Outdoor Lessons (야외 수업)

Outdoor Classes Glasses

Name: Outdoor Lessons (야외 수업)

Location: Hongdae (홍대)

Reviewed by:  Mamas & Papas July 11th, 2015

Thoughts: If you’ve got a hankering for camping but just can’t seem to get out of iron grip of Seoul, you can head for the bar hell bent on simulating the outdoor camping experience indoors. Camping themed restaurants and bars seem to be lingering trend in across Seoul, but what sets this place apart is the focus on Korean traditional alcohol.  Outdoor Lessons (야외 수업) is an outdoors camping themed bar, but rather than focusing on makgeolli, it is developing a name for itself in soju.

When you hear the words ‘soju bar’, it might conjure images of dozens of green bottles and a very rowdy crowd.  However, Outdoor Lessons has a range of popular, mid-range and hard to find sojus and even cheongjus (약주/청주), without the rough crowd.  The food is delicious, and combined with the relaxed atmosphere it makes for a very different soju experience than the usual hof.

 

Outdoor Classes Tent

Location

Service: **** 4 Stars

Style: *** 3.5 Stars

Ambience:  **** 4 Stars

Overall: **** 4 Stars

Outdoor Classes Food

Recommended Food:

Seafood Pajeon (해물 파전): *** 3 Stars ~ Crispy, Generous, Satisfying

Wagyu Beef (와규 소고기) : 4 ****  Stars ~ Tender, Succulent, Silky

Raw Beef Sashimi (육회) **** 4 Stars ~ Fresh, Soft, Delicious

Herb Grilled Pork (허브 삼겹살) *** 3 Stars ~ Fragrant, Juicy, Moorish

Outdoor Lessons - Omaegi Sul

 

Recommended Soju & Cheongju:

Omaegi Sul (오메기술) *** 3.5 Stars ~ Apple, Dusty, Floral, Citrus notes

Najang Bokbunja (내장산 복분자) **** 4 Stars ~ Subtle, Fruity, Peppery Aroma, Warming

Hansan Sogokju (한산 소곡주) *** 3  Stars ~ Charred fruit, Syrupy, Meaty, Woody

Arirang Hongju (아라랑 홍주) ** 2.5 Stars ~ Cherry, Burn, Radish, Strong

Outdoor Classes Bokbunja

Outdoor Classes Sogokju

What we liked: The Concept. Although we tend to primarily visit makgeolli bars, the reason is because there are very few soju bars that offer a variety of quality products at a reasonable price.  That’s not to say there isn’t a whole world of soju beyond the 2,000won bottle at the BBQ restaurant, as there quite a few decent products both established and emerging for the soju lover.  However, most dedicated makgeolli bars either stock the top or the low end, not leaving much wiggle room for the middle range.

The best part about the Outdoor Lessons concept is that it is un-pretentious and relaxed, whilst still offering some interesting liquors. One Mama said ‘I have never been in this kind of environment before ~ I like it!’.  The favorite bottle of the evening was surprisingly the Bokbunja, as most people at the table agreed they were not usually Bokbunja fans.  Another Mama said ‘It’s not like the candy you usually get, I could drink quite a bit of this.’

Outdoor Classes Indoor setting

What we disliked: The Lack of a Good Makgeolli Option. It’s not really the most fair criticism, seeing as Outdoor Lessons primarily stocks soju and cheongju.  However there is makgeolli on the menu, and for those that are not ready to hit the hard stuff, having a good makgeolli on hand would keep everyone happy.  From the bottles we tried, the one that did not win raving reviews from everyone at the meeting was the Arirang Hongju, with one Papa exclaiming ‘I still feel the burn’.

Outdoor Classes Hongju

Recommendation: If you would like to have a relaxed and casual night with the opportunity to try a range of not so common Korean alcohols, Outdoor Lessons is your bet.  It’s very large, has outdoor seating and can accommodate just about any size of group you have.  It has an unpretentious atmosphere for kicking back and trying a lot of interesting booze, without the astronomical price tag.

 

IMG_1748Outdoor Classes InteriroIMG_1668Outdoor Lessons Directions

 

Outdoor Classes Pouring

Directions:  Come out of Hongdae Station (Line 2) and walk straight.  Cross the road when you see the Tom and Tom’s Cafe on the corner and turn left.  Take your first right up the main clothing store streetand walk about a block, and turn left up a small hill (There used to be a Hello Kitty Cafe up this street).  You should see the bar on the right hand side.

Outdoor Classes Front


Address:
 어울마당로 94-12

Phone: 02-6241-6789

Map: Here

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

 

Booze Frog (술 개구리)

Name: Booze Frog (술 개구리)

Location: Hapjeong / Sangsu

Reviewed by: Mamas and Papas on May 23rd 2015

Booze Frog Interior
The light in the late afternoon gives a nice vibe


Thoughts: Located on the trendy street of Sangsu which is lined with cafes, brunch restaurants and cool bars, Booze Frog (our own affectionate translation of the name 술 개구리) is a recent addition to the scene of makgeolli bars.  While some places offer a menu of ten or so brews, this place has a most impressive four page menu and scores of options to choose from.  The atmosphere is intimate and lively, and if you’re lucky enough to get the one table by the terrace, you can people watch the trendsters below with your makgeolli cup in hand.

Booze frog sampler
There are a number of paddle samplers to try the extensive range

 

Location

Service: *** 3 Stars

Style: **** 4 Stars

Ambiance: **** 4 Stars

Overall: **** 4 Stars

Booze Frog Selection
The house herb makgeolli (left) is a mixture of different makgeollis with peppermint herbs and edible flowers

 

Recommended Food

Bacon Cheese Jeon 베이컨치즈전 2.5 stars (spongy, lacking in bacon, soft)

Booze Frog 3 Color Jeon 술개구리 삼색전 3 stars (greasy, overloaded, spicy)

Pork Stir-Fry 돼지볶음 3.5 stars (Textured, slightly spice, soy sauce, tasty)

special jeon
The three color Jeon (pork, radish, squid)

 

Recommended Makgeolli

Neurin Maeul 느린마을                              5 ***** (balanced, pleasant, drinkable, banana)

Gotaek Sticky Rice 고택찹쌀 막걸리         4**** (plum, pear, dry sherry, boozy)

Tiger Makgeolli 호랑이 막걸리                  4**** (pear, smooth, balanced, thick)

Songmyeongsub 성명섭                           3.5 ****1/2 (dry, thin, watery, a bit acidic)

Sa Mi Inju 사미인주                                    3*** (very sweet, fragrant, thin, apple essence)

Dae Dae Po 대대포                                     3*** (sparkling, banana, astringent, fragrant)

Herb Makgeolli 허브 막걸리                      3*** (minty, toothpaste, flavorful, weird)

Geumjeongsanseong 금정산성               2.5**1/2 (tangy, dry, light)

Ha Nam 하남                                              2.5**1/2 (melon, fruity, sweet)

Cheongsul 청슬                                         2.5**1/2 (milky, nutty, bubbly)

 

Herb mak

What we liked: The atmosphere.  The interior has been designed like a Spanish villa, and it is a very popular place filled with imbibers.  The menu being so extensive, they offer samplers which come out not in small shot glasses, but tall water glasses.  If you’re not sure what you like, this is a good way to try different types without having to buy a full bottle.  It’s also a great visual to come to the table, though we found it a little difficult to pour without spilling for each person.  Mamas & Papas also liked a somewhat unusual aspect, the prawn crackers.  It may just come out as free anjou, but multiple Mamas & Papas raved about them saying ‘I would come back just for these’. 

Booze Frog terrace
The terrace table overlooks the trendy Sangsu street

 

What we disliked: The slow service.  Taking into account they are a relatively new establishment, so keeping up with its popularity might mean still working out the kinks.  We ordered makgeolli and the order was forgotten until they were reminded 15 minutes later.  However the owner was apologetic and compensated with free bottles, and his efforts definitely made up for the service lapse.  Mamas & Papas were also a little disappointed with the lack of craft makgeolli, as the only bottles listed on the menu were out of stock.  The house three color jeon was a bit spicy to go well with the makgeolli, with one Mama commenting ‘It blows out the taste buds so you can’t taste the makgeolli’.

Mamas&Papas before ordering
Some of our eager Mamas & Papas awaiting our first order

 

Recommendation: This is a good place for a casual makgeolli experience with a relaxed atmosphere and extensive selection.  If you’re in the Hapjeong/Sangsu area and want a late afternoon brew, the open terrace and windows let in some nice light and open air.  It’s also good if you want to sample a whole selection of makgeolli you perhaps have never tried before, the owner also speaks some English and can recommend you to order.

 

 

Booze Frog OutisdieDirections: From Sangsu Station come out exit #1 and walk down the hill on the main road towards Hapjeong station.  When you reach the carpark at the bottom entrance to hongdae area turn right, and at the next left you should see a CU on the corner.  Turn left here and follow the street for about 3 blocks and then you should cross a 4 way street.  The bar should be just on the right on the 2nd floor and it’s called Sool Frog (술 개구리)

Note:  It’s also accessible from Hapjeong station at about the same distance

Address: 서울 마포구 서교동 400-12

Phone Number: 02-322-1101

Map: Here

 

Have you visited Booze Frog? Is there anything we could have mentioned? What where your likes and dislikes? Tell us your story by commenting here or on our facebook page

Olsoo (얼쑤)

Name: Olsoo (얼쑤)

Location: Hongdae

Reviewed by: Mamas and Papas on January 10th 2015

Olsoo shelf
The artful interior design of Olsoo


Thoughts: Right in the middle of Hongdae: the thriving, bustling beating heart of Seoul’s nightlife, where students, tourists, party lovers, musicians and artists all collide in a seemingly endless network of streets crammed with bars, restaurants, clubs and cafes, you will find this diamond in the rough. Olsoo, with it’s attention to quality and careful selection of Korean traditional alcohol feels somewhat out of place among the cheap barbeque restaurants, soju bars, and rowdy old fashioned makgeolli bars that fill the neighboring area right next to the Hongdae subway station.

The word Olsoo (얼쑤) is the one of the calls of encouragement and emphasis commonly given by the percussionist to solo singer during Korea’s ancient Pansori musicals and translates, perhaps somewhat crudely as “Yah Hoo”. Olsoo is owned and managed by the bar’s chef, who’s passion is not only in modern reflections of Korea’s cuisine, but also in it’s wide offerings in the field of traditional liquor. His staff also share his enthusiasm for makgeolli, cheongju and well crafted soju and are more than happy to offer recommendations and suggestions on what you may like to drink.

Olsoo Interiero
Customers enjoying the atmosphere

 

Location

Service: **** 4 Stars

Style: **** 4 Stars

Ambience: **** 4 Stars

Overall: **** 4 Stars

Olsoo soju
Plenty of exciting things on offer to try

 

Recommended Food

Fried Oysters 굴전 (Succulent, Fresh, Silky, Lightly battered)

Steamed Pork 오겹살찜 (Tender, beautifully cooked, light, well presented)

DSC_2908
Also worth trying, the Yukhye! (Raw beef with pear slices)

 

Recommended Makgeolli

Saminju 사미인주 (very sweet, bee’s honey, watery, crowd pleaser)

JahuiHyang Nabi 자희향 나비 (chalky, mild, floral, aromatic,silky)

Do Mun Daejak 도문대작 (Pungent, nice finish, mild/pleasant bitterness,slightly higher alcohol content)

Olsoo bottles
One papa commented on Domun Daejak ” good amount of fizz!” ~ some nice carbonation!

 

What we liked: The Menu. A bit of a cop out to mention the menu, however it has such a delicious selection of food on offer that it wouldn’t be fair to leave it off the recommendation.  The selection of makgeolli and cheongju on offer here is also very good, with a large number of premium bottles as well as some more interesting and less common varieties of takju/table makgeolli, the selection deserves an honorable mention.  We were very happy with the direction this bar has taken in terms of its well chosen, predominantly non-aspartame bottle choices. Mamas & Papas also were quite satisfied with the quality of food, the fried oysters being a particular hit with the general comment being simply ‘Yummy!!’ (Note:  Oysters are a seasonal menu found mostly from September to December/January)

Olsoo bottles
As well as a great selection of makgeolli, Olsoo also offers a number of top quality sojus.

 

What we disliked: The Price. Well, in hongdae, you would be forgiven for thinking that most places in this area offer cheap and cheerful drinks, with the target demographic being students and party goers. However if that is what you are looking for then this place is perhaps not for you. Although nothing on the menu is unreasonable, it is certainly more expensive than other makgeolli bars that are in the vicinity of Olsoo. You are certainly paying for the quality of the produce and drinks you are receiving here though, and we are more than happy to recommend it.

Recommendation: A great place for a nice meal and a chat with a few friends who either are makgeolli lovers, or who want to get into the world of premium makgeolli. If you have the budget, you will be able to sample and compare most of the higher end makgeolli that is available in Seoul; paired with some very tasty dishes as well. It can sometimes get a little rowdy, as it does appear that the also sell common soju as well which is still popular with the local clientele and the company dinner customers as well. However, the atmosphere is fun and it is certainly a good place to start you night in the most happening place in the city.


Olsoo outside

Directions: Come out exit 8 of Hongdae Station and walk straight.  You will reach a roundabout, and Olsoo is on the opposite side of the street, on the second floor.  Look for a staircase and a white sign with black writing that says 얼쑤.

Address: 서울특별시 마포구 서교동 331-18

Phone Number: 02-333-8897

Map: Here

 

Have you visited Olsoo? Is there anything we could have mentioned? What where your likes and dislikes? Tell us your story by commenting here or on our facebook page

Neurin Maeul Brew Pubs

What Are The Neurin Maeul Brew Pubs?

Neurin Maeul Making pic

These are the brew pubs of Baesangmyeon Brewery, and they are the force behind Neurin Maeul (느린마을) Makgeolli, which is an all chemical & aspartame free brew.  Baesangmyeon’s brew philosophy is all about tradition, quality of ingredients and all natural processes.  They don’t just stop at makgeolli, they have an extensive range of rice & fruit wines, including premium infused soju.    At each of their showcase brew pubs they have a large selection of fruit wines, cheongjus, sojus and makgeolli’s for take home purchase.  There are three brew pubs in Seoul where you can experience fresh Neurin Maeul brewed on site, an experience no other makgeolli brewery currently offers.  Each brew pub has a different atmosphere, but each offer similar menus and varieties of alcohol.  They also have a free membership program which gives you excellent benefits such as unlimited makgeolli, cheongju and soju for 10,000won for a 2 hour period.  MMPK has regularly visited each Neurin Maeul location, and we readily recommend them as places to get an excellent overview of the spectrum of Korean traditional alcohol.

Neurin Maul Brewery & Pub – Yangjae

BSM Yangjae

Address:                   서울 서초구 양재동 67-2 우곡빌딩

Phone:                         02-6917-8888         

Map:                             Here

Free Tasting Area:    Yes     

Atmosphere:  The Yangjae location of the three Neurin Maeul Pubs was the first to brew on site, and it is actually in the building of the Brewery’s offices.  The neighborhood of Yangjae houses a lot of offices, and the crowd at the pub of an evening is often office workers coming in for a few drinks at the end of the day. It’s a little more out of the way in terms of entertainment locations, but the atmosphere is cosy and lively, and they have a number of rooms for big groups.  A special feature of this location is that they also have an outdoor terrace for the warmer seasons.     

BSM Yangjae Interior

Recommendation:  For those looking for a casual but quality makgeolli experience.      

  

Neurin Maeul Brewery & Pub – Gangnam

BSM Gangnam Interior

Address:                          서울특별시 서초구 서초동 1316-28 우송빌딩 지하 1층

Phone:                              02-587-7720

Map:                                   Here

Free Tasting Area:         No

Atmosphere:  Of course being in Gangnam, this location has a much more trendy and busy atmosphere than both Yangjae and Jongno.   The crowd that can be seen at Gangnam is much younger and louder, and people are more likely to let their hair down at this pub.  It is a very popular hangout, and it is not unusual to see a line or have to wait for a table, however the size of the location usually means the lines move fairly quickly.  One thing to note is that the Gangnam location is more of a restaurant and bar, and whilst you can buy some alcohols for take out, the selection is not as diverse as the other two locations.

Gangnam interieor

Recommendation:  For those looking for a more party atmosphere, or a good quality makgeolli experience in the Gangnam area.

 

Neurin Maeul Brewery & Pub – Jongno Center One Building

BSM jongno interior

Address:                           서울특별시 중구 수하동 67 미래에셋센터원빌딩 2층

Phone:                              02-587-7720

Map:                                    Here

Free Tasting Area:   No

Atmosphere:  This is the most recent installment in the Neurin Maeul Brewery Pubs situated on the Cheongyecheon, and it is by far the largest.  It is housed in one of the biggest financial buildings near Euljiro 1-ga station, and you can certainly feel the size of the pub on entry.  However despite being so big, the atmosphere is still quite busy without being overwhelmingly so.  One feature at this bar is that you can ask for them to bring you a free tasting of the four seasons of Neurin Maeul to help you make your choices.

BSM Jongno Soju

Recommendation:   If you find yourself in the Gwangwhamun or Jongno area, this location is a nice way to finish off a day of sightseeing or stream wandering.

 

Tell Us Your Experiences!

If you check out any of the Neurin Mauel Breweries & Pubs, we want to know what you think!  Let us know by commenting below, or posting on our Facebook Page or Facebook Group 🙂

Neurin Maeul bottles2

What about the Supermarket?

Don’t forget that you can also get Neurin Maeul at a number of different supermarkets in Seoul, including Homeplus and Emart.  If you’re wondering if your local supermarket carries it, check out our lists here and here.

Wolhyang – Itaewon (월향 3호점)

Name: Wolhyang (월향)

Location: Itaewon

Reviewed by: Mama Julia

Thoughts: Wolhyang is one of the largest and most reputable chains for makgeolli.  They carry an extensive range of makgeolli from all over the peninsula, as well as their own brewed makgeolli. The Itaewon location is the last of three, the others being in Seogyo dong and Hongdae (Scroll to the bottom for links to reviews of other locations). The Itaewon location carries a similar feel to the Seogyo-dong location, though it is even more hidden in the back alleys of Itaewon.  In addition to carrying an extensive makgeolli range, it is also open from midday for those who are looking for a makgeolli lunchtime option.

Wolhyang Itaewon Inside

Photo Source

LOCATION

Service: ****

Style: **

Ambience: ***

OVERALL: ***

Food

Stuffed Peppers (고추튀김): ****

Recommended Makgeolli

Wolhyang Level 1 (월향 1단계): *** (sweet, medium bodied, clean, light)

Wolhyang Wonju 15% (월향 원주)) **** (strong, thick, dusty, alcoholic)

 

Wolhyang Itaewon Stuffed Peppers

 

Photo Source

The Itaewon location of Wolhyang is the most recent of the three bars, the first being Hongdae followed by Seogyo dong.  This bar is situated far from the busy end of Itaewon and down a winding alley, ensuring that you feel far enough from the Itaewon hype.  Inside is the signature sparse Wolhyang decor with open tables and big windows, though it is a little darker than the Seogyo dong location.  It is consistent with the other locations in terms of menu and food, and you can always guarantee you will eat and drink well.

What We liked : The Service. Wolhyang Itaewon Jar  All three Wolhyang locations offer just about the same food and makgeolli, but the staff at the Itaewon location are just that little bit more attentive and personable.  If you come here more than once, the staff will be sure to remember you and recommend new things to try.  We also love their daytime drinking policies, as this location in particular is popular for some afternoon makgeolli specials.

What we didn’t like: The price. As with the other Wolhyang reviews, we still struggle with the high prices.  Even though Wolhyang has some excellent makgeolli from a range of reasonable to expensive prices, it’s the food costs that will hurt the wallet.  If you are frequently ordering to replenish the food, the final bill can definitely get out of hand.

Recommendation: Wolhyang Itaewon is a great place for an afternoon hangout with friends.  The distance from the main drag of Itaewon means it is quieter and more comfortable for a longer visit without, getting too over crowded.

Wolhyang Itaewon OutsideHow to get there: Come out of Hangangjin Station (Line 6) exit 3 and walk straight.  Take your third left and walk all the way down the hill until you see a bar on the corner called Moonshine (this is the wine bar connected to Wolhyang), the front entrance to Wolhyang will be just around the corner.

Address:서울 용산구 한남동 682-13  Ph: 02 794 9202

Map:  Here

Read our reviews of the other locations:

Wolhyang – Hongdae

Wolhyang – Seogyo-dong

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

Wolhyang – Seogyo dong (월향 2호점) CLOSED DOWN

NOTE:  This location is now CLOSED as at December 2015

Name: Wolhyang (월향)

Location: Seogyo-dong

Reviewed by: Mama Julia &  Papa Dan

Thoughts: Wolhyang is one of the largest and most reputable chains for makgeolli.  They carry an extensive range of makgeolli from all over the peninsula, as well as their own brewed makgeolli. The Seogyo dong location is the second of three, the others being in Hongdae and Itaewon (Scroll to the bottom for links to reviews of other locations). The Seogyo-dong location is in a large white house with two floors and a balcony, and the sparse decor makes it feel light and roomy.   It is probably the brightest and most upbeat of the three, and it lends itself to some cheerful dining and makgeolli tasting.

Wolhyang Seogyo inside

Photo Source

LOCATION

Service: ***

Style: **

Ambience: ***

OVERALL: ***

Food

Modum Jeon (모듬전): ***

Fried Eggplant (가지 튀김): ****

Recommended Makgeolli

Wolhyang Level 1 (월향 1단계): *** (sweet, medium bodied, clean, light)

Wolhyang Wonju 15% (월향 원주)) **** (strong, thick, dusty, alcoholic)

Wolhyang Seogyo Eggplant

Photo Source

The Seogyo-dong location of Wolhyang has a very different atmosphere to the Hongdae location.  As it is nestled in the backpacker side-streets of the neighborhood across from Hongdae, it has a slower and more relaxed feel.  However, as with all Wolhyang bars, you can expect the same standard of menu and makgeolli on offer.  It has large rooms for bigger groups which are not so easily accommodated  in Hongdae, and there is no rush to leave to make room for other customers.

What We liked : The Selection. Wolhyang Seogyo Jars
The biggest draw for Wolhyang is the sheer selection and choice on the menu.
You can choose from the usual suspects which are common in many bars, or you can sample from a range of premium makgeolli, cheongju, and their very own wonju.   The food is also of very good quality, though the serving portions can leave a hungry group wanting more.

What we didn’t like: The price. Even though Wolhyang has some excellent makgeolli from a range of reasonable to expensive prices, it’s the food costs that will hurt the wallet.  If you are frequently ordering to replenish the food, the final bill can definitely get out of hand.  The decor is also quite sparse, so it can feel like it is lacking in a bit of character.

Recommendation: Wolhyang Seogyo-dong is a great place for groups who are looking for a quality makgeolli and dining experience.  If you have people visiting or would like to experience a wide range of traditional Korean liquors in a bright, open atmosphere, this is the place.


Wolhyang Seogyo outside

Photo Source

How to get there: Come out of Hongdae Station (Line 2) exit 1 and walk straight for two blocks.  Turn at your second right and then right again.  Take your first left and you will see a big white building which will be Wolhyang Seogyo-dong.

Address:서울 마포구 서교동 352-23  (02 336 9202)

Map:  Here

Read our reviews of the other locations:

Wolhyang – Hongdae

Wolhyang – Itaewon

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

Damotori ‘H’ – (다모토리 ‘ㅎ’) (Haebangcheon)

Name:  Damotori H (다모토리 ‘ㅎ’)

Location:  Haebangcheon

Reviewed by:  Mama Julia

Thoughts:  Damotori is the staple makgeolli bar for the Haebangcheon and surrounding neighborhood.  It has a cozy and dark atmosphere, regularly filled with a mix of customers who both know their favorite and those that are looking to find a favorite.

damotori bottles

Photo Source

Food:  

Haemul Pajeon (해물 파전):  *** 1/2

Dubu Kimchi (두부 김치):  ***

 

Recommended Makgeolli:

Geumjeong Sanseong (금정 산성):  (tart, sour, unique)

Songmyeong Sub (성명섭):   (dry, sour, chalky)   *no aspartame

Neurin Maeul (느린 마을):  (thick, sweet, balanced)  *no aspartame

 

What We Liked:  The food.  We have visited Damotori on a variety of occasions, and have ordered different dishes each time.  The food rarely disappoints and is a solid accompaniment to the makgeolli.  We also enjoyed being able to discuss makgeolli with the manager, so if you have any questions or need advice, he is an approachable person.

Damotori food

Photo Source

What We Didn’t Like:  The Premium is hidden.  Like most makgeolli bars that have extensive menus, Damotori does carry some premium makgeolli.  However this is not advertised in the main menu.   The menu itself has great information, including maps and tidbits of information about where it comes from, but if you are hankering for a bit of Jahuihyang, make sure you ask if he has some behind the counter.

damotori inside

Photo Source

Recommendation:  If you find yourself in the Haebangcheon neighbourhood and want makgeolli, this is the best place you can go to get it.  It is a good place for some casual conversation or small groups of friends that want some decent Korean food and drinks.

 

damotori outsideHow to Get There:  Come out of the Noksapyeong Station Haebangcheon Exit and walk down the hill parallel to the US Army base.  Once you reach the kimchi pots, turn left and walk up the hill towards Haebangcheon.  You will see a street veer off on your left and on the corner is Bonny’s Pizza, Damotori is just next door.

Address:  서울 용산구 신흥로 31

Ph:  010 8950 8362

 

Map: Here

 

Have you been to Damotori 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

MMPK Makgeolli Week!!!

What is MMPK Makgeolli Week?

You’ve heard of Restaurant Week, you’ve heard of Food Week, well now Makgeolli Mamas & Papas Korea proudly presents the very first MMPK Makgeolli Week!

Over the course of our 2 years in operation, MMPK has had the opportunity to explore, taste and discover so many fantastic makgeolli bars.  We feel passionately about spreading the word about not only where to try, but also what is best on the menu at the bars we review. We know it’s not always easy to know where to go, what to order, or most importantly which makgeolli you might like.

And so the concept of MMPK Makgeolli Week was born! We got together with 2 of the best makgeolli operations in Seoul to team up in a 10 day long event, showcasing their very best makgeolli and food. Both Muldwinda and the recently opened Neurin Maeul Brewery & Pub, are experts in the makgeolli industry and have each designed a special MMPK Makgeolli Week menu. You will have the opportunity to experience the best of what these bars have to offer, as well as broadening your own makgeolli horizons.

So how does MMPK Makgeolli Week work?


Both bars have designed their own set menus for MMPK Makgeolli Week, which anyone will be able to order for the  duration of November 7th – 17th.

Neurin Maeul Brewery & Pub – Gangnam 

If you choose to go to the Neurin Mauel Brewery & Pub, you must download the menu coupon below to show when ordering.  For more information and directions check out Neurin Mauel Brewery & Pub’s MMPK Info Page here.

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Muldwinda – Chungjeongno

If you want to visit Muldwinda, you don’t need to show anything, simply go to Muldwinda and you will be able to order off the MMPK Makgeolli Week Menu.

For more information and directions, check out Muldwinda’s MMPK Info Page here.

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Tell Us What You think!

MMPK Makgeolli Week is all about trying & tasting new makgeollis, so get out there and explore world of makgeolli.  What we really want is to hear about what you think!!  Whether you are at Muldwinda or Neurin Maeul Brewery & Pub, we are always listening.  Take a picture of your makgeolli, food or friends post it on our Facebook page with your impressions, or just tell us what you thought!  We want to know favorites and not-so favorites 😉

We will be visiting both bars frequently during MMPK Makgeolli Week, so we hope to see some of you there!  If you have any questions at all, email mmpkorea @gmail.com

Happy MMPK Makgeolli Week everyone 🙂

Danimgil Makgeolli Pub (다님길 막걸리)

Name: Danimgil Makgeolli Pub (다님길 막걸리)

Location: Hongdae

Reviewed by: Mama Julia & Mama Wangmin on 20th April, 2013

Thoughts: Danimgil is a casual and relaxed makgeolli bar with an intimate interior. It has a small outdoor patio for those sunny afternoons, and the makgeolli is of a high quality.

LOCATION

Service: ***

Style: ****

Ambience: ****

OVERALL: ****

FOOD

Mozzerella & Egg Pancake (모짜렐라 치즈 계란접이)): ***1/2

MAKGEOLLI

Five grain Jinsangju (오곡 진상주): **** (balanced, frothy, thick, satisfying)

Black bean Makgeolli (검은콩 막걸리) **** (dark, warming, peanut, sweet)

Danimgil Interior

Danimgil is a cosy and intimate place for a casual makgeolli experience. Apon arrival you receive a free tasting of a makgeolli selection to help you decide on your brew. The dark interior with small tables gives it an atmosphere of being more private and quiet.

What We liked : The atmosphere. Usually makgeolli bars are quite crowded and noisy, however Danimgil is a place you can go and chat easily with a few close friends. Danimgil TasterThe taster apon entry helps unfamiliar makgeolli drinkers make a choice, and the service was prompt. The makgeolli selection was also quite decent, the black bean makgeolli being a particular favorite.

What we didn’t like: The food selection. Whilst the makgeolli selection was quite good with a lot of options to choose from, the same could not be said for the food. Danimgil Egg The menu is limited to one page, and many of the items we usually find were absent. The food we ordered was tasty and of good quality, however we felt lacking for choice.

Recommendation: Danmigil is a bar for those who would like to have a good chat with friends over some tasty makgeolli. It’s casual, but has a level of quality in both makgeolli and food. The outdoor patio, though not large, will be great in the afternoon sun.

How to get there:Danimgil Outside
Come out of Hongdae Station (Line 2) exit 8 and walk towards the roundabout. Turn left at the roundabout and follow the road until you pass a number of meat restaurants. Turn right at the corner and Danimgil will be about 50 meters on your left.

Address: 서울시 마포구 서교동 330-39 (02-322-2066)

Map here

Links: Danimgil has been featured in SEOUL Magazine here


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