Volstead has just opened its doors for soft opening and although it’s only been open a few short weeks it’s quickly become the talk of the town among Mexican aficionados. The space is a mix between a cocktail bar and restaurant. Mexican food plus cocktails is always a winner in my book, so I took my new best friend Georgie along with me to give it a try.
I’d count Mexican as one of my favourite cuisines, though being from the UK I can’t say that my experience with ‘real’ Mexican food has been all that thorough. My love of Mexican has come from the more Tex Mex kind of style, and chain restaurants growing up, so I was eager to check out a more regional style.
To kick things off we of course started with a cocktail, because lets face it when don’t I have a drink in my hand these days, in fact it might be time for rehab soon. After some consideration I went for the Lynchburg Lemonade (8,000). This bourbon and lemon treat was divine and I like to think it’s a bit more live and kicking that the version made with vodka. It’s also very well priced at 8,000. Georgie went for the Margarita (9,000). Personally I cant handle the rocks version, but I took a sip anyway and yowza was it strong, it will certainly put hairs on your chest that’s for sure, anyone who likes a strong but well made drink will enjoy this combo of limey taquila goodness.
The restaurant is still in its soft opening phase so the menu is still quite small. We opted to share the Chimichanga Enchilada (13,000). I’m always torn between which to choose between an enchilada or a chimichanga on the menu so this was ideal for me. I adored the deep fried crust, it was such an unadulterated extravagance. It was crisp, stuffed with rice and beans, and smothered in sauce. While I did enjoy the dish in a way, it just seemed to be lacking something in the flavour department both in the filling and the sauces, I was waiting for a pop of flavour that just didn’t come.
On the menu are a variety of corn tacos. We ordered the Carnitas Tacos (10,000). Slowly cooked braised pork, topped with pico de galio, on handmade corn tortillas. Again I thought the pork seemed to be lacking in something. I was just waiting for a punch of flavour that didn’t come. My taste buds didn’t tingle and I thought they were very expensive at 10,000 for 2. I’ve heard better things about the Chorizo meatball version though.
I couldn’t resist trying the Jalapeno Poppers (6,000). Whole jalapenos stuffed with cheese and wrapped in bacon. They came with a side of jalapeno jam and guacamole. These were much more on point. Little pops of heaven, smeared with the sweet and spicy jam, and the guacamole on the side was heavenly, I just couldn’t get enough of it. It’s a shame there were only two, I could have probably eaten 10!
After trying their fabulous guacamole we wanted more so we ordered a half portion of the Nachos Grande Supreme with extra guacamole (7,000). A good bar snack for those just wanting drinks, though if the guacamole wasn’t so tasty I think you could do better elsewhere in town.
Overall I would give Volstead another shot as I enjoyed the drinks, the atmosphere, and some of the dishes we had, but I wouldn’t go if I was craving Mexican. For my personal tastes I’d rather go to Little Baja or Vatos if I was in the mood for tacos. Though for those of you who are used to their Mexican food being made a little closer to the border, I’m sure you will like it.
Volstead is located at 116, Bogwang-ro, Yongsan-gu, Seoul (서울특별시 용산구 보광로 116). To get there take a train out of Itaewon station (line 6) and come out of exit 3. Turn back on yourself and a left. Walk straight past Taco Bell and keep going straight. Volstead is about a hundred meters up on the left hand side just underneath Bulldogs. For more information you can check out their facebook page.