Seoul Selection's Quick Bites for May: Chili Chili Cha Cha and Mamacita's!

Originally printed in the May issue of Seoul Magazine. Reprinted with permission. Visit Seoul Magazine's website here.

Chilly Cha Cha: A Fingerfood Bar

Rating 2 Stars: Recommended (Modernized, Hip Gourmet Street food with Campari Soda's)

The concept of Chilly Cha Cha seems to be a Korean street stall in Paris. The barley-packed croquettes they offer are gourmet with such variations such as tomato, basil and cream, curry, and even corn. Of course, they have your standard Korean street fare as well such as tteokbokki, u-dong noodle soup, fried octopus, shrimp, etc. To accompany your snacks you can have a crisp cold beer, but I recommend their minty mojito, their campari soda, or their makgeolli cocktail.

Fingerfood Bar

400-11 Mapo-gu, Seogyo-dong

Closed Mondays


Directions: Go out Hapjeong Station Exit 5 and make a make a right down the side street.

Go Loco for Tequila at Mamacita's

Rating 2 Stars: Recommended (Tall Margaritas, Great Tacos and Fajita Plates.)

For many Koreans, the 5th of May is Children’s Day. If you grew up North America, it is a day celebrated with copious amounts of tequila and Mexican cuisine. Mamacita’s has a lively Mexican restaurant on the first floor and a sophisticated lounge on the second. The stars of the show are their hard-shelled tacos that come out on special serving trays, the sizzling fajitas, and the tall, iced, and salted margaritas. Just to note: I don't recommend the guacamole and nachos. Everything else was great.


94-17 Gangnam-gu, Nonhyun 2-dong
It is down the alley behind the Bennigans across from Cinecity.

Trader Joe's in Korea! Not quite...but its a close 2nd.

Finally, you can get fresh baked bread, a wide selection of cheese, western cuts of beef, muesli, baking ingredients, wine, and western junk food all under one roof. You can even get a whole turkey. High Street Market has been called, “a mini Trader Joe’s,” a gourmet American grocery chain. After the popular Hannam Market went out of business, High Street Market has effectively filled the void. They have friendly English speaking staff and parking right across the street.

High Street Market
Yongsan-gu, Hannam-dong 737-24 2nd Floor

Directions: Go our Itaewon Station Exit 2 and walk about 8 minutes. It’s across from the tall, Cheil Building.

Are they Bananas at Le Gout Des Autres Wine Bar?

Rating 3 Stars: I'll go back (Excellent atmosphere, interesting menu. Great service.)

It’s not often that you’ll get a banana brulee topped with peanuts and chocolate sauce to accompany your bottle of wine nor a fire roasted potato, but its just these eccentricities that make Le Gout Des Autres one of my new favorite hangouts. The converted hanok smells like a Christmas campfire- the hints of cloves burning in the fireplace. The dark, candlelit interior is romantic with their high ceilings perfect for peering while averting longing looks. The wine list is extensive and with selected bottles from Chile, Australia, USA, and Italy. Prices are average to high, but the food, the attentive staff, and the quaint atmosphere are worth it.

Le Gout Des Autres
Jongno-gu, Sinmoon-ro 2-ga, #1-248

Directions: Call and take a cab or it’s a long walk from Gwanghwamoon Station Exit 1.

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