Thursday, August 16, 2012

Bonbon - A Very Welcome Italian Restaurant and Lounge in Hongdae

Last week I was invited to check out a new Italian Restaurant and Lounge in the heart of Hongdae. Bonbon was first started in Daejeon several years back where it quickly expanded to two locations. Building on the success enjoyed in Daejon, Bonbon Hongdae was opened in May of this year.

First of all, the location is great. Located directly next to the infamous music park, it's not hard to find. In fact, it's hard to miss if you're heading over to NB, Club Naked, or many of the other clubs located near by.

As you can see from the pictures the interior decorations are bright, modern, and tasteful. High ceilings, plenty of floor space, ample room between tables, and an open patio all help to open up the interior and make it feel very spacious. Have no fear though, the AC is blasting on the inside and kept us at a nice temperature.

DJ Spencer was spinning tracks all night, and during the two hours I was there from 6-8 on a Friday night I noticed the rhythm distinctly quicken. During a brief chat I found out that he is Bonbon's in house DJ and rotates his week playing between all the Bonbon's in Daejeon and Seoul. He is usually in Seoul on weekends. It's an interesting and unique idea to have a DJ in an Italian restaurant; I don't think I've seen it before. The music is well put together, and fits the ambiance.

What's that ambiance? Bonbon is going for an Italian restaurant without the pomp. The prices are reasonable, the wine menu is short, the drinks are strong, and the food is simple and delicious. I want to guess that their past restaurants emphasize the restaurant more than bar. But in my opinion, I'd prefer if they dimmed the lights, upped the bass, pushed the drinks, and emphasized the lounge side. The neighborhood is loud, raucous, and drunk more often than not.

On to the Food!

Mediterranean Salad
15,000Won | Assorted Cheese, Chicken Breast, Onion and bonbon house dressing

Margerita Pizza
11,500KRW - Mozzarella, Ricotta, Onion
The pizza is interesting. The bread is very French pastry-ish. My buddy Mike called it a croissant. Overall very good.

Risotto Mare
11,500KRW - Assorted Sea Food, Tomato Cream Sauce
Very nice as well. Good flavor, nicely cooked, fresh seafood. The only unfortunate part is the presentation. Risotto outside of a bowl almost looks pre digested.

Linguine Capitano
10,000KRW - Cherry Tomato, Bacon, Spinach, Basil, Onion
Awesome. Pure heaven. Bacon just makes everything better.

Linguine Chicken Alfredo
11,500KRW - Chicken Breast, Onion, Cream Sauce

Suntory Beer
I loved this beer! I've never heard of it before. It reminds me of a nice strong IPA from the States. It's a real beer that kicks you in the throat and makes you bite back a bitter beer snarl. Love

I forget what that third drink was, but the house red wasn't bad. Not bad at all.

Overall I'm a big fan. The food is good, the prices are reasonable, and the ambiance is nice. Seems like a nice place to have a birthday or going away party.

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Pictures and Menus

Mon-Thu: 12:00 pm - 2:00 am
Fri-Sat: 12:00 pm - 3:00 am
Sun: 12:00 pm - 11:00 pm

마포구 서교동 364-2, Seoul, Korea 121-893
Mapo-gu Seogyo-dong 364-2, Seoul, Korea 121-893
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