*UPDATE: March 2014: we’re not sure if Matahari is still around! Anyone have some more info??*
I love the college feel of the PNU neighborhood. Like Hongdae in Seoul, in contrast to Kyungsung, PNU has that universal University neighborhood feel to it. Streets busy with groups of students. People sitting in bars, drinking and reading at the same time. (One of my favorite pastimes.) And hip restaurants with record players and old magazine advertisements hanging on the walls. I suppose Kyungsung does have these, but in more of a mass, downtown sort of setting. Not nearly as intimate.
One specific bar/sandwich-shop/coffeeshop that fits this description is Matahari. We actually stumbled in there, pretty late on a Saturday evening, looking to escape the crowds that filled Crossroads, and get some food. Sadly, the kitchen was closed when we went in, but the very friendly woman working said she could still make us some sandwiches. This was fantastic since it had begun to rain, and we didn’t really feel like going anywhere else right then.
The sandwiches were really good. At least my hazy memory thinks they were. There were egg slices, and maybe some egg salad on them. We also had a few beers. Strangely, Cass/Hite/Max were not on the menu. Budweiser was only 4,000 won, which is cheap for Budweiser in Korea, for what that’s worth. I don’t like it much for any price, but it was an okay change from the usual.
Really Matahari is all about the atmosphere. It’s that bar/coffeeshop we all dreamed of opening in college. It has the concert posters, the shelves filled with books and magazines. It allowed the older version of me to look back fondly on my more idealistic University days. It made me wanna crack open some old Anthropology/Sociology texts, and read and debate different theories over beer or coffee. While I probably won’t actually ever do this, it’s nice to know that there’s a place in Busan where Koreans and expats alike are welcome to keep this tradition alive.
Directions: PNU metro exit 1. Go straight until you get to the big cross street. Turn right. Go straight through the next big intersection (by burger king). Continue straight until you come to next cross street. Turn left, it’s half a block up. Right by Crossroads and Soul Train.
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