A few weeks ago I was invited to come down and check out Hopscotch. It had been on my list of places to try for some time now, so I of course jumped at the chance. It’s not very often I get to do things Gangnam style!
Hidden in a labyrinth of alleyways, Hopscotch is like a speakeasy from the 1920s. Away from the hustle and bustle of the main roads, you would blink and miss it. If the main door is closed, the little red glowing sign is your only clue to what lurks behind. Upon entering the door you are transported in time, I really did expect girls in flapper dresses to be doing the Charleston.
After taking a seat in one of the cosy corners we were presented with their cramazingly cool menu. They used the covers of old school note books which just exudes a retro feel. It’s all the details like this that really make the place. The owner told me that he and his partner constructed a lot of the bar and furniture themselves as one was skilled at wood work and the other at metal work. Every detail has been thought out meticulously.
Cocktails were ordered of course, it would have been churlish not to. They have a small range of classics, which are perfectly executed. We tried the New Yorker 16,000, and the Old Fashioned 16,000. Both whisky based and not for the fainthearted. The New Yorker was a nice twist on the whisky sour, The Old Fashioned was a touch too strong for me, but The Fat Boyfriend loved it.
As well as their cocktails they also have a dedicated list of a scotch whiskys and selected craft beers. Hence the name Hopscotch, hop for beer, scotch for whisky. So we also tried a Great white (10,000). There are some darn fancy beers on the menu including one which was voted beer of the year and comes in a wine bottle.
To accompany our drinks we ordered the very popular Duck Frites (9,000). Shoe string fries cooked in duck. I’m always a fan of cooking things in animal fat, even if it’s not particularly healthy, and duck fat is my mums secret ingredient for making the best roast potatoes in the world! You really can’t go wrong with a bowl of these babies.
We also ordered the the Socal Salad (17,000) which consists of pulled chicken, mandarin oranges, apples, pecans, almonds, gorgonzola, cranberries, avocado, romaine lettuce, and citrus dressing. This salad was a true delight, and I would be all kinds of thrilled if I was taking this baby for lunch every day. So many tasty ingredients working together in perfect harmony. Some of the vegetables are even grown on one of the owner’s organic farm, no wonder it’s so good.
After that healthy salad I needed some more deep fried goodies and couldn’t resist the Shroom Fries (10,000). Breaded shitake mushrooms served with garlic aioli, they are similar to the ones I made myself a few weeks ago. These are shaped to resemble potato wedges, and have a nice crispy exterior around the softer inside. Topped with parmesan and dipped into the scrummy garlic mayo they are nice bar snack to nibble on.
For those looking for something a bit more substantial you can try the Brisket Bite (17,000). Smoked brisket pilled on toasted ciabatta, topped with emmental cheese and creamy southern style coleslaw. The bread was lovely as was the brisket. It was indeed a very tasty sandwich but probably not worth the 17,000 price tag. Though if you can afford it, probably not so much of an issue, the big ballers of Gangnam probably scarf down these bad boys like I do 2,000 won double cheese burgers.
To round off our meal, the owner brought us over a dish of frozen grapes, that had been drizzled with balsamic reduction. A sweet and refreshing dessert to finish with. I will have to give these a go at home.
If you are in Gangnam and looking for something a little different, this is an ideal place to bring and impress a date or a cool crowd of friends. The drinks and food are well paired and it’s worth coming for the luxe furnishings alone. Feel free to dress in 20’s attire as you really wouldn’t look out of place. They have also recently opened up a second location in Gwanghwamun too.
Hopscotch is located at B1, 113-20, Nonhyeon-dong, gangnam-gu, Seoul, Korea. To get there take a train to Gangnam Gu Cheong Station (Line 7) Come out exit 3 and immediately take a right. Then take your first left. Follow that road along for maybe 50 meters and keep looking to the right. It’s hidden away on a little side street. We found it just by using the GPS on our phone and the address, or just call and they will come out and find you! For more information you can call on 02-511-0145 or check out their facebook page.