) hidden away in an alley. The beautiful and distinctive font of the the signage is also a little bit tricky to read from afar ~ so be aware, if you’re looking for it, you may have missed it!

“Prompt service, bright and airy, the free flowing layout (with open sliding doors) made actually quite small space feel much larger”

~ A Happy Mama

IMG_0333 LOCATION                                   

Service:      * * * * *

Style:          * * * *

Ambience:  * * * *

OVERALL: **** 4 Stars

FOOD

Selected Pancakes (모든 전)                  * * *  (Light, greasy)

Bossam Pork and Octopus (보쌈숙회)  * * * *  (Fresh, Sweet, flavorful)

Fried Oysters (굴전)                                * * * * * (Fresh, Large, Light, Succulent) IMG_0318 IMG_0313 MAKGEOLLI: Song Myeong Sub(송명섭): * * * * (sour, dry, good accompaniment to savory foods)

Note:  Song Myeong Sub reflects the individual spirit of the brewer, and can be quite varied in it’s character depending on the season.   A great brew that can vary between sweet and thick, to thin and sour. As one regular makgeolli mama said at this meeting, “The taste seems to have changed from it’s usual palate… a bit watery, a bit bitter a bit dull”

Don’t let this put you off though ~ despite it’s changes, this is one of our absolute favorite, easily accessible makgeolli bottles.

Jeonju Makgeolli (전주막걸리) * * (Vanilla, saccharine, mild, light)

White Lotus: Snowy Makgeolli (하얀연꽃 막걸리) * * * (Sparkling, Sweet, Light, Medium Bodied)

Midam Takju (미담 탁주) * * * * (Earthy notes, chalky,sweet sticky rice taste)

Chapssal Saeng Ju (찹쌀생주) * * * * (Grassy, part dry, part sweet, boozy)

 Potato Cheongju (감자술) * * * (Strong potato taste, artificial cheese notes)

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A clear makgeolli? a cheongju? opinion is split.

Note: The Chapssal Saengju (pictured above) has been advertised as a clear makgeolli. However due to its lack of sediment, and it’s high alcohol percentage we suggest that it is actually a cheong-ju (a clear sake-like rice wine). Unfortunately, the terms makgeolli and/or Cheong-ju/Yak-ju are nowhere to be found on the bottle.

 

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The undeniable taste of potato… hmmmm

  What Mamas and Papas liked: The Service. The staff at Midam are lovely, helpful and very generous. We were waited on hand and foot by our waitress and the chef, who provided us with ample extra dishes at no extra charge. The makgeolli selection wasn’t terrific, however they were happy to find us some things that were not on the menu specifically, which turned out to be something rather tasty too! Seriously excellent staff. It had been a long time since we felt so welcomed during a meeting by our hosts.  Mamas & Papas also enjoyed the food, commenting “I felt like I was eating home food!”, and “I really liked this food, clean and neat!”. 

What Mamas and Papas disliked: The Selection. Most of the Makgeolli on offer here is aspartame sweetened, entry level tak-ju, again with one of the only dry options being Song Myeong Sub. There were a number of Cheongju bottles available for sale (Clear, sediment free rice wine) and they obviously provided their own Midam brand premium bottle, although there no other representatives from the top shelf makgeolli camp.  From the selection of cheongjus we tried, the least favorite was the potato liquor, with one mama not quite knowing how to put it into words commenting “strange…but interesting”.  

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To the last drop…

Recommendation: This is a good place to come and enjoy their rather tasty food alongside a fairly varied palate of drinks options. It seems to cater well to larger group sizes, and offer relatively private sections for your group to eat and drink in. The majority of their seating is floor based, especially at the large tables. If you don’t like to sit on the floor or are unable to for whatever reason, you should be alright at a seated table if your group is between 2 and 4, but more than that is not possible.

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Papa Dan’s comment:  For those customers willing to spend a larger amount of money, there are some excellent premium Soju bottles on offer. Including SeongMyungSeop’s Juk Lyeok Go (죽력고), which is a highly renowned drink in Korea, brewed by 4 generations of the master brewers family! It will set you back 120,000 at Midam.  They also serve Gam Hong Ro (감홍로) which is a strong soju infused with Asian medicinal herbs, and yields a cinnamon taste and aroma ~ this is one of MMPK’s favorites, however it is quite pricey at around 80,000 per bottle!

How to get there:  Come out of Sadang Station exit 14 and take your first left.  At the next street turn right, and then left again at the next street.  The bar should be on the corner just near then next street on your left.

Phone: 02-3474-0006

Address: 서울특별시 서초구 방배천로 10 동화빌딩

Map:  here

Have you been to Midam in Sadang? Was your experience comparable to ours? Tell us your loves and hates in the comments or post on our facebook page!

Donghak (동학) CLOSED DOWN

This location is now CLOSED as at December 2014

Name: Donghak (동학) Location: Soongsil Reviewed by:  Mamas & Papas on: July 30th, 2012 Thoughts:  This place only serves Dong Dong Ju and other liquors, which were served in traditional decanters.  It’s an old style hut, only seating on the floor with a dark cozy ambiance. LOCATION                                       FOOD Service:        **                              Dubu Kimchi (두부김치):  ** Style:             ***                            Deodeok gui (더덕구이):   **** Ambience:  **** OVERALL:   **** DONG DONG JU Donghakju (동학주):                     ****   (Nutty, sweet, cereal-like) Dong Dong Ju  (찹쌀동동주):     ***1/2  (Lemony, sour, smooth) The atmosphere was relaxed and we could stretch out and enjoy ourselves.  The traditional decor of straw, farming equipment and pictures of old freedom fighters made it easy to settle in for as long as we wanted. What Mamas & Papas liked :  The Donghakju.  It is a specialty of this house and it is made from 누룽지 (the scorched rice at the bottom of the pot) which gives it a unique flavor.  One Mama said it was like ‘Multigrain Cheerios’. Mamas & Papas were also impressed by the Deodeok gui (더덕구이).  It was was covered in a delicious sauce, and one vegan Mama gave it the stamp of approval.  Prices at Donghak are also very reasonable, you can eat and drink your fill without breaking the bank. What Mamas & Papas didn’t like: The Dubu Kimchi.  It came out a bit too cold and was lacking in substance.  One Papa said it was ‘fairly standard as far as dubu kimchi goes’.   The service improved as the night wore on, though you will have to brush up on your calling out skills. *Special Note* The menu is all in Korean, including prices and without pictures. How to get there: It is very close to the subway station. So to get there, come out of Soongsil Station (Line 7) exit 2, and make a U-Turn.  You will see a Woori Bank on the corner of a small alley, turn right down this little street.  Donghak is the old looking hut on the right. 서울 동작구 상도동 119-24 Map Here Have you been to Donghak before?   Tried more dishes or have more opinions? More questions?  Leave us a comment below and tell us what you think!