So I’ve written a few ‘Neighbourhood’ related posts but I’ve decided to make it into a separate category so as to keep track of all the places I’ve been trying to discover. In the case of Apgujeong-dong, I would say its more of a rediscovery as Seoul’s Rodeo Drive is my old stomping ground from back in the day… which is now a good decade and change ago. My friends and I used to frequent this area during our secondary school years, taking black and white sticker pictures at this hole in the wall that housed sticker picture booths and singing at the noraebang which has long since disappeared. The feeling I get is that while it is a shadow of its former glory, Apgujeong is attempting to undergo a bit of a revival. The fact that there is finally a subway stop (Apgujeong Rodeo Station) right in front makes it much more accessible! A decade ago, one would have to get off at Apgujeong Station on Line #3 (the orange line) and walk or attempt to hail a cab and deal with annoyed cab drivers who wouldn’t want to travel such a short distance. The distance is quite awkward though, a little far to walk in four inch heels but a little short to justify a taxi ride.
These days, when I find myself in that area, it is to eat and drink with my gyopo friends most probably because all my gyopo buddies are similarly sentimental and will go there with me ‘for old times’ sake’.
One of my favourite places to grub is Sanbong Hwarogui, a BBQ joint that specialises in thinly sliced wusamgyup (beef that’s sliced like pork belly?). Like the majority of Korean BBQ restaurants, you grill at the table and you leave smelling like meat (oooooh! or ack! depending on what you will be doing afterwards). The meat here is consistently good, I’ve never had a problem with the food here at all, and I’ve been here a lot. The only problem I have with this place is because the beef is so thin and delicate, I just keep eating and eating and eating it and before I know it, I’m stuffed to the brim and need a cart to roll me out of the restaurant. Note how I don’t have my own photo of the food – that’s because I’m too busy nomming. I’d stick with their wusamgyup (W11,000 per portion) though, you’ll find places that do other cuts of beef better in Seoul. I’m also a fan of their chadol dwaenjang jjigae (soy bean paste stew) and the mool naengmyun (cold buckwheat noodles) is a great way to end the meal.
82 2 546 2229
So I recently had date night at Coreanos Kitchen, another Korean fusion-y Mexican joint located when you walk down one of the main side streets (that… probably wasn’t the best explanation) in Apgujeong. After dealing with the ridiculous crowds at Vatos in both Itaewon and Garosugil, it’s refreshing to actually be able to get a table straight off the bat. Service is brilliant, the wait staff is attentive, courteous and speak English fluently. They do a happy hour between 5-7 on Mondays-Thursdays (if I’m not mistaken) but I always seem to miss it. Obviously somebody needs to start getting out of work a little earlier. What I’ve found whenever I go here is that I will always bump into someone I know. I really should start wearing makeup when I leave the house. Let’s get to the food. I admit, when it comes to Mexican food, I always stick to the burrito, it’s a solid all-rounder, so I wouldn’t be the right person to ask about the other things on the menu but I’ll go on record to say that their chicken burrito is simple but awesome. The burrito at Coreanos is probably the only one I’ve had that doesn’t start dripping all over my hands. Their OG burrito, which is their kimchi and bulgogi offering was a tad bit salty sweet for my taste but nothing the jalapeno slices couldn’t remedy. If there’s one criticism to be made, I’d probably say it’s the plating, my eyes are bigger than my stomach and it seems so small when it comes out on that plate but who cares, the food is yummy.
B1, 657-11 Sinsa-dong,
+82 2 547 4427
I’ve mentioned in some other posts that Apgujeong also houses a few of my favourite burger places and wine bars and with a slew of coffee shops and drinking establishments as well as boutiques, it’s a great alternative to maneuvering through human traffic in Gangnam and Garosugil on the weekends.