Soju (Korean distilled spirits), the social lubricant favoured by Seoul’s businessmen, can taste like jet fuel to the uninitiated. The city’s hipsters however, are turning to something a little easier to swallow – makgeolli, a sweet, milky rice wine that comes in different flavours and with purported health benefits, and the place to imbibe is at Moon Jar.
Housed in a white concrete yet rustic bi-level box, just steps away from label land Rodeo Street in Apgujeong-dong, this busy, buzzy watering hole carries trad soju and sake, but it’s the makgeolli that makes the heads of the in-crowd spin. Choose from the Presidential selection, favoured by former Korean leaders, or go for the ‘deluxe’ options such as the black sesame or the rice and white lotus infusions. All are served in quaint old fash tin kettles and bowls.
The food’s good too – simple yet tasty accompaniments to the brew that’s on offer. Try the juns (savoury pancakes) – the seafood scallion jun is a hit, as well as salads, stews and meats (give the steamed pork with kimchi a go).
Down the hatch [Photo by Jon Aslund/Flickr]
As for the supposed health benefits such as improved kidney function and reduced fatigue, we can’t vouch for that, but if you’re lucky enough to score a balcony table, who the hell cares if you wake up with a thumping hangover the next day. Note that the menu is in Korean only, so go with a native, seek the advice of a friendly staff member, or simply point, wave your arms and hope for the best. Ganbei!
644-19 Sinsa-dong. T: +82 2 541 6118. W: moonjar.co.krTweet Follow @LUXEguides