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Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Cold Noodles (Naengmyeon) 냉면 5,500 KRW (S$6.80)
Mapo Naru House 마포나룻집 is a popular restaurant located in Hongdae for several reasons. It serves a variety of Korean food (e.g. Naengmyeon (Cold noodles) and Dakbokkeum (spicy braised chicken). Dakbokkeum and other Jjigae (Korean stew)/Jeongol (Korean casserole or stew)) which goes well with a variety of Makgeolli (alcoholic beverage) from different regions. Also, it is opened till the wee hours of the mornings till 7am on some days, catering to those who want to hang out after partying or clubbing. In terms of pricing, the food here is affordable.
It is hard to miss this restaurant. The restaurant name is spelled out clearly in Korean.
The restaurant has two levels. The first level seemed to have a small seating capacity. Hence, we went up to the second level. The second level was surprisingly huge! There was a mixture of outdoor and indoor seats. The outdoor seatinglooks so romantic, like dining in a garden. But as the weather was warm (or if you are not comfortable sitting on the floor), we decided to stay indoors.
This is one of the areas for indoor seating.
It offers a view of the exterior.
The interior restaurant looks antique and rustic with wooden furnishing. There were even paper with menu printed and it seems to be slightly burnt to make them look old.
It provided a contrast compared to the menu displayed outside the restaurant entrance at level 1.
These are complimentary side dishes that were served.
Steamed Pork Dumplings (Gogi Mandu) 고기만두 4,500 KRW (S$5.60)
The Steamed Pork Dumplings (Gogi Mandu) 고기만두 4,500 KRW (S$5.60) was relatively value for money compared to other restaurants. However, the outer skin was a tad too thick. Fortunately, the interior which consisted of pork meat and vegetables was tasty.
Cold Noodles (Naengmyeon) 냉면 5,500 KRW (S$6.80)
The main reason why I visited this restaurant was for its signature Cold Noodles (Naengmyeon) 냉면 5,500 KRW (S$6.80).  This was my first time trying this. It consisted of buckwheat noodles served in cold beef broth with cucumbers. Although it looked plain, dull and unappetising, it was surprisingly tasty, and cold and refreshing. The texture of the noodles was smooth and chewy.
Rice Topped with Raw Crabs Marinated in Soy Sauce (Ganjang Gejang Bibimbap) 비빔밥 간장게장 7,500 KRW (S$9.40)
We also ordered a Rice Topped with Raw Crabs Marinated in Soy Sauce (Ganjang Gejang Bibimbap) 비빔밥 간장게장 7,500 KRW (S$9.40) for sharing. This was the most interesting dish, the raw crab looks do different compared to how it looks when it is cooked.
Rice Topped with Raw Crabs Marinated in Soy Sauce (Ganjang Gejang Bibimbap) 비빔밥 간장게장 7,500 KRW (S$9.40)
Give all the ingredients a good mix. This tasted surprisingly good. The raw/fishy taste of the crab was not distinct and there was a complexity of sweetness and saltiness to the dish. Towards the end however, it got a little too salty.
It was not easy finding this restaurant. We walked from Hongik University station (subway line 2) and it took a good 30 minutes walk to reach this restaurant. Along the way, we stopped by at the Tourist Information (Red Star in above photo) to check for directions. We also stopped by to purchase finger food and had a quick look at some of the clothes in the shops. The restaurant is circled in red at the left hand side of the photo. More directions are appended below.

Mapo Naru House 마포나룻집 (South Korea, Seoul)
364-19 Seogyo-dong, Mapo-gu
Seoul, South Korea 
서울 마포구 서교동 364-19번지 
Tel: +82-2-337-5515
Opening Hours: Mon 11.30am - 10pm
                         Tue to Fri 1130am - 7am
                         Sat 1130am to 3am
Directions: From Hongik University station (subway line 2) Exit 9, turn left into the street right next to KFC and turn right after you pass Coffee Bean into the main street of Hongdae. Keep going straight, you will see the Tourist Information Counter. Cross the road and take the street between Tonymoly cosmetic store and Seven Eleven (aka Eoulmadang-ro). Keep walking straight (past 1  more junction).  You will find Mapo Naru House on your left.


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