Cafes/Bars, Southeastern Seoul

Gangnam Review: Helen’s Kitchen : Rice Wine Bar

Helen’s Kitchen

Helen’s Kitchen : Korean Cloudy Rice Wine Bar

Makgeolli is called farmer’s alcohol because it is a simple alcohol made from ground rice, water and yeast (nuruk). Served chilled, this drink has a crisp taste and it is slightly carbonated so it goes well with greasy dishes such as onion or potato pancake or spicy dishes as sauteed pork in chili paste or kimchi and tofu. Makgeolli can differ from city to city and the taste can be altered by the use of different rice or by adding bean, corn, herbs, and even fruit like raspberry.

Helen’s Kitchen offers a wide range of artisan makgeollis served with traditional dishes such as savory seafood and onion pancakes, tofu with kimchi, acorn jelly with chive salad, and grilled garlic octopus that are a fine match with the drink. They have seasonal makgeolli’s and specials on most nights. At Helen’s Kitchen you can taste a wide range of different makgeolli’s. They have makgeolli’s at different price points as well. You can try the very common Seoul makgeolli (4,000 won) to some that might cost 20,000 won a bottle. At this pub, they have over 25 different types of rice wine drinks.

I can’t say it is my favorite Makgeolli bar, but it is great for Gangnam. They really try their best to show the wide range of rice wines and the food is cooked right. Now, I didn’t see a Helen in the Kitchen (I think there was a Mr. Kim), so I don’t know what the meaning of the name means. I should have asked the owner, but I think it was the 3rd stop and at that point my conversation skills were limited to talking about…forgettable stuff. The kitchen is not the main draw for this place- it’s the wide variety of rice wines. Sure, it is much more expensive than other places but everything in Gangnam is 20 to 30% higher. But in comparison to other places in the area, Helen’s kitchen isn’t too bad. You can get out of there nicely drunk and full for about 15,000 won a person.

The atmosphere is comfortable and the staff are very friendly.

Recommended makgeollis are: Takbaeggi, Saeng Doksan, Sobaeksan Dong-dong ju, and ask the bartender what the rice wines of the day are.

Name: Helen’s Kitchen
Address: 149-31 Samseong-dong, Gangnam-gu, Seoul
Phone Number:  02-539-6067
Hours: 4pm-2am
Category: Bar: Korean Rice Wine
Price: 10,000-20,000 won
English Menu: No
Spoken English:Yes
Vegetarian Options:Yes
Directions: Directions: Go down the road across from Seven Luck (Samseong-ro 104 gil) and walk 2 blocks

Busan Makgeolli
Makgeolli Bottles


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Cafes/Bars, Southeastern Seoul

CT Bakery across from COEX: Cafe, Design, Bar, Bakery

CT Bakery
Fresh Roasted Coffee
Big, I mean Big cookies

CT Bakery

This multi-function space does a little bit of everything. They daily roast their own coffee, they bake bread, they offer lunch, they have wine and beer, they cook some food, a reading room, and a gallery space full of designer furniture and antiques. It is a big place with multilevel. There is indoor and outdoor seating along with a terrace and a basement you can go to sit and relax. At CT Bakery, the coffee roasters are skilled in their craft so you can always get a good cup of coffee. They roast a variety of beans from Brazil, Ethiopia, Peru and other parts of the world. They offer hand-drip, espresso-style drinks, and even Dutch Coffee. The bakery churns out a variety of cakes and breads. They are most famous for their giant “Big Cookies” which is almost a meal by itself. This is also one of the only places outside of the hotels that you can get a brunch on Saturday or Sunday. You can also get sandwiches on fresh baked Foccacia or ciabatta bread. In the evening, CT Bakery becomes a hip place to have a selection of red, white, or sparkling wine with cheese or other snacks. They also have bottled and draft beer as well. Whatever you are in the mood for, CT Bakery can accommodate.

Name: CT Bakery
Address: Gangnam-gu, Samseong-dong 135-090
Phone Number: 02-563-9966
Hours: 7:30am-11pm Everyday
Category: Cafe/bakery/bistro/wine/beer
Price: 6,000-12,000
English Menu: Yes
Spoken English: Some
Vegetarian Options: Yes
Directions: Across from Seven Luck Casino at COEX.

Interesting furniture and space
CT Bakery, Interior
Sandwiches on fresh baked bread
Coffee Mugs
Crunch Peanut Butter Toast…yum
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Original: Seoul Eats/ Blogger Version

Korea Night Dining Tours for Korea Food Expo 2011

Are you a buyer coming to Korea on November 7th to the 11th for Korea Food Expo? If you are we have a special Night Dining, Business Networking Dinner for guests, courtesy of the Korea Food Expo. The cost of the tour is free and you’ll be able to able to enjoy a wide variety of Korean foods and Korean alcohol while meeting other buyers and exhibitors at the Korea Food Expo. Instead of going to a stuffy, business dinner this is a way to meet people in person in a fun and exciting environment.

See the sign-up sheet below. For an overview of our night dining tour, you can see the video (note: the COEX tour is a little different because of the location).

Daniel Gray
O’ngo Food Communications

Korean Night Dining Tour, sponsored by Korea Food Expo

Business Networking & Culinary Delights

Free Participation for Overseas Guests at Korea Food Expo

Korean Night Dining Tours by O’ngo Food Communications

Korea Food Expo: November 9th – 12th, 2011 | Register Now!

Are you are interested in Korea’s exciting nightlife and drinking culture? Would you like to network with other buyers or exhibitors at Korea Food Expo while eating and drinking Korean food? If so, then this is the tour for you.

O’ngo Food Communications’ Korean Night Dining Tour will take you through the winding back alleys of Seoul’s noctural culinary hotspots to experience exciting, authentic Korean food and drink, and all while learning fun drinking games and talking about the culture and history of Korea. The tour will go to at least 4 different restaurants and sample a wide variety of delicious alcohols and foods, from ingredients to snacks to full-course meals.

This is a 4-hour tour that was specifically developed for Coex’s Korea Food Expo. Tours start at 6:00 pm each day throughout the week of November 9th. Check the registration form below for the current schedule.

SPECIAL OFFER: Korea Food Expo will sponsor the first 55 participants to register — this means that if you are a register overseas buyer or exhibitor, you can attend this tour for free! (You must already be registered for Korea Food Expo to qualify). After 55 people, the cost of the tour is 99,000 won per person (minimum 3 people per tour).

Coex, Ongo, KFE logos

Tour Itinerary

  • Korean Traditional Market Tour with tasting of different Korean foods
  • Korean Cloudy Rice Wine (Makgeolli) with Panfried Delicacies
  • Korean BBQ Meats and Soju Bomb Drinks
  • Korean Fried Chicken with Korean Beer

About O’ngo Food Communications

O’ngo Food Communications has been doing culinary tours and cooking classes since May 2010, and has received outstanding reviews from visitors worldwide. O’ngo is ranked the number 1 attraction in Seoul by and has received over 55 perfect reviews for their tours and cooking classes. O’ngo’s classes and tours have been featured in National Geographic, Rudy Maxa’s World, Delta Airlines, FinAir, the Washington Post, The Kimchi Chronicles, Food Network Asia, and much more.

We look forward to meeting you!

Copyright 2011 Coex Co., Ltd.

You’ve received this invitation because you are listed as a Korea Food Expo contact for Coex. To stop receiving communications from us, click here:

Come take a cooking class or take a Culinary Tour in Seoul!
Pictures are taken either with my Panasonic DMC-G2 Camera with 20mm Lens or with my iPhone 4G
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Photographs, Southeastern Seoul

Pictoblog: Bonguesa temple in Seoul

Cow with Boy Lantern at Bongeunsa Temple 

Yesterday, I had a city tour and we went to Bongeunsa Temple. The temple is perfectly laid out and it is especially beautiful these days because the lanterns are still up from Buddha’s Birthday. Here are some pictures I took. I recommend you check it out in person. It’s right across from the COEX near Samsung Station.

Bongeunsa Temple
Tea at Bongeunsa Temple
Original: Seoul Eats/ Blogger Version

CLOSED Red Pepper Republic

The other day, I was invited by Sunafood’s Sean Han to visit Red Pepper Republic. First of all, great name for a restaurant. The concept of the restaurant is spicy szechwan style food done in a sleek, seductive way. It doesn’t look like one of those Chinese joints with gaudy red lanterns hanging from the ceiling. The space is modern, yet secretive. I imagine that games of high stakes poker were being played in the nooks and corners- it has the Chinese club vibe from Indiana Jones going for it. Anyway, I got to interview Stanley Choo, one of the heads of marketing and he’s going to tell you about this restaurant.

You can find it across from the City Air Terminal near Samsung Station (COEX). 02 508 1320.

The shrimp dish was very different than what I had before. The addition of green peppercorns and other spices gave it almost an Indian spin to the szechwan dish.