Sunday, January 4, 2009

Lamb and Makkuli in Bongcheon

Bongcheon is one of the poorest areas of Seoul, near Seoul National University, but it has a nice Chinatown area with lots of small restaurants. Friend Andy showed me a little hole-in-the-wall joint which serves lamb kebabs. Cooked over coals at your table, in typical Korean fine dining style. Ten skewers were 8,000 W. You can see the trio of dry seasonings for dipping in the photo below. Once the lamb is cooked, you can warm the skewers on the rack:

Chinese style lamb kebabs in Bongcheon Delicious! We were met by Nick and Greg, fellow EFL dudes, from Nebraska, and eventually made our way to Andy's much heralded makkuli bar. Despite the build-up, it did not disappoint! First, makkuli, makoli, makkulli, or something, is this traditional Korean milky-white rice liquor, usually served in a bowl. It is slightly sweet but deceptively strong. I have only had it three times, but so far, I quite like it. Anyway, Andy has the ins in this local bar where the owner serves the real thing, country-style, and cheap, too. The conversation was lively and interesting, trending toward inebriated. Below left, Greg, owner dude, Andy; below right, me, owner dude, Nick:

The bar itself is small, but has an interesting decor, all designed by owner dude, who is a retired teacher. Notice the nose of the carving at bottom right.

table top in makkuli bar-note well-used bowlswall decor in makkuli bar
Wall art!Uh, follow your nose!

But, hands down, the best thing about this joint was the character below, who serenaded us with "Led Liver Valley" similar to a song popularized by Slim Whitman. And the best, best thing about him was he sang to us and then left soon afterward.

As is my habit, I left in time to catch the subway and avoid the enormous taxi fare. Or so I thought. For some reason, when the train got to Sindorim (green line), it just stopped and everyone had to get off and leave the station. I had to share a taxi with three other people, though we all paid full fare. A young girl spent five miles hanging her head out the window being violently ill. A colorful end to a full night here in the Big City.

Catching a cab at Sindorim


Tanner Brown said...

That, my friends, is everything a post should be about: friends, fun, owner dudes, Dick Nixons, vomiting and lamb kebabs. Steve, we love you.

Tuttle said...


Andrew said...

Wow, Steve, great video work with that singing guy. He was 68 years old by the way, in case you forgot the four hundred times he told us! Hahaha.

Blessing Majola said...

How to get there do you know? Please include directions. Wanted to go there tonight and try it out. Cheers