Korea Bistro Makgeolli Pub (코리아식당)

Name: Korea Bistro Makgeolli Pub (코리아식당)

Reviewed by: Mama Julia & Papa Dan

Location: Yeonnamdong (연남동)


Thoughts: Like many of the Makgeolli bars dotted around Seoul this one finds itself in an inconspicuous, treasure trove of an alleyway between donggyodong junction and Yeonsei University. If you weren’t looking for anything specific you would be forgiven for walking past the alley and missing out on a microcosm of wonderful little cafes and restaurants, including Korea Bistro. It has a fair selection of lower and mid priced Makgeolli, and seems to fit itself snugly in the alcove between Makgeolli bar and cafeteria diner with groups of revelers drinking and laughing as common as individuals having dinner and a few cups of Makgeolli to themselves.


Service: **** 4 stars

Style: ** 2 stars

Ambience: *** 3 stars



Gopchang Jeongol (pig intestine soup) 곱창전골 *** 3 stars

Fried Pork (재육복음) *** 3 Stars


DaeDaePo 대대포 (Sweet, Smooth, Honey, Light) *** 3.5 Stars

SongMyungSeop 송명섭 (Dry, Pungent, Complex, crisp) **** 4 Stars


It seems as though the have potential to stock a lot of Makgeolli however at the time we visited they didn’t have too many non-aspartame selections. The staff were passionate however and it seems as though they were tasting a lot of interesting varieties with a view to add to the menu…. watch this space!

What We Liked: The Style. This is a cozy little place with low lighting and plenty of space. The staff were very friendly and willing to help and offer suggestions from the Makgeolli and food menus. This is a place that isn’t prohibitive to individuals coming in on their own to enjoy a meal for one with a nice refreshing cup of Makgeolli as an accompaniment. Many restaurants in Korea only provide menu items to be shared among groups, however this little place caters for all possibilities: with large items for groups and smaller, very reasonably priced individual meals available too. The best part: the food is actually very good, with lots of side dishes to boot! yummy!


What We Disliked: The Selection. Unfortunately as mentioned before there are not many options for additive free or premium Makgeolli. For non aspertame it was Dae Dae Po or SongmyeongSeop. If you don’t mind aspertame then there is quite a variety of bottles available. It does seem like a newer place and as such may be still finding it’s feet regarding its drinks menu – we hope it will branch out a little more and offer some bottles from the upper end of the market makgeolli selection.


Recommendation. Come on your own and have a couple of cheeky bottles with dinner or bring your friends and have dinner and a chat in what is a popular but not rowdy establishment. Either way you approach it – as a diner or as a bar – I am sure you will find something for your taste on the cheap and extensive food menu and you enjoy your time in this comfortable and friendly venue.

How to get there: Come out of Hongdae Station Exit 3 and double back to the main road and turn left towards dongyodong junction. Walk straight for about 6 mins and you will pass a Gimbap restaurant with a craft beer pub on the second floor. Turn left, go down the alley and it will be the first store on the left.

Address: 서울특별시 마포구 연남동 227-1

map: Here

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


Donghak (동학) – Sillim-dong (신림-동)

Name: Donghak

Location: Sillim-dong

Reviewed by: Paul Jaesun Cho on: July 20, 2012

Paul’s Thoughts:I thought I went back in time and was starring in an epic style traditional Korean history drama, like Jumong.  The floors were literally made with packed dirt and a traditional straw type carpet laid over it.  The walls were made of concrete  with cracks in it, adding to the authenticity of the traditional feel and appearance.  The wallpaper was old newspapers.  Overall an incredible experience of traditional, historic Korea in a very busy, modern area of Seoul.

LOCATION                                       FOOD

Service:         3 * * *                               Hameul Pajeon (해물파전) : 4 * * * *

Style:             5* * * * *                                   (Generous on the squid)

Ambience:    5 * * * * *

OVERALL:    4 * * * *


Burnt rice makgeolli (느룽지):

5 * * ** *

(refreshing, melt in your mouth crushed ice)

Seoul Makgeolli (서울 막걸리): 5* * * * *

(milky, sweet and very fresh)

What Paul liked:

The burnt rice makgeolli with flaked ice was so refreshing.  The ice was almost like pop rocks candy that burst in your mouth.  The makgeolli was also served in a big pot with a spoon…one of my favorite things.  The set up was so surreal, you couldn’t not like it.

What Paul didn’t like:

After only a couple pots of burnt rice makgeolli, the house ran out of ice.  This iced makgeolli is a huge pull for customers, so it was pretty dissapointing that there was no more so early on.  We offered to wait for the ice, but they said it would take the machine a couple of hours.

 How to get there:

We haven’t been there and let’s face it, Paul had one bowl too many. So, check out this great google map with street view.

 Phone Number: 02-872-6107

Address: 서울시 과낙구 대학동 244-62


We have found one Korean review about this makgeolli house.  There are a bunch of great photos to check out on this blog named 가람슬기의 음식 탐방기 (Garam Interviewer: The Wisdom of Food).


To the same blog we mentioned above, for all of these pictures.


Mamas and Papas went to another Donghak in Soongil-dong.  We  are pretty sure they are not the same place.  We will let you know when we find out.

Do you know if it is a franchise or a one off?  Have you been to this blast from the past, Donghak, before? Have you tried more dishes or have more opinions? More questions?  Leave us a comment below and tell us what you think.

Makgeolli Salong (막걸리 싸롱)

Name: Makgeolli Salong (막걸리 싸롱)

Location: Sinchon (there is a larger one in Hongdae as well)

Reviewed by: Wang Min & Monica on June 15, 2012

Thoughts: We loved it!  Here is some information about what we enjoyed!

LOCATION                                       MAKGEOLLI

Service:         5 * * * * *                          Albam (알밤): 4 * * * *

Style:             4 * * * *                                       (sweet, thick, not a strong alcohol taste)

Ambience:      5 * * * * *                        Geumjeongsanseong (금정산성): 4 * * * *

OVERALL:    4.5 * * * *   1/2                          (sour, clean)


Bossam (보쌈): 5 * * * * *

This location is smaller makgeolli house, but it is just so inviting.  The servers and workers were all very friendly.  There were makgeolli bottles lining the windows, which of course, isn’t so uncommon, but it was awesome!

We only had our cell phones, but tried to get some shots so you knew what to expect :)What Wang Min and Monica liked:

We loved the open, but private environment.  There are two main areas, which are divided, but not closed off from each other. The first area is for traditional floor sitting, but has some western comfort as there is a hole or dip for your legs!  The second area is like an indoor patio.  There are three small tables lined against the big open windows where you can sit and enjoy the breeze or people watch!  We only had one order of anju (안주) from the menu, but it was phenomenal.  The tofu that came out with our bossam was so silky and fresh.  All of it was great and the food going to other tables also looked delcioius.

What Wang Min and Monica didn’t like: There are only three tables available to sit near the window.  Each of those tables are small and any more than 2 or 3 people is quite a squeeze.  This house has two locations, this one in Sinchon and one in Hongdae.  We were told that location in Hongdae is not so quiet, it’s larger and busier feeling…so almost a whole different restaurant.  We are curious as to which one is better!

How to get there:

Go to Sinchon station,take exit 3 and follow the road.  When you get to the 2nd set of lights (a 4-way intersection with Uplex), do not cross the street, but turn right.  Walk about 5 minutes (give or take a couple) and on your right there will be a small parking lot.  Look up and you will see Makgeolli Sangdong.  Go around the back and upstairs to enjoy.

Sinchon address: 서울 서대문구 창천동5-36번지2층

Map here

Hongdae address: 서울 마포구 서교동358-92번지1층

We have recently reviewed the Hongdae location at one of our meetings, check out our review here.

Map here

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