Mar 162011

(Written by Patrick Mowat)

ssaeng tong hof whisky beer kyungsung, exteriorFinding a good place to drink in Korea is sometimes harder than it sounds. Every so often, you’ll walk into a place that looks nice from the outside, only to find that it’s an overpriced whisky bar that only offers bottle service or import beers for about 9,000 won each.  Of course, by the time you realize it isn’t your kind of watering hole, you’ve already been seated, shown a menu by an excited Korean waitress, and been served some complimentary “anju”.  That’s about the time you and everyone in your group gets an unexpected phone call that requires you to walk out of the bar without ordering or making eye-contact with any of the employees.

At first glace,  Ssaeng Tong may appear to be one of these places. It isn’t. If you’re looking for a nice, reasonably priced Hof with a view, Ssaeng Tong is your kind of place. This Hof has a relaxed atmosphere despite the crazy attire the waitstaff wears. Ssaeng offers 3,000cc pitchers for under 15,000won, a nice spread of complimentary “anju” that they keep refilling (see the pic – toast sticks with marshmallow dip!), and some of the best fry/fruit platters around.  All of this can be enjoyed while sitting on one of their two patios. This is probably the best part about Ssaeng free snack: toast with marshmallow

When you hear that Koreans like to “drink outside”, they mean slamming soju outside a Family Mart while sitting on folding chairs. Korea could use more restaurants like Ssaeng Tong that offer open patio seating.

Directions: Three locations in the Kyungsung University area. #1: Kyungsung subway exit 5. Walk straight 2 or three blocks, turn left after the GS gas station. Go 2 more blocks and turn right. 1+2f. #2: Kyungsung subway exit 5. Walk straight and take your first left, and go one block. Bar is on the corner, on your left. 2f.  #3: Kyungsung subway exit 3. Turn right and go down 2 blocks, then turn left at the Mr. Donut. Bar is on the right mid-way down the street, 6f.

Location 1:

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Location 2:

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Location 3:

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