After having our fair share of Dak Kang Jung (Sweet n Sticky Fried Chicken), my dear friend and I search out for something less greasy, less sweet, and basically something more refreshing. We walk down the street lined on both sides with eateries, bars, and cafes aplenty. Lo and behold, we find exactly what we want—a Korean traditional bar that’s raucous (in a good way), has awesome food, and keeps us eating and drinking more.
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Food: ★★★★★ out of 5 stars
The food and presentation here were absolutely amazing and kept me wanting to order more just to make sure all the dishes were that good. We got the golbaengi jjolmyun (chewy noodles w spicy sea snail mix) and it didn’t disappoint. This dish is usually served with somyun (white, thin noodles) but the chewy noodles were just as good. The peppers in the sea snail mix were fantastically hot and spicy, with my friend downing them left and right just to wake herself up. Funny huh?! Although I’m not a big fan of sea snails and other exotic foods, these tasted especially good (and inconspicuous) with the mix of crunchy vegetables and noodles. Thanks to the kind staff, they allowed me to snap other dishes just as they were brought out from the kitchen. I’m definitely heading back to give those a try!
Service: ★★★★★ out of 5 stars
The place was bustling with patrons eager to get their fair share of drinks and eats all the time we were there (about 2 hours), so the staff of three were on their heels all night. Our main helper was a cute, petite girl wearing glasses without any lens (guess that’s the new trend these days). She looked like she was in high school but definitely held her own with the older staff. Attentive, quick, quirky, helpful are just a few adjectives to describe our server and the service. Solid 5 stars.
Ambiance: ★★★★ out of 5 stars
The place was a little small and claustrophobic for me personally, but that’s something I’m still getting used to while living/being in Korea again. Where things are spacious and huge in the States, simply divide that by 2 or 3 in Seoul and you’ll get an idea how things are here. The bar has about 10 tables that can seat a maximum 30 people. The open deck gives the appearance of a larger establishment and definitely helped me (the claustrophobic) enjoy the food and drinks a little better. The decor was pretty simple and rustic, with a pretty cool layout of the main dishes plastered on the wall for everyone to see. But most importantly, the place felt very inviting and comfortable for me. I’m not a big conversationalist but this place put me in the mood for a confessional.
Value: ★★★★ out of 5 stars
When you get great Korean food with appealing presentation, the concept of value and money gets thrown out the window (unless you’re paying hotel quality food of course). Most of the signature dishes hover around the 20,000 won mark ($20 bucks) but it was definitely worth it considering the portion size, appearance, and the taste. Needless to say, our dish and most of the other dishes we saw were thoroughly being devoured by the customers after their initial “this looks so good” moment. Anyways, the food here is great and you definitely need to check out one of their only 2 chain restaurants, something I just recently found out after stumbling upon the other one in Bundang.
Overall rating: ★★★★½ out of 5 stars
Hannam-dong, That Place (한남동 그집)
Seoul, Yongsan-gu, Hannam-dong 633-3