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

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Nuruk Namu (누룩 나무)

Name: Nuruk Namu  (누룩 나무)

Location: Insadong (By Anguk Station)

Reviewed by: Mamas and Pappas on June 14th

 

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Thoughts: Immediately around the corner and down the tiny alleyway in front of Anguk Station exit 6, in Seoul’s tourist hot spot of Insadong you’ll find Nuruk Namu (Nuruk Tree) next to the previously reviewed Story of the Blue Star. It’s a quaint place with lovely green plants and pastel tones; a naturally comfortable  place with its low light and wooden tables. Not a particularly large venue, although at the time we visited (with a rather inflated group) the place was busy, bustling and full of the jovial banter of more people than you would expect to be in a place this size. A fantastic atmosphere for an MMPK meet, and apparently quite a popular spot!

 

Overall: **** 4 Stars

Some serious contemplation  by our mamas and papas
Some serious contemplation by our mamas and papas

Food:

순대 복음 Sundae **** 4 stars                                          (Well cooked, well seasoned, “Best I’ve tried“, Smooth)

재육되지고기 Fried Pork **** 4 stars                          (Gochujang marinade, Soft, Well cooked, Delicious)

두부김치 Tofu Kimchi *** 3.5 stars                            (A fine rendition of the requisite makgeolli accompaniment )

벼없는 닭발 Boneless Chicken feet **** 4 stars (Moderate spice, juicy, chewy, wonderful)

 

Makgeolli:

팔공산  미나리  막걸리 (Dropwort/Japanese Parsley Makgeolli) ** 2 stars  (Bland, dry, abrupt finish, curious aftertaste )20140614203235353

유자 동동주 (Citrus Dong Dong Ju) *** 3 stars                                                                 ( Strong, orange rind, sour despite aspertame, Shot finish)

자희향 나비 (Ja Hui Hyang Nabi (Cheongju)) *****  5 stars                                    (Clean, , Sweet, Floral, Nice finish)

자희향 탁주 (Ja Hui Hyang Tak Ju (Makgeolli)) ***** 5 stars                                (Thick, Creamy, Balanced, Earthy)

 

Some other available brews included: Black Bean Makgeolli, Neurinmaul(느린마울), 봉평 메밀 막걸리 (Buckwheat), 대대보 (DaeDaePo). 

 

 

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What M&P Liked: The Variety. The menu presented a large range of Makgeolli, ranging from the common lower end bottles which were sweetened with aspartame, through to some of our favourite premium choices. The selection is perfect for those people curious to get an nice overview of the general makgeolli market. Our first time mamas and papas were afforded a wide choice of good and not so good bottles which really awoke their palates to the nuances of flavour that makgeolli boasts. In addition, our veteran mamas & papas had the chance to try a lot of bottles which we had not tried before, so an evening of mutual discovery and comparison was had by all.

 

What M&P Disliked: The noise? Well, it is hard to objectively pick out a fault with this venue as we had a very good time here.. Good drinks, great food and a fantastic atmosphere. However if you were to come here with the expectation of a quiet night of hushed conversation over a bowl of the magnificent brew, you might be scuppered by the crowd, as it appears to be quite a popular hangout. Perhaps a few more premium and non-aspartame bottles would be a nice finishing factor. However,  don’t let us put you off though, check it out for yourself and let us know about your experience.

Mixing Some 지희향 탁주! Yum!
Mixing Some 지희향 탁주! Yum!

Recommendations: The area is, as previously mentio20140614211328061ned, Seoul’s tourist mecca. So, if you are in the district, either to visit the temples and tea shops,  eat traditionally inspired food or forage for souvenirs at the abundant stores, then this is a great place to stop off and recount your Korean experience with an abundant choice of Korea’s favourite tipple. The owner seems quite happy to accommodate larger groups, though it is possibly best to reserve in advance. Any more than 10 could be an issue however.

Location: Go to Anguk station on line3,  exit 6.  Walk a whole 5 meters and turn left down a very narrow alley between a parking lot (left) and a building.  When the alley opens up, the makgeolli house will be on your right.   If you are familiar with Story of the Blue Star, it should be just next to it.  The name of the place is Nuruk Namu ( 누룩나무).

 

Map: here

Phone: 02-722-3398

 

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

 

Jeondae Gamdaek

Name: Jeondae Gamdaek (전대감댁)

Location: Gyeongbukgung (경북궁)

Reviewed by: Makgeolli Mamas and Papas on 12th April, 2014

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Thoughts: Down the winding alleyway near Gyeongbukgung station, passing an intersting mix of traditional market stores and much newer craft beer houses and restruants, you will find the rather unassuming front entrance of Jeondae Gamdaek. What lies inside is a very beautiful,  open hanook type complex. Decorated with plants, water pools containing fish in the open central courtyard, and all around busy tables attesting to this place’s recent surge in popularity. The place has a distinctly traditional feel and a great atmosphere that would be suitable for a small gathering or a slightly larger group – if you reserve in advance.

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Location

Overall: **** 4 Stars

Food:

Fatsia Jeon 두릅전 ***1/2,  3.5 Stars  (fried greens, greasy, tasty soy dip)

Pumpkin jeon 호박전   ****,  4 Stars (Crispy outside, soft interior, light)

Haemul pajeon 해물전  ***1/2,  3.5 Stars  (Egg based, large uncut veg, dense)

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Makgeolli:

Daedaepo 대대보 **** 4 stars (light, sweet, honey, floral tones)

geumjeongsan 금정산 ***½  3,5 stars (Sour palate, bite, aspertame)

Gaedo 개도  ** 2 stars (Sulfuric, wheat based, complex)

Fig Makgeolli 무화과막걸리 ***1/2  3.5 Stars (Very sweet, basic (장수) makgeolli based cocktail)
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What M&P Liked: The venue. The location is situated in what seems to be a neigbourhood in flux between the old and the new. For now it is a marvelous blend of what seoul was, and what it is becoming. The classic almost bucolic feel of the interior is a beautiful compliment to this neighbourhood and is certainly something that can be enjoyed by all who visit. The food and makgeolli selection were good, but there was nothing particularly unique that stood out on our visit.

What M&P Disliked: The Service. While the service was by no means bad, or unattentive, there were a couple of things which bothered us. The pace of service was quite good considering how busy the restaurant was on the night of our visit. However some of the food items we ordered which were unavailable, were replaced with other dishes. None-the-less this faux-pas was compensated for in the typical Korean style with some additional complimentary dishes .

Recommendations: This is a great place to come to soak in the atmosphere and talk in the open courtyard over a reasonable selection of makgeolli and your standard makgeolli house fare. Visitors would be well advised to look at the menu closely, as there is a secret additional book inside at the back which reveals a more thorough makgeolli list than is present in the menu proper.

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How do I get there?

Come out of Gyeongbukgung Station (Line 3) exit 2, and walk to the corner where there should be a Paris Baguette.  Turn left here (on the same side of the road as PB) and walk straight.  You will pass two right turns, and before you get to the third right, the bar should be on your right.  The entrance is quite small and is easy to miss, so take your time to thoroughly check the signs.

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Address: Seoul, Jongro-gu, Jahamunro 1 nagil 7-17.(서울특별시 종로구 자하문로1나길 7-17)

Number: 070-4202-5170

Map: here

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MoMoKo (모모코)

Name:  MoMoKo (모모코)

Location: Seochodong, Nambu Bus Terminal.

Reviewed By:  Mamas and Papas on 22nd of March

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Thoughts: Venturing off the beaten track in a city like Seoul always yields unexpected and memorable results. Getting off at Nambu terminal station and walking through what seems like any other outer district of Seoul will take you past  ubiquitous apartment buildings, little coffee shops and to MoMoKo. This is not the half house/half tent, cheap Makgeolli in steel kettles, marker pen romances on the walls joint that you may expect. MoMoKo is a polished, homely and accomplished restaurant, with the open kitchen routinely illuminated with the flare of flambéed meat dishes. The walls are confusingly adorned with the likenesses of cats, endearingly hand painted performing various acts of feline mischief which entertain as the large bowls of the vividly coloured, fruit makgeolli smoothies (for which this place is known) are brought forth to our table of wide eyed makgeolli lovers.

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Location

Overall: **** 4 Stars

Food: 20140322191507378

Pork and Raddish Wraps (간장삼겹살): **** 4 stars (Sweet, Sour, Tangy, Succulent)

Pork belly and Lotus Chips (된장삼겹살):  ***** 5 stars (utterly delicious, umami, fried lotus garnish  )

Jjimdak (찜닭): *** 3 stars (soft, tender, spicy, nectarous)

Seared tuna (참치타다끼): **** 4 stars (delicate, silky, very onion-y,)

Seasoned Makchang (Intestines 막창): ***½  3 ½ Stars  (Smokey, Chewy, Spicey, rich)

Chili Cheese Fries: *** 3 stars (nacho cheesey, comfortable, shamefully seductive )

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Makgeolli

Oguksaeng (오국생): **1/2    2 1/2  stars (Convinience store makgeolli, mild, standard)

Blueberry (브루베리): **** 4 stars (Luxuriously thick, striking colour, delicious,)

Apple (사과): *** 3 stars(Mango overtones, creamy, very sweet, pulpy )

Tropical (트러피칼): *** 3 Stars (Tart, Febrezey, Zingy, passion fruit and cherry )

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The gorgeously thick blueberry makgeolli


What Mamas and Papas liked:
 The Food. Unquestionably this place is a restaurant before it’s a Makgeolli house (It is allegedly an Izakaya, though we are not quite sure how it fits into this category!). The restaurant is centered around it’s kitchen and has a very extensive menu. We ate a lot more than at regular meetings and would have kept on going. The prices are quite high, though not unreasonable, and all of the food (even the chili fries) went down well with the group. Their pork dishes are truly excellent and the Makchang was very well prepared. I think most of the group would eat there again given the opportunity. Highly Recommendable.

 

20140322192712553What Mamas and Papas disliked: The Makgeolli. The blueberry cocktail was undeniably the favourite in terms of general consensus. Leaps and bounds beyond the makgeolli based cocktails available in most stores. All of the cocktails are made with a Oguksaeng makgeolli base. This is a cheap, supermarket bottle, which you could call the best of the worst. In terms of what is available in stores, it is one of the more acceptable. However, as the focus of this restaurant is undoubtedly the food, as the selection of edible delicacies far outstrips what is on offer in terms of makgeolli.

Recommendations:   A nice restaurant for a date if you are in the area. It is also accommodating for large groups, making it quite flexible. If you are in the Nambu bus station area, or a couple of subway stops away at Seoul National University of Education, then it definitely worth your while to visit. I think the most enjoyment could be had by those who are not too familiar with makgeolli, as the cocktails may be the perfect gateway drink for those yet to be charmed by this most wonderfully diverse of alcohols. Also, a must for cat lovers …

How do I get there?  Come out of Nambu Bus Terminal Station on line 3, Exit 4-2.  Walk straight until you hit the big intersection with a Hana Bank on the corner.  Turn right here and walk straight.  You should see Hyundai Superville Apartments on your right.  Keep walking until the street comes to an intersection.  Cross the intersection and keep walking straight and the bar should be on the corner of the second intersection.

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Address:  1451-74 Seocho-dong, Seocho-gu,  Seoil Bldg  (서울특별시 서초구 서초동 1451-74 서일빌딩 1층)

Map:  Here

Number: 02-583-3060

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

Nu Look Plus (누룩 프러스)

Name: Nu Look Plus (누룩 프러스).

Location: Myeong Dong

Reviewed by: Mamas and Papas on 8th February, 2014.

Thoughts: Located in the internationally renowned, bustling commercial district of Myeongdong. This bar echos it’s surroundings with its upmarket feel, slick interior and international clientele. A bit of an anomaly among makgeolli houses it’s vibe positions itself somewhere between a wine bar and a cocktail lounge. The ambiance and location of this cleverly titled establishment (Nu Look sounds like the Korean Nuruk (누룩) the defining ingredient used in makgeolli production) is  smooth, modern and atmospherically lit.

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Swanky glass booth with comfy lounge chairs.

The price range is, however, predictable for a bar in the foreign tourist hub of Seoul, and seems to market itself to visiting Japanese customers. Expect to pay a significant mark-up on the few  bottles of your favourites that may be in stock here. The makgeolli selection was unexpected: there was premium bottles and lower end, supermarket bottles and a surprising number pasteurized makgeollies, which may reflect what may be known to overseas makgeolli drinkers who may only have access to the exportable pasteurized varieties. The food on offer is very nice, and well presented, although don’t bank on having dinner here, as their portions are small and the price is not.

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LOCATION

Overall: *** (3 stars)

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FOOD

Tofu Kimchi (with pork) 두부김치: *** 3.5 stars (Well seasoned, spicy, fishy kick, nice sauce)

Pan Fried Pork: **** 4 stars (Succulent, well marinated, perfectly grilled, moreish)

Tuna o’dourves: **** 4 Stars(bite-size, succulent, highly munch-able)


MAKGEOLLI

Daechu (Korean Date) Makgeolli (대추막걸리) : *** 3.5 Stars (Balanced, bittersweet, dry, subtly fruity)

Sweet Potato (고구마막걸리):  ** 2.5 stars (Sweet, thin, flat on the tongue,“Halloween Candy”)

Song Myeong Seop (송명섭): **** 4 Stars (Complex, dry, affably sour, full palate)

GeumJeong San (금정산): **** 4 Stars (Nice bite, orange rind notes, pleasantly pungent)

Teok Seoneun  (톡쏘는막걸리): ** 2 Stars (medium light, dry,chalky finish.)

Eol Geum ginger/ginseng makgeolli (올금): ** 2 Stars (watery, characterless, sweet)

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What M&P Liked: The food. They offer a variety of tasty treats, with both Western and Korean cuisine represented. M&P didn’t stay too far into the western side of the menu, but we were satisfied with the presentation and preparation of the dishes we tried despite the cost. The menu’s variety does extent to the Makgeolli selection too, with some good premium bottles available. They also stock MoJu (모주) which is a low alcohol, sweet and spiced Makgeolli derivative similar to Mulled wine. Yum!

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What M&P Disliked: The angle. It is good to see progress, with old traditions being filled with new life. Having makgeolli presented in a modern and upscale environment is certainly alluring. Yet, despite the intention there is a lack of focus with what this bar aims to do. Resulting in a variety of  wines, beers and makgeolli being on sale, albeit at wine bar prices and without the staff having any detailed knowledge or passion for  the products. A good spot for the casual Makgeolli drinker who would like to experiment with some familiar and unfamiliar drinks in a comfortable setting. Not so compelling for the die-hard makgeolli enthusiast.

Recommendations: Being located in Myeongdong, amid the shops, hotels,bars  and restaurants of the area, it is the kind of place that will appeal to tourists and avid shoppers. If you  are looking for some pre/post dinner drinks in the area, and a comfortable seat to get you off your feet, then it’s certainly a reasonable option. Also a place to go if you are just visiting Seoul on a loose budget, and aren’t looking for the traditional Makgeolli house experience.

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How do I get there?  Take Line 2 and get off at Euljiro 1 ga.  Come out exit 5 and walk to the main street and turn right. Walk a block and take your second right.  Follow this road for 3 blocks, and New Look Plus will be on the top floor of the 포커스빌딩.

Address: 서울 중구 명동1가 38-1

Map: Here

Phone Number: 02-772-9555

Majung (마중)

Name: Majung (마중)

Location: Insadong

Reviewed by: Mama’s and Papa’s on: September 21st, 2013

Thoughts: A lot of houses in Insadong pour their bottled makgeolli into a kettle and call it their ‘house makgeolli’, and you never get to know what it is or where it came from.  Majung offers a very impressive range and selection of makgeolli from all over the Peninsula, and their menu has more pages for makgeolli than it does for food.  It carries almost all of the usual makgeolli you can find in bars, but also has some unusual offerings to be sampled.

Majung inside

LOCATION

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

FOOD
Seafood Pajeon (해물파전): (Not too fishy, spicy, fresh) *** (3 Stars)

Pork belly Bokumbap (삼겹살 볶음밥): (spicy, crunchy, a little oily) *** (3 Stars)

Bossam (보쌈):  (tender, spicy kimchi, fatty) *** (3 Stars)

MAKGEOLLI

Neurin Maeul (느린마을): (fragrent, fruity, smooth, thick) **** (4 Stars)

Dae Dae Po (대대포): (Tasty, sweet, dry finish, enjoyable) ****1/2 (4.5 Stars)

Apple (사과 막걸리): (watery, sweet, syrupy, cider like, rich) **** (4 Stars)

Sami Inju (사미인주): (thick, honey, sweet, yogurt like)  *** (3 Stars)

 

Majung Bar

Majung is deep into the back alleys off the main road of Insadong, and housed in a hanok.  It has a busy atmoshpere, and it has a high turnover of thirsty customers.  The highlight of Majung is the sheer range of makgeolli they have on offer.  There is a bar which showcases bottle after bottle of all the different kinds of makgeolli you might like to sample.  The food selection is not extensive, but it does the job for accompanying the many brews.

What Mamas & Papas liked: The Dae Dae Po Makgeolli.  Of all the different makgeolli we tried, the Dae Dae Po came out on top, Majung Bokkumwith one Mama  commenting  ‘It became my favorite one as of the moment I took a sip’.  Mamas & Papas also loved having such a wide selection of makgeolli to choose from, and we could have stayed trying more well into the night.

What Mamas & Papas didn’t like: The service. Majung Seafood Pajeon It is a busy establishment, but the waiter consistently got our order wrong or forgot to bring new bottles.   One Papa commented ‘They just took way too long on the Mak.’  Mamas & Papas were also not overwhelmed by the quality of the food, and most described it to be of average anjou standard.

DaedaepoMama Julia’s Note:  Dae Dae Po does not contain aspartame, but contains stevioside, which is a natural sweetner derived from the stevia plant.  It also uses real bee’s honey, and comes in a rather unusually styled bottle.  The ‘Blue Label’ is in the style of a whiskey bottle, purportedly because the brewer is also a big whiskey fan.  He also has a ‘Red Label’ makgeolli, though I have yet to see it on the market.

Recommendation: Majung is a great location for those looking for a varied makgeolli experience in Insadong.  Although the food is not the star here, it is a great place to get your taste buds trying a variety of different kind of makgeolli.  The atmosphere is quite loud and bustling, and they can also accommodate large groups.

Majung Outside How to get there:  Come out of Anguk Station exit 6 and walk towards the main street of Insadong.  Walk down the main art street for about five minutes until you see a street on your left ‘Insadong 10gil’.  Turn left down this street, and you should see a little alley on your right, and Majung (마중) should be at the end of it.

Address: 서울특별시 종로구 관훈동 29

Phone Number: 02-730-2985

Map: Here

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

Jangun Jip (장군 집)

Name: Jangun Jip (장군 집)

Location: Bongcheon

Reviewed by: Mama’s and Papa’s on: October 15th, 2013

Thoughts: Tucked away in a back alley not far from Bongcheon station is  a collection of average looking Korean restaurants, and that’s where you will find the two locations of ‘The General’s House’ on opposite sides of the street to each other.  It doesn’t look like much, but it’s one of the few places we have found that offer a taste of Jeonju style makgeolli  (an overwhelming showing of side dishes that come out as a matter of course when you order your makgeolli kettle) in Seoul.  Bring your appetites and your sense of adventure, as there are foods here not on the regular makgeolli anjou circuit.

table and pouring

LOCATION

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

FOOD
Jeonju Side Dish Selection: (Interesting, plentiful, tasty, varied) ***1/2 (3.5 Stars)

MAKGEOLLI

Sasan Makgeolli (사산 막걸리): (milky, basic, refreshing, bland) *** (3 Stars)

table shot

Jangun House is one of the few places we have discovered as yet that offers the Jeonju style of serving makgeolli (the other being Jeonju Makgeolli in Hongdae).  The atmosphere is made by the people there, which at this time was just us, but the owners soon warmed up to our large group and were quite friendly.   The quality of the variety of food ranged from average to good, and was more than plentiful.  There is also a separate menu which you can order from if you have room.

What Mamas & Papas liked: The dubu kimchi. Most Mamas & Papas made some kind of comment as to thickness of the tofu and the deliciousness of the kimchi.  Mamas & Papas also liked the sheer range of food on offer to try, with one Mama exclaiming ‘I should have fasted so I could eat more!”

What Mamas & Papas didn’t like: The Hongoh (skate fish).  Shock horror, this notoriously smelly fish did not wow our Mamas & Papas, with one Mama commenting ‘Tough, tough, tough!”. pouring However the owners did ask us if we wanted to try it or not, which was nice to have the option.  Mamas & Papas were also not overly impressed by the makgeolli.   One Mama remarked ‘It’s not amazing, but it will do in a pinch’.

Mama Julia’s Note:Saseon mak  There are two kinds of makgeolli on offer at this place, one being the usual green bottle Seoul Makgeolli, and Sasan Makgeolli from Jeolla-buk do.  Both contain Aspartame, though Sasan has a lower percentage.   Drinking makgeolli in Jeonju is a large consumption event, and often the makgeolli is lighter and less strongly flavored.

 

Recommendation: This is a good location for those who want to experience the Jeonju style of drinking makgeolli, enjoying dish after dish of anjou, but can’t get out of Seoul to try the real thing.  It’s a casual neighborhood affair, but great if you have someone in town you would like to give a taste of a variety of dishes.  For large groups you might want to make a reservation.

outsideHow to get there: Come out of Bongcheon station (Green Line 2) and take exit 1.  Walk straight and take the first right.  Follow this street to the next intersection and turn left.  Follow this street for a while until you cross the first intersection.  Halfway before you get to the next intersection, you should see 장군집 (Janggeunjip) on your left.  It is a yellow sign with red writing.

Address: 서울특별시 관악구 청룡동 913-8

Phone Number: 02-872-0562

Map: Here

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

In The Alley – (길목에서)

Name: In The Alley (길목에서)

Location: Chungmuro

Reviewed by: Mamas & Papas on: 17th April, 2013

Thoughts: In The Alley is a traditional style makgeolli gem tucked away in a basement location. It is easy to walk past this place and not know it exists, but it offers some of the freshest and hardest to come by makgeolli and dong dong ju in town.

Into the Sky Interior

LOCATION
Overall: ****

FOOD

Beef Jeon (소고기전): *****

Roast Beef(소고기로스): ****

Mixed Jeon (모듬전): ***

Kimchi Jeon (김치찌개): ***

Bean Sprout Jeon (부추콩나물전): ***

MAKGEOLLI

Baekasan Makgeolli (백아산 막걸리): **** (smooth, chalky, earthy, full)

Hayansul Dong Dong Ju (한얀술 동동주): *** 1/2 (clean, sweet, tingly, tart)
Into the Sky Makgeolli Bowl

In The Alley is a dark and traditional old style makgeolli house with a relaxed and comfortable atmosphere. It has a reputation for being the only location in Seoul to stock this particular kind of Dong dong ju, and the food has a mix of traditional classics, as well as some unusual finds.

What Mamas & Papas liked:. The beef. It’s an unusual accompaniment to makgeolli, but the dish Mamas & Papas were calling ‘The French Toast of Beef’ was a winner.French Toast of Beef Slices of beef covered in raw egg and cooked at the table, the sogogi jeon was tender and delicious. Mamas & Papas were also impressed by the makgeolli, which was fresh and drinkable. It is one of the few makgeollis that can boast being aspartame free, and it was evident in the taste. The dong dong ju was unusually clear and received mixed reviews. One Papa said “..start drinking this it’s your new summer beach drink!”, while another Mama said “tastes almost like flavored water.”

What Mamas & Papas didn’t like: The Mixed jeon.Into the Sky - Dubu Mamas & Papas were unanimous that the modum jeon was just average and didn’t do much to excite. One Mama said ‘Could have a bit more taste’. Also not much of a hit was the potato jeon, as the potato wasn’t quite cooked through.

Recommendation: In The Alley is a great makgeolli hideaway for a rainy night or cold winters day. It has a cosy atmosphere with warming food and generous servings of fresh and delicious makgeolli. The service is prompt and welcoming and it’s a great place for a relaxing evening with friends.
Into the Sky Interior 2

How to get there: From Chungmuro station, exit out of exit 1. Continue straight out of the exit for two blocks until you see the SK car service station on your right. Take a right there and head down the windy steet for a few minutes. Into the Sky ExteriorIt will first wind to the right, then to the left. You will then come to the house. Look for a sign on your left. If you have come to the end of the road (an intersection), you’ve gone too far.Turn around. It should be within a good stones throw.

Address:서울 중구 필동3가 7 Map Here

Phone Number: 02 2275 8279

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