The Manjok (The 만족)

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A happy little group of Mamas & Papas, Feelin’ That Manjok

Name: The Manjok (만족) *translates as ‘The Satisfaction

Location: Near the entrance to Hongik University.

Reviewed by:  Mamas & Papas August 1st

Thoughts: Anyone visiting the area around Hongik university will quickly become aware that there is no shortage of places to choose from for food and drink. Whatever your fancy, there are a dozen places that will provide it for you. Makgeolli is of course no exception. Typically what’s been offer has catered for the predominant student demographic. Places such as Hongdaepo, Hawaiian Makgeolli and countless other nameless places, selling “house makgeolli” for cheap, fun times. Although more recently some more upmarket places have appeared in the area, including the fantastic Olsoo.

Not until the opening of The Manjok in the area, has there been a restaurant that has quality brews at a reasonable price. The owner is one of the brewers for 좋은술 (Joeun Sool), who are one of the most prominent premium makgeolli producers in the country. Their products include 천비향 탁주 (cheonbihyang takju) and 약주. The Manjok serves this brewery’s usual premium fare, as well as a variety of other craft brews that 좋은술 produces… great things….things that we had never seen. We were excited.

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Location

Service: ***** 5 Stars

Style: *** 3 Stars

Ambience:  **** 4 Stars

Overall: **** 4.5 Stars

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Recommended Food:

Baked Pork (보쌈): **** 4 Stars ~ Fatty, Juicy, Plentiful, Pairs well with Ihwaju.

Gorgonzola Pizza: *** 3 Stars ~ Thin, Doughy Base, Sweet Honey Side, Light.

Spicy Cheese Ddeok Bosam (매운치즈떡보쌈) **** 4 Stars ~ Glorious, Huge, Comfort Food, Succulent

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Recommended Makgeolli:

Ihwaju (이화주 5양주) **** 4 Stars ~ Sour aromatics, Warm, Dusky, Sediment.

Ihwaju (이화주 막걸리) **** 4 Stars ~ Sweet, Nuruk heavy, Slight Acidity, Subtle balance.

AhwangJu Cheongju (아황주 청주) *** 3.5 Stars ~ Bitey, Sweet & Sour, Floral, Caramel finish.

GongGam Sweet Cheongju (공감 Sweet 청주) *** 3 Stars ~ Smooth, Tart finish, Boozey, Nutty.

Cheonbi Hyang Takju (천비향 탁주) **** 4 Stars ~ Thick, Robust, Liqueur, Chalky.

Cheonbi Hyang Makgeolli (천비향 막걸리) **** 4 Stars ~ Light, Warm, Balanced, Clean.

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What we liked: The Brews. Usually when we get together with our Mamas & Papas to try things out we start at the cheapest side of the menu, and try to sample our way up towards the really awesome items. However, we were (pleasantly) denied that chance. The owner was so keen for us to try the premium side of menu that he recommended us a large number of things that we hadn’t tried before. The majority of these brews do come from 좋은술, however there are varieties that as far as we know can’t be found in other spots, and they are priced much cheaper than can be found in other bars. If you’re not on your premium makgeolli game however, there are still a large number of regular takjus and makgeolli blends/cocktails to be enjoyed as well. (When we visited, the most prominent drink being consumed by patrons was 장수 (Jangsu)… stick to what you know I guess. #sadface)

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An Ihwaju from 좋은술 that we tried for the first time!

What we disliked: Ice! At the time of our visit, a lot of the 천비향막걸리 was being stored in a refrigerator on the veranda of the restaurant, and although they were (fairly) cool, the manager insisted on blending the brews with crushed ice. Which though making them pleasantly cold, also made it a little difficult to drink. It seems a bit petty to pick on this however as they are still smoothing out the kinks in the newly opened venue. (We visited on their first weekend). We will update this section soon (we will definitely be visiting again)

Recommendation: We were elated to discover that The Manjok opens it’s doors at 11am. Even further elated to hear that they provide a lunch special. Our minds were blown when we told that this lunch only costs 5,900won. This makes it cheaper than most lunches you can find in the area, and with all that excellent makgeolli to pair it with I can imagine many afternoon workers arriving at the office with a spring in their step. This place also works well in the early evening, so feed and drink up before the rest of your Hongdae adventure.

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The fridges were very well stocked.

Directions: Facing Hongik University’s main entrance, turn left and walk a few moments, taking the first left just before the Starbucks. You will see a CU convinience store on the corner. The Manjok is in the building directly across from there on your left, on the second floor.

Address: 서울 마포구 서교동 344-6 칼리오페빌딩  2층 (Seoul Mapo-gu, Seogyo-dong 344-6, Kaliope Building 2F)

Phone: 010-4724-0009

Map: Here

New York Makgeolli (뉴욕막걸리)

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Name: New York Makgeolli (뉴욕막걸리)

Location: Hapjeong

Reviewed by: Mamas & Papas on January 31st 1015.

 
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THOUGHTS: Just a short walk from the subway station towards a street sprawling with nice restaurants and fancy cafes, a turn into could be mistaken for an alley or car park entrance lands you at New York Makgeolli. It’s unassuming location and signage make it an easy spot to miss. It’s tented front section (in winter) shelters red tables that would not be out of place in a street food vendor’s stall (포장마차). Beyond the threshold thought there is a tightly packed, bustling restaurant with a couple of rooms and ample seating. A popular location with locals getting their makgeolli buzz either after dinner, or before hitting the town.

 LOCATION                                    FOOD

 Service:   * * * *                                   Stuffed Squid (오징어 순대) * * * * (Chewy, tender, filling, delicious)

 Style:       * * *                                     Grilled Pork (오겹살) * * *  (Tender, mild, a little sweet)

 Ambience:  * * * *                                Kimchi Jeon (김치전) * * * (Soft, tangy, average )

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OVERALL:  * * *  3 stars

MAKGEOLLI

Song Myeong Sub (송명섭) * * * * 4 stars (Nicely sour, dry, medium body, Chalky)

Shindong Makgeolli (신동 막걸리) * * * 3 stars (Aromatic, Vanilla, Sweet, Watery)

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Note: This bar actually sells two variants of Shindong: a 9% and a 12%. They also do a half and half, mixing the two together.

Gyeongju Bopju (경주법주) * * * 3 stars (Yeasty, light, carbonated, dry)

Beoldeok Ju (벌떡주) * * * 3 stars (Sweet, sharp, “Korean pumpkin candy”)

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Note: Beoldeok is a spirit and not a Makgeolli ~ You’ll recognize the bottle by the extremely phallic bottle top:)

What Mamas & Papas liked: The Service. The staff were generally very attentive, despite the place being very busy when we visited. Our night started in the tented outdoor front section, however as space cleared up inside we were promptly moved inside to more comfortable seating. The owner seems to know about makgeolli, which is always good. He explained a little about the types he had on offer, and also revealed that he is studying makgeolli brewing himself. This is the kind of passion we like to see from makgeolli bar owners, and a knowledge of brewing skills will perhaps lead to a more varied selection of brews available at the bar.  Mamas & Papas were also quite satisfied with the food, with one mama commenting ‘feels like a fusion dish’.

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What Mamas & Papas Disliked: The Selection. Despite having several makgeolli types to choose from, almost everything on the menu was sweetened with the exception of Song Myeong Sub (송명섭). This is quite a common finding in the nightlife/술집 type makgeolli bars, which don’t tend to curate a wide palate of brews.  One papa commented on the Sindong Makgeolli combo as “This is a 750ml aspartame hand grenade, and there’s no expiration date”. Also the lack of any premium brews was a little disappointing as well. This place is a popular location on the local Korean nightlife scene and as such it seems to be catering to the preference for sweet makgeolli, which has been the trend here for some time.

Serious makgeolli decisions....
Serious makgeolli decisions….
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…made in the cold…
...but totally worth it
…but totally worth it

Recommendation: This is a great place to come for some light food and some drinks before heading out into the Hapjeong/Hongdae area for your night of fun. It’s usually busy on the weekends and that can either be great or not depending on your style. This isn’t really a good place for quiet drinks and conversation, however if you are on a night out it is certainly a good place to soak up the rowdy atmosphere. The prices are reasonable and won’t break the bank, however there is nothing on the drinks menu that is above entry level table makgeolli, so the caveat is the selelection. All in all it’s an enjoyable place to start your evening.

Statue of Makberty

How to get there:  Come out of Hapjeong station exit 4 and walk straight briefly before taking the first left before the main road. After a couple of moments walkding down the hill you will see a carpark on your left, and just beyond that you will find New York Makgeolli tucked away down a little alley way.

Address: 010-3130-4532 서울 마포구 서교동 394-20

Map: Here

Have you ever visited New York Makgeolli? Share your experience with the community by posting a comment here, or leave a message on our facebook page!

Makgeolli Cocktail File – Cherry Mak & Tonic

And that’s exactly what it is!  When browsing through the fresh food section of the supermarket, we noticed the first fresh cherries on the shelves.  So we thought, why not chop them up and put them in a makgeolli cocktail?  The result was a surprisingly delicious treat!  The bitter sweetness of the fresh cherries mixed so well with the sour makgeolli, and the tonic just gave it that edge.   After giving it a good pulse in the blender with some ice, a nice foamy head topped off a pretty awesome cocktail.

Cherry Mak & Tonic

Ingredients:

1 cup of Baedari (배다리) Makgeolli

1 handful of fresh cherries chopped

A splash of tonic water

A few ice cubes

Method:

Pour the makgeolli into the blender with the chopped cherries.  Give it a pulse first and taste for sweetness, adding more cherries if needed.  Add the splash of tonic with the ice cubes and give it another pulse.  Pour into a chilled glass and enjoy!

Note:  The kind of makgeolli will change the flavor of your cocktail.  For this recipe we used a thicker, more sour makgeolli to pair with the bitter sweet cherries.

Have you tried the Cherry Mak & Tonic?  Had different results?  Comment below and tell us what you think!

 

Makgeolli Cocktail File – The Makmosa

Got something to celebrate? Why not try our take on the Mimosa! We happened to have some champagne and orange juice in the fridge, so naturally we thought of throwing in a bit of makgeolli for good measure. We mixed equal parts for our cocktail, but it was a little heavy on the OJ flavor. We suggest holding back a little on the orange juice for a more balanced flavor

IngredientsMakgeolli Cocktail - The Makmosa

Makgeolli
Champagne
Orange Juice

Method
Mix equal parts of all ingredients into a chilled glass….enjoy 🙂

Remember: The key to all makgeolli cocktails is the type of makgeolli, and the flavor will change according to which makgeolli you choose. We used light, fresh and sour makgeolli. This kind of cocktail will work best with the light & fresh kinds of makgeolli.

Have you tried this recipe? Had different results? Tell us what you think!

Makgeolli Cocktail File – The Makquiri

We turned our experiments towards the blended ices range of cocktails, and the first thing that came to mind was the daiquiri! For this cocktail we tried using frozen makgeolli and fresh makgeolli with ice, and without a doubt frozen had the best result.

Makquiri
Ingredients:
1 Cup of Frozen Makgeolli
1 Handful of sliced fresh strawberries
4 Tablespoons of ‘I’m Real’ strawberry puree/juice
1 Tablespoon of simple sugar syrup
1 Shot of white rum
3 Squirts of lime juice
4 Ice cubes

Method:
Place the strawberries in the blender, and add the rum, sugar syrup and lime juice. Fill the blender with ‘I’m Real’ Strawberry juice until it just covers the strawberries. Add 1 cup of frozen makgeolli, and top it off with a few splashes of fresh makgeolli. If you have a small blender, blend first and then add 4 ice cubes and blend again. If your blender can handle it, add the ice cubes and blend it all in one go. Pour into chilled martini glasses and garnish with fresh strawberries, and enjoy!

*Note: If you’re trying this without using frozen makgeolli, add more
‘I’m Real’ for stronger flavor. When we tried this using just ice and makgeolli, it was a little more watered down than the original.

Remember: The key to all makgeolli cocktails is the type of makgeolli, and the flavor will change according to which makgeolli you choose. We used a fresh bean makgeolli, which is a light, slightly sour and carbonated makgeolli. This kind of cocktail will work best with the light & fresh kinds of makgeolli.

Have you tried this recipe? Had different results? Tell us what you think!

Makgeolli Cocktail File – Apple Cider Mak

This week’s makgeolli cocktail is based on the idea of a long, hard day and that feeling of something cold and bubbly at the end of it. Makgeolli is regularly mixed with what is called ‘cider’ in Korea, which is really more like sprite and is non-alcoholic. This cocktail uses alcoholic apple cider as the mixer which ups the carbonation and gives it a fruity twist. The result was a light, fresh and slightly sweet beverage that was dangerously easy to knock back.

Apple Cider Mak
Ingredients:
Baedari Makgeolli (배다리 막걸리)
Crushed Apple Cider

Mix equal parts makgeolli and apple cider in a chilled glass, enjoy!

Remember: The key to all makgeolli cocktails is the type of makgeolli, and the flavor will change according to which makgeolli you choose. We used Baedari makgeolli, which is a light, slightly sour and carbonated makgeolli. This kind of cocktail will work best with the light & fresh kinds of makgeolli.

Have you tried this recipe? Had different results? Tell us what you think!

Makgeolli Cocktail File – The Berry Brunch

The next installment in our Makgeolli Cocktail experiments is something that was inspired by….dare we say it….breakfast! There are a number of fruit makgeolli cocktails available in bars these days, but we haven’t come across any using fresh fruit as yet. This cocktail came out thick and smoothie like, and the added shot of hard liquor could be further experimented with. Again the trick is to have frozen fruit on hand to get that iced chill and frothy finish.
Makgeolli Cocktail Berry Brunch

Ingredients:
1 large frozen strawberry
1 small handful frozen blueberries
1 cup of Geumjeong sanseong (금정산성) or other light, sweetish makgeolli
1/2 shot of gin

Place berries, makgeolli and gin in a blender and mix until there are no chunks of fruit left. Enjoy!

Remember: The key to all makgeolli cocktails is the type of makgeolli, and the flavor will change according to which makgeolli you choose. This worked with a very well known makgeolli that has a light, slightly citrus taste. A lighter, more balanced makgeolli goes well with the sweetness of the fruit.

Have you tried this recipe? Had different results? Tell us what you think!

Makgeolli Cocktail File – Shandy Mak

Our second installment of the Makgeolli Cocktail Files saw us playing around with some classic beer cocktail recipes. Makgeolli is arguably more closely related to beer than wine, so we decided to see how it stands up to the ‘Shandygaff’.

Makgeolli Cocktail Shandy Mak
Ingredients
1/2 Cup of Berry Makgeolli (오미자 막걸리)
1/2 Cup of Ginger Ale
A dash of Grenadine

In a chilled glass, pour in the makgeolli then the ginger ale. Using the back of a spoon, pour the grenadine gently into the glass. It will separate nicely for a visual effect, but stir it up before drinking!

Remember: The key to all makgeolli cocktails is the type of makgeolli, and the flavor will change according to which makgeolli you choose. We enjoyed this sweeter kind (found at places like Hyundai Department Store) as it balanced well with the ginger ale and was a fresh, drinkable cocktail.

Have you tried this recipe? Had different results? Tell us what you think!

Makgeolli Cocktail File – The Banana Makeoccinno

Introducing….the Makgeolli Cocktail Files!!

We love experimenting with all the different ways to enjoy makgeolli, so each week we are going to come up with a mak cocktail experiment and share our…ehem…research 🙂

The idea for this cocktail came out of nowhere last year, and we were really surprised at how great it turned out. So well in fact, that we have made it many times since! The trick is to freeze the banana, and have really strong coffee on hand.

Banana Makeoccino

Ingredients
1 Frozen banana
1 Cup of Deodeok Makgeolli (or any other store mak available)
3 Tbs of strong coffee

Method
Cut up the frozen banana and put in the blender with a cup of the chosen makgeolli. Chill the coffee (the stronger brewed the better), and add to the mixture. Blend it all together until you get the frothy top. Serve in a tall glass with a sprig of mint….and enjoy 😉

Did you try this recipe? What did you think? Share your thoughts and results with us!