Name: Booze Frog (술 개구리)
Location: Hapjeong / Sangsu
Reviewed by: Mamas and Papas on May 23rd 2015
The light in the late afternoon gives a nice vibe
Thoughts: Located on the trendy street of Sangsu which is lined with cafes, brunch restaurants and cool bars, Booze Frog (our own affectionate translation of the name 술 개구리) is a recent addition to the scene of makgeolli bars. While some places offer a menu of ten or so brews, this place has a most impressive four page menu and scores of options to choose from. The atmosphere is intimate and lively, and if you’re lucky enough to get the one table by the terrace, you can people watch the trendsters below with your makgeolli cup in hand.
There are a number of paddle samplers to try the extensive range
Service: *** 3 Stars
Style: **** 4 Stars
Ambiance: **** 4 Stars
Overall: **** 4 Stars
The house herb makgeolli (left) is a mixture of different makgeollis with peppermint herbs and edible flowers
Bacon Cheese Jeon 베이컨치즈전 2.5 stars (spongy, lacking in bacon, soft)
Booze Frog 3 Color Jeon 술개구리 삼색전 3 stars (greasy, overloaded, spicy)
Pork Stir-Fry 돼지볶음 3.5 stars (Textured, slightly spice, soy sauce, tasty)
The three color Jeon (pork, radish, squid)
Neurin Maeul 느린마을 5 ***** (balanced, pleasant, drinkable, banana)
Gotaek Sticky Rice 고택찹쌀 막걸리 4**** (plum, pear, dry sherry, boozy)
Tiger Makgeolli 호랑이 막걸리 4**** (pear, smooth, balanced, thick)
Songmyeongsub 성명섭 3.5 ****1/2 (dry, thin, watery, a bit acidic)
Sa Mi Inju 사미인주 3*** (very sweet, fragrant, thin, apple essence)
Dae Dae Po 대대포 3*** (sparkling, banana, astringent, fragrant)
Herb Makgeolli 허브 막걸리 3*** (minty, toothpaste, flavorful, weird)
Geumjeongsanseong 금정산성 2.5**1/2 (tangy, dry, light)
Ha Nam 하남 2.5**1/2 (melon, fruity, sweet)
Cheongsul 청슬 2.5**1/2 (milky, nutty, bubbly)
What we liked: The atmosphere. The interior has been designed like a Spanish villa, and it is a very popular place filled with imbibers. The menu being so extensive, they offer samplers which come out not in small shot glasses, but tall water glasses. If you’re not sure what you like, this is a good way to try different types without having to buy a full bottle. It’s also a great visual to come to the table, though we found it a little difficult to pour without spilling for each person. Mamas & Papas also liked a somewhat unusual aspect, the prawn crackers. It may just come out as free anjou, but multiple Mamas & Papas raved about them saying ‘I would come back just for these’.
The terrace table overlooks the trendy Sangsu street
What we disliked: The slow service. Taking into account they are a relatively new establishment, so keeping up with its popularity might mean still working out the kinks. We ordered makgeolli and the order was forgotten until they were reminded 15 minutes later. However the owner was apologetic and compensated with free bottles, and his efforts definitely made up for the service lapse. Mamas & Papas were also a little disappointed with the lack of craft makgeolli, as the only bottles listed on the menu were out of stock. The house three color jeon was a bit spicy to go well with the makgeolli, with one Mama commenting ‘It blows out the taste buds so you can’t taste the makgeolli’.
Some of our eager Mamas & Papas awaiting our first order
Recommendation: This is a good place for a casual makgeolli experience with a relaxed atmosphere and extensive selection. If you’re in the Hapjeong/Sangsu area and want a late afternoon brew, the open terrace and windows let in some nice light and open air. It’s also good if you want to sample a whole selection of makgeolli you perhaps have never tried before, the owner also speaks some English and can recommend you to order.
Directions: From Sangsu Station come out exit #1 and walk down the hill on the main road towards Hapjeong station. When you reach the carpark at the bottom entrance to hongdae area turn right, and at the next left you should see a CU on the corner. Turn left here and follow the street for about 3 blocks and then you should cross a 4 way street. The bar should be just on the right on the 2nd floor and it’s called Sool Frog (술 개구리)
Note: It’s also accessible from Hapjeong station at about the same distance
Address: 서울 마포구 서교동 400-12
Phone Number: 02-322-1101
Have you visited Booze Frog? Is there anything we could have mentioned? What where your likes and dislikes? Tell us your story by commenting here or on our facebook page!