Or I think it’s called Kooksoondang, which should be the name of the shop. Bekseju Village is one of the brands, or maybe it is the other way round. Anyway, the website shows both, so if you are interested in heading there if you happen to be in Seoul and want to go someplace for good Korean alcoholic beverages, this is supposedly a good recommendation. I went to the one located in Samseong, Gangnam, so from one side of the Han river, I took the green metro subway line (their circle line) to Samseong station. Actually, from Myeongdong where I was staying, I think it might have been faster, albeit with a transfer required, to take the orange subway line to this side of the river.
We didn’t really know what to order for food, but just looked around at what other tables were having, and tried to make an order with the English menu provided. However, I think the English version has more limited options, because apparently what we thought we ordered that was what the next table was having, wasn’t on the menu. The realisation only came when the waiter came back to try to tell us that what we wanted was not available, which puzzled us because how we it be that it wasn’t available when the next table was having it? Then the patrons on our neighbouring table tried to help but the lack of understanding due to the different languages being used caused some inconvenience. But we managed eventually, although not entirely the same as what they ordered, we did get some food.
These were the starters, which on the left is a dish that is like fish cake, and on the right, mochi-type (or rice cake) of appetisers. I would have prefered other stuff like kimchi or the big-headed sprouts but these were acceptable too.
One of the mains that we ordered, a seafood kimchi pancake. I love Korean pancakes, even though they are fried and usually at least a bit oily, but being thin and infused with the taste of kimchi (since I usually would order kimchi or a mixture that includes kimchi if it is available), the taste of it is great. Looking at this picture alone already makes me feel like having it again, and this version was a good combination of two flavours, especially since it was not too oily.The other item that we ordered resembled a steamboat of sorts, or Japanese oden. It’s a pot of soup, on one side a clear broth and the other a spicy broth, with each containing the same set of yong-tau-foo type of foods on sticks. Though seemingly light, these were actually pretty filling but really delicious, even those that were dipped in clear broth! By the time we were done with this, together with about 3/4 of the pancake gone, we were both stuffed to the brim.And of course the main draw of this place would have to be their beverages! We ordered a bottle of the Korean rice wine, or Makgeolli, one that had a ginseng flavour to it. It really did contain a very distinctive ginseng taste, which was rather special because it was the first time I’ve ever tried something like this, yet if you don’t like the taste or smell of ginseng, it is probably not advisable.
Supposedly the locals seem to be drinking some other forms of Makgeolli, that did not come in a bottled form, but in a ceramic pot, where you use a wooden ladle to scoop out the drink. My friend had wanted something like this but of course we didn’t know how to go about ordering it and at that time where we were seated, there wasn’t anyone having the same thing. We saw that at another table when we were leaving but I think that is the traditional way of having makgeolli, which perhaps may give it an even more authentic flavour?
This was a pricier dinner as compared to the other days. I don’t remember exactly how much it cost, but it still wasn’t on the extreme high end, because we paid either 20,000 or 25,000 KRW each, which is about S$25 or S$31, which I think is fairly decent because I can’t get Korean food at that kind of price, with a bottle of wine included, in Singapore.