âChinese barsâ are popping up one after another, which unravels traditional Chinese food in a modern and friendly way. Using interior accessories such as hanging red lights and sparkling neon signs, the moment you enter the store, you feel as if you are in a foreign country. In a dreamy atmosphere, it can be served with delicious food and various alcoholic beverages such as high-grade sake, wine, beer, and soju, which targets the tastes of gourmets and lovers at the same time. From places with a colorful retro concept that catches the eye, to places where people from China completely detract from local flavors, to places where you can enjoy cuisine from top chefs at reasonable prices! Here are 5 of the best emerging Chinese bar restaurants where you can feel the intense red sensibility of Hong Kong Alley.
Famous Chinese bars with a retro sensibility are Itaewon Hannam-dong Hannamshogan, Eonju Station Limajang 82, Hongdae Sangsu Myungseong Hall, Hongdae Jinjin Yayeon, Hongdae Jin Ga-yeon, Hongdae Jin Ga-yeon, Hannam-dong Ledan-dong, Wangsim-yong Sensei, Eulji Jang Man-ok, Yeonnam Sang-hae-soo, Euljiro Julia, Hapjeong Mimi Main Building, Seongsu Electronic Room, Itaewon Gyeongridan-gil Nurangzhi, Apgujeong Mutan, Cheong Han-dong, Cheong Ho-dong Famous places include Sensaeng, Euljiro Changhwa-ro, Yongsan Seonggwangdae-do, Seoul National University Sharosu-gil Kitchen & Pub Mongjung, Lan Kwai Jin in Yeonnam-dong, Apgujeong Valley, Gangnam Art Monster, and Lee Jang-su Lounge in Ikseon-dong.
1. The flavor of mara soaked in soft yukgai, Wangsimni's 'Yongyong Sensaeng'
Image source: generalyongyong's Instagram
Image source: generalyongyong's Instagram
âYongyong Senseiâ opened its doors with the goal of creating a space where people can enjoy high-grade sake on a daily basis. Using red neon signs and dark green tiles, it recreates the atmosphere of a Hong Kong back alley where British culture is fused. The signature menu is âMara Yukhoe Tenderloin,â which is a Hong Kong-style reinterpretation of Western-style yukhoe beef tartare. Sliced Korean beef rump is mixed with homemade mara sauce and sesame paste, then topped with chopped onions and served. The soft, crunchy yukgai blends with the rich flavor unique to mara, creating an addictive umami flavor. If you put yukhoe, coriander, paprika, and sauce on the spring roll that comes with it and eat it in one bite, you can enjoy an even richer flavor. Note that mara yukhoe is sold in limited quantities of 8 to 10 plates per day.
â²Location: 15 Majoro-ro 3ga-gil, Seongdong-gu, Seoul
â²Business hours: 17:00 â 05:00 every day
â²Price: Mara Yukhoe Softened Course 18,900 won, Red Pepper Crispy Yurinji 18,900 won
â²Testimonial (dog poop): I ordered the most famous mara yukhoe tenderloin, and it came with this month's high-grade sake, and it went really well with the food. It was my first time to meet mara sauce and yukhoe, but it was nice to eat mara sauce that suits Korean tastes rather than a local style because the flavor was just right. ^^
2. 'Eulji Jang Manok' in Euljiro, where an exotic sensibility adds flavor
Image source: H.A.N.A.21's Instagram
Image source: sarangdoong._.e's Instagram
âEulji Jangmanokâ is a great place to enjoy food based on Chinese home-cooked food and a variety of alcoholic beverages such as wine, high-grade sake, craft beer, and whiskey. The red lights hanging all over the ceiling create a dreamy yet exotic atmosphere. The signature menu is âshiitake shumai,â made from minced shrimp and bamboo shoots, stuffed with shiitake mushrooms and deep-fried. The rich flavor of shiitake mushrooms is combined with the chewy shrimp meat, providing an even richer texture. âDeep-fried chicken with green onion sauce,â which is deep-fried to make use of the moist juiciness and tender texture of chicken thighs, is also a popular menu. The green onion sauce and coriander on the plate reduce the greasy flavor of the tempura and add a fresh finish, so it's great to eat as a side dish.
â²Location: 12, Eulji-ro 12-gil, Jung-gu, Seoul
â²Business hours: Monday to Thursday 11:00 to 01:00, Friday 11:00 to 02:00, Saturday 17:00 to 02:00, Sunday 17:00 to 00:00, B/T (weekdays) 14:00 to 17:00
â²Price: Shiitake shumai 9,800 won, fried chicken with green onion sauce 15,800 won
â²Review (Shikigami Jiwani): If you go a little late, you'll have to wait as soon as you get a little late, so it's a hot spot in Euljiro! First of all, there are many types of sake, so I think it's perfect for people who like alcohol like me. Hehehe, I ate shiitake shumai and pearl balls as snacks, and the inside was really full and went well with beer.
3. 'SHANGHAE SOHUL' in Yeonnam, a snack from the devil who sings alcohol
Image source: _chrismatzip_ on Instagram
Image source: lazy._.bong's Instagram
âShanghai Sohoâ is a small Chinese bar run by a Chinese-born Chinese restaurant from Shanghai. You can find a variety of snack menus and meals prepared in Shanghai style. The signature dish is âmenbousha,â made by filling plenty of finely chopped shrimp between slices of bread cut straight into a square shape and deep-fried. The plump shrimp meat blends harmoniously into the bread, which contains just the right amount of fat and has a savory flavor. I also like âtiger pepper,â made by frying ground red pepper in oil, finely minced meat, and soft tofu with mapo tofu sauce. The combination of putting tiger peppers on menbousha, which has a spicy flavor that makes your tongue twinkle, is also popular.
â²Location: 272 Donggyo-ro, Mapo-gu, Seoul
â²Business hours: 17:00 â 01:00 every day, closed on the 2nd and 4th Tuesday
â²Price: Cotton Bowser (8 pieces) 20,000 won, tiger pepper 15,000 won
â²Review (Shikigami iCan Call Europe): A place full of snacks that really make you drink. I think it's a guaranteed place where you won't fail no matter what you choose! You can use tiger pepper as a base and eat it with fried rice or menboucha, and it feels like you can start over again if you eat one when you feel a little bit like Chinese food! hahahahahaha
4. Euljiro 'Julia' competes with exotic spiciness
Image source: junes_table's Instagram
Image source: julia_euljiro's Instagram
âJuliaâ is a great place to enjoy a lunch menu and alcoholic beverages in a stylish interior. When you open the clunky iron door, the hip interior, decorated with a red dragon hanging from the ceiling and a spinning mirror ball, offers a reverse charm. The signature menu is âMara Shangguo,â made by stir-frying various ingredients such as bean sprouts, shrimp, sausage, dried tofu, mochi, Chinese vermicelli, and cabbage with mara sauce. Mara sauce is deeply ingrained into the various ingredients, so you can enjoy the exotic flavors in your mouth. In addition, the âDongpa porkâ menu, which stands out for its salty soy sauce and tender pork, and the âcotton cotton sweet and sour porkâ menu, which makes use of its fluffy texture, is also popular.
â²Location: 48-12 Supyo-ro, Jung-gu, Seoul
â²Business hours: 17:00 â 00:00 every day
â²Price: Mara Shangguo 25,000 won, Dongpa pork 28,000 won
â²Review (Shikigami Papamon): Julia's hip sensibility is overwhelming in Euljiro. The interior was also unique, so I was distracted from taking certified shots before the food was served. Hehe, it was my first time going there, so I ate the recommended dish, mara shangguo, and it was nice because it had plenty of ingredients and a rich mara flavor. They also sold wine and ordered it, but the combination with Chinese food was better than I thought, so I drank too much. hehe
5. Casual lunch pocha, Hapjeong âMimi Main Buildingâ
Image source: mukgo._.pang's Instagram
Image source: kikeudeuman's Instagram
âMimi Honkanâ is a lunch food stall run by a chef who has experience at luxury hotels such as Lotte Hotel and The Plaza Hotel. They sell everything from a set menu where you can enjoy three popular menus at once to a la carte menus that you can enjoy casually at reasonable prices. The signature menu is âOchae Yangjangpi,â which shows off colorful visuals with shrimps, pine flowers, jellyfish, eggs, and vegetables. The combination of the various textures of each ingredient and the subtle scent of fire is attractive. âYuringi,â which is made by pouring soy sauce made over a long period of time and finely chopped green onions on top of deep-fried chicken, is also a popular menu. The sweet and sour sauce adds moisture and enhances the umami to the fullest.
â²Location: B1F, 48, World Cup-ro 1-gil, Mapo-gu, Seoul
â²Business hours: Monday-Wednesday 17:00 â 01:00; ThursdayâSaturday 17:00 â 02:00; closed on Sundays
â²Price: Ochae Sheepskin (S) 13,000 won, Yuringi (S) 15,000 won
â²Testimonial (mother and daughter of Shikigin): I ate it as a set, but the value for money was really poor. In particular, the color of the hardcover was so beautiful that it was a waste to mix and eat it. However, when I just ate it, I really got drunk. Cilantro is placed on top of the grater, but if you soak it thoroughly in the sauce and chew it together with the coriander, it's over!
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