Name: Nuruk Namu (누룩 나무)
Location: Insadong (By Anguk Station)
Reviewed by: Mamas and Pappas on June 14th
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
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)
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).
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.
Recommendations: The area is, as previously mentioned, 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).
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!