The light drizzle that started as we emerged from Pro Soy Crab restaurant transformed into a heavy downpour that made everyone on the street scramble for shelter. We had decided to go for drinks and my Korean friend told us that she had a place in mind. Chez Maak (셰막) is a makgeolli bar in Sinsadong just a few minutes away from Pro Soy Crab but since it was her first time to go there we had a little bit of trouble finding our way. But we did find our way into the warm and welcoming arms of Chez Maak. It was a Friday night and the place was filled with boisterous chatter broken here and there by laughter. Although the place was almost full we managed to get a booth and like the fact that there was (albeit flimsy) curtain for privacy.
While planning for this trip I told my friend that I like makgeolli, a mildly sweet alcoholic beverage usually made from rice, so she brought us to Chez Maak. We first checked out the beverages menu and settled on trying the Chez Maak Assorted Makgeolli Cocktail. It was five of their makgeolli drinks served in test tubes held by an ice-filled bowl. We wanted to try out the flavours first before ordering a larger serving. The five flavours were White Lotus, Indangsoo, Love Hwangjini, Strawberry and Mango.
After deliberating for a few minutes because, hey we’re women who know exactly what we want we settled on White Lotus and Love Hwangjini. I wish I could tell you the different flavours in great detail but I forgot to take notes, but the general consensus was that the blue one – Indangsoo tasted like medicine, the Strawberry one was a little too sweet and my friend didn’t like Mango so we didn’t get that. If you do feel like heading down to Chez Maak you can try our strategy of ordering the assorted cocktails first so you can decide which flavour you want imbibe.
Before your order arrives like any other restaurant in Seoul the banchan or side dishes will be served first. We had macaroni salad and what I think is pickled radish. We ordered Kimchi Pancake to go with our makgeolli.
The Kimchi Pancake was one of the best if not the best I have ever tasted. It was not too oily nor too tangy but it was just the right combination – crunchy but not dry and the Kimchi was flavourful. I will admit to wanting a second serving!
We ordered a pitcher each of the White Lotus and Love Hwangjini and when paired with the Kimchi Pancake it just felt like a perfect way to spend a cold rainy autumn night. Enjoying good food and drinks while having a lively conversation with good friends.
Address: 517-29 Sinsa-dong, Gangnam-gu, Seoul, South Korea (check this blog for directions.