Hongdae (홍대)

Sunday, 28 February 2016

After visiting the Trick Eye Museum (트릭아이미술관) and Eat Your Kimchi's You Are Here Café, we spent the rest of our day roaming around the streets of Hongdae (홍대), one of Seoul's most youthful and hipster neighbourhoods known for its trendy cafés, urban street arts, indie music culture and nightlife.

Maybe we didn't look in the right places, but as much as others have raved about the shopping in Hongdae, we didn't find that much to be honest. Like there were a couple of streets with clothes and accessories, but it was nothing like Dongdaemun (동대문) or Myeongdong (명동). The only things we did manage to buy were a couple of beauty products. Other than that, it was just food (heh).

One of things we really wanted to try when we were in Korea was fried chicken and beer (aka chimaek 치맥), a dish made popular by the Korean drama, "My Love from Another Star" (별에서 온 그대). Mind you, I never watched that drama but I was still excited to try Korean fried chicken because many people have said that it's really good. But while looking for a fried chicken restaurant in Hongdae, we came across a place called Noo Na Hol Dak (누나홀닭), which sells oven-baked chicken and beer instead. So knowing that it was much healthier alternative than oil-fried chicken, we went there without much hesitation.

The texture of the chicken itself, however, was cooked in a way that was very similar to that of fried chicken, so I wasn't let down by it at all. Unfortunately, I couldn't really enjoy it because it was SO spicy. I only took a bite of the original-flavoured chicken and I was K-Oed by it so I didn't even dare try the spicy one. Our first time having beer in Korea was also at Noo Na Hol Dak as well, but it (Cass Beer) was a total disappointment because it tasted bland and really weak. (I'm a person who likes Victoria Bitter!)

Located near Hongdae Station, the address of Noo Na Hol Dak is 129 Eoulmadang-ro, Mapo-gu, Seoul (서울 마포구 어울마당로 129). They also have branch in Myeongdong, but we didn't see it when we were there. But you can't miss the one in Hongdae—it's a huge building with 3 levels!

It was a Tuesday when we went, so it wasn't packed with people—which was good. (I assume there would be more on Friday nights.) Hongdae is also apparently great for clubbing, but if you're not into the whole clubbing scene like me, you might find that the university neighbourhood may not be all that special. However, it still felt very lively and was a place for young people. It was definitely less commercialised than Myeongdong, so it was a good suburb for cheap eats and low-priced fashion buys.

Noo Na Hol Dak (누나홀닭)
164-8 Donggyo-dong, Mapo-gu, Seoul
서울 마포구 동교동 164-8

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