A few months ago, Kyungnidan saw a new addition to it’s Thai restaurant empire in the form of Kkaolli Pochana. The two other restaurants Buddha’s Belly and A taste of Thailand, were obviously unable to meet the ever growing demand of people wanting to eat Thai food, so clearly Kkaolli Pochana was desperately needed.
From the outside you could blink and miss it, as it certainly doesn’t conjure images of fried rice and noodles, but step inside and it’s like being transported back to Khao San road. Those who enjoying a fine dining experience will be sorely disappointed. The tables and stools are plastic, the walls strung with fairy lights, and the atmosphere lively and loud.
When I arrived the restaurant was full but I didn’t have to wait too long for a table. However the waiter didn’t seem to speak much English, which is strange for this area of Seoul and we were passed on to the chef to verify that we wanted a table for two. Once sat, we waited for our menu, only to find that there wasn’t one. We had to make our choices from tatty pieces of paper pinned to the door in the corner. My eyesight is poor at best and I really did find it difficult to read without standing over the table that was just below it. It would make things a lot easier if they could print one out.
After surveying the choices we made our order, again neither of the waiters were able to receive our order so the cook had to be called out. We tried to tell them in Korean but they both seemed very afraid of talking to us. Strange in a foreign dominated neighborhood. However what the wait staff lacked in service skills they made up for a in speed and before we knew it the first dish had arrived. Thai green chicken curry (12,000). The curry was good, definitely a more accomplished version than those I manage at home but not quite the same as those I enjoyed in Thailand.
Our next choice was the Shrimp Pad Thai (12,000). Whenever visiting a Thai restaurant it has to be judged on how they execute the Pad Thai. It was jut as expected, I could have transported myself back to any of the restaurants that litter the streets of Bangkok. However we paid extra for shrimp and were only given two, a bit of a disappointment when you are sharing it.
Lastly we ordered a crab fried rice (8,000) What’s Thai food without some fried rice? This was just the ticket, I could have eaten this rice all day. It reminded me of the food I lived on when travelling my way around that beautiful country.
Overall we enjoyed our meal as seen from the picture below. The food has an authenticity that the other restaurants in the area don’t seem to. This is not better per se, just more real, especially to those who backpacked around the country eating cheaply. They ever serve Thai Buckets! If you are looking for a great foodie find then this may not be it, the chairs are not particularly comfortable and I’m pretty sure if you come on a weekend you will find yourself on the end of a big line. Hipster Koreans are going crazy over this little alleyway of eateries, the worse the seats and the bigger the line, the more they want it. Magpie brewery looks like a car-park, Booth Pizza makes you sit on crates, and the stools at Kkaolli Pochana are wobbly at best. However every time I walk past any of these establishments there are people queuing to eat. Is it worth the hype, I’m not sure. For me it depends on how long you have to queue. Since I live in the area then next time I will be getting my food to go.
To get to Kkaolli Pochana, take a train to Noksapyeong station (line 6) exit 2 and walk straight down past the entrance leading to Hae bang chon and go over the pedestrian bridge above the road. Take the right hand set of stairs down and walk straight down the alley on your left. Kkaolli Pochana is just on the left hand side.