A Night out in Hong-Dae


Another vibrant part of Seoul, Hong-dae is a fun area filled with indie street performers, brightly lit shops and numerous bars, restaurants, clubs and cafes. Hong-dae comes from the shortened form of Hongik university and caters to the students and youth. It’s crazy busy with a pulse, has an artsy vibe and makes for a good night out.

We started off our Saturday watching a group busking with covers and a couple of their own songs. The clear, hollow sound from the wooden box was the best, but the camera didn’t pick it up too well.  Here is a cover they sang by Nell (넬). The song is about a guy missing a girl and everything reminding him of her. Mind the background noise 😉


Our food pick started the same as last Saturday night, with a kebab (I’ve decided I must try one every time we see a different shop) from Istanbul Kebab. They just keep getting better. Got the mixed with lettuce, tomato, jalapeno, chicken and lamb with a yoghurt mint sauce. I love kebabs.

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We sat on a bench eating and watched the stylish people walking by. There’s a fashion trend in Korea at the moment to wear wide black floppy hats, like these ones http://www.charlotterusse.com/product/Wide-Brim-Floppy-Hat/275012.uts at night, well after the sun has gone. I saw guys and girls wearing sunglasses too, one lady lifting hers to see where she could walk on the uneven ground around 8pm. Fashion is strange and fun to look at…

Next up were a group of entertaining street dancers, Haramkkun 하람꾼. These guys can dance! The girl’s reaction was so cute.

An hour of wandering and we were ready for our next meal. Enter the sake bar/ Japanese pub. It’s in the side street off of the main Hongdae strip, cosy and tucked away on the second floor with a very cool little interior – fairy lights, a disco ball, funny paintings and a great street view.

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Bobby ordered the Okonomiyaki(Japanese pancake) and a 900ml carton of sake, split into two; a heated (smoother) and iced (less alcohol taste) version. Two side dishes were served and refilled; seasoned seaweed and peanuts in a sticky syrup. The seaweed was perfect: chewy, vinegar sweet and salty, as were the peanuts. I find that whenever I drink, I have to chew on something with a decent texture or my teeth start grinding. Does anyone else do that?


I later read that it’s actually thinly sliced pork belly often mistaken for bacon…It had real bacon! Bean sprouts, eggs, spring onion, cabbage,and onion were also in the mix, topped with shaved dried bonito flakes, pickled ginger and both mayonnaise and teriyaki sauces. The flakes look cool when they contract with the heat. It tasted so good that writing about it now has got me looking up recipes on YouTube. The outside was deliciously crisp and the pork with those sauces, wow. We spent two and a half hours here which doesn’t happen often unless we’re with friends, meaning this place is worth a visit and we’d go again.

We took the subway back and had our last stop at a sushi train near our apartment block. Since I’d had more than enough sake, I felt brave enough to try raw fish and sushi with fish eggs on it for the first time.

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I couldn’t believe it! It didn’t taste bad or overly fishy. From memory all I could taste was the seasoned rice and wasabi. At a dollar a plate and 4 for the udon, it was the cherry on top to a fun night out.

Happy eating – Chan and Bob

서울의 번화가중에서 홍대를 빼 놓으면 서럽죠. 홍대에는 클럽들과 수많은 거리공연들, 카페, 식당, 술집들이 홍대 길거리를 빼곡히 채우고 있습니다. 인산인해를 이루는 홍대는 수많은 사람들로 부터 뿜어져 나오는 에너지 때문인지 활기차 보였습니다. 홍대입구역에서 내린 저희는 홍대 걷고싶은 거리 쪽으로 올라갔는데요, 들어서자 마자 들리는 좋은 노랫말. 길거리 공연이 한창이었습니다. 제기억엔 자작곡 하나까지 포함한 인상깊은 공연이었는데요, 전 보컬의 목소리가 너무 좋더군요. 넬의 ‘기억을 걷는 시간’도 좋았지만 자작곡으로 부르신 (제목은 생각은 안나는)곡은 정말 프로 뺨친다 생각이 들더군요.

오늘 밤도 케밥으로 시작했습니다. 쉔텔이 케밥집만 보면 정신을 못 차리거든요 ㅋㅋ 홍대 걷고싶은 거리 입구 바로 전 쯤에 위치해 있는 이곳 케밥집도 외국분이(터키분으로 보임) 운영을 하십니다. 양고기 케밥, 닭고기 케밥, 양,닭 믹스케밥 이렇게 세 종류에 채식주의 이신 분들을 위한 케밥도 있습니다. 가격은 4~5천원 사이로 양도 맛도 만족이었습니다.

두번째로 본 공연은 하람꾼이라는 팀에서 보여주는 스트릿 댄스 였습니다. 각종 아이돌 그룹의 노래에 그들만의 안무가 녹아 관객과 함께 하는 익살스런 공연이었습니다. 남성 팀이다 보니 오해를 사지 않기 위해서 주로 남자 관객들을 끌어내 춤을 추시는데 그게 어찌나 재미있던지 완전 웃음 바다였습니다.

케밥으로는 저희 쉔텔의 굶주린 배를 만족시킬 수 없었습니다. 하는 수 없이? 저는 쉔텔을 데리고 사케바로 갔죠. 오늘의 메뉴는 오코노미야끼와 마쯔리텐구. (절대 제가 사케를 먹고 싶어서 간건 아니에요)  사케는 반은 차게 반은 데워달라고 주문했습니다. 치킨이든 사케든 저는 역시 반반이 좋더군요 ㅋㅋ 오코노미야끼에 베이컨이 들어가는 건 처음이었지만 나쁘지 않았습니다. 제가 이 사케바에서 가장 맘에 드는건 가게가 아담하고 분위기가 좋은점이었는데 약간 모자란 음식맛은 그것으로 커버가 되는 것 같습니다.


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