Located on a mainly residential street that gets pretty dark at night, MongJungIn isn't a very noticeable place. Yet, MongJungIn is often packed by 8pm with a long wait-line that requiring a minimum 2 hour wait. They don’t take reservations, but they do offer you a free MongJungIn shot (topped with whipping cream) as a welcome drink.
As some may have guessed, MongJungIn Kitchen & Pub was inspired by the Hong Kong romantic fantasy film (Dream Lovers, 1986). As the film itself was made and set in the 80’s, the whole atmosphere of the pub is quite retro with an Asian attitude.
The menu is quite simple, with only around 4 choices in each category. They do have a few cocktails all made with a Kaoliang liquor base. Unfortunately the ‘Kaolian+lemon+tonic water’ highball cocktail didn’t’ taste all too refined (it's cheap, though). The food however, exceeded its price value. The ‘Malaxiangguo’ (aka the spicy numbing stir-fry pot) was a very impressive dish. Using mala sauce as the base, there was an intense mix of exotic spices and flavors. The tofu skin noodles had a tender and chewy texture, while the various seafood and vegetables all exerted their distinguished tastes. Watch out for the Sichunan pepper; though! They have a bitter taste at the end, and best of all, exude a numbing effect. The mini GuoBaoRou was extremely clean and light (even though it was deep- fried) with a subtle sweet and sour flavor from the sauce drizzled on top. The meat slices inside were pretty thin, but considering the price, it’s not a bad deal.
MongJungIn is one of those places that are perfect for the infamous 2-cha (second round), as they have great food to be paired with some alcohol, even a variety of Kaoliang for those who dare.
13, Gwanak-ro 14ga-gil
|Opening hours:||18:00-morning, closed Tuesdays|
|Transport:||Seoul National University Station (line 2) exit 1. 15 mins walk.|
|Price:||Malaxiangguo 13,000 won, Mini GuoBaoRou 7,500 won, cocktails 6,000-7,000 won|