There aren’t many things I’ll get my lazy ass out of bed for on a Sunday, but brunch is certainly one of them. And last weekend I managed to drag myself and my friends all the way across town to the new and trendy Hongdae suburb Yeonnam-dong. Its not my first trip to that side of town, I’ve already written about French Bistro L’Empreinte, but it has been a while since my last visit. This area is pretty popular right now and many of the places we passed on the way there had big queues in front of them so we had our fingers crossed that we would get a seat at Bagel MTL.
Luckily when we arrived we found there was plenty of space inside Bagel MTL, though it was packed by the time we left at 2pm so try and get there a little earlier if you want to guarantee a seat. The cafe cum restaurant is super cute, with a couple of small tables, a huge communal one and a comfy seating area. it’s just the kind of place you want to spend a lazy weekend in.
The menu boasts about a dozen different kinds of topped bagels, there seems to be plenty of different types so there should be something for everyone. Orders are placed up at the counter to make things easier, so don’t sit down and expect them to come to you. If you are buying a bagel you can add a refillable filter coffee for an extra 1,000 won, how amazing is that? It’s just cheap, run of the mill, filter coffee, but at that price who cares?
Seeing as it was brunch, I ordered the B.E.A (8,000) which is bacon, a egg and arugula. The bagel arrived beautifully presented and I couldn’t wait to get tucked into it. Now I’m no bagel expert, I’ve eaten a my fair share, but this is my first time trying the Montreal style. Apparently the hole is bigger they are sweeter and denser. These babies are made in house which I think says a lot for the place. I especially enjoyed the bacon, I’m not sure what they did to it, but it had been smoked or coated in something delicious. The peppery arugula was a nice addition and the soft boiled eggs made it into a proper brunch. The bagel was slightly hard to eat because of all the topping but that’s a small quibble. I also enjoyed that the bagels came with a small side salad, nothing fancy but some feta, tomatoes and crunchy celery, it was appreciated.
As well as the B.E.A we got the Chicken & Salsa (9,000). This was a more lunch type bagel but the salsa was tasty and homemade, The chicken was moist and tender, again it was hard to eat without a knife and fork but it was fresh and flavourful. Since we were a menage a trois of brunchers we opted for a Lox with Cream Cheese (10,000) too. I imagine this is a very popular choice, it came topped with red onion and capers and plenty of cream cheese. I had a small nibble but as you know I’m not really into salmon, however everyone else enjoyed it.
As well as the bagels, we also ordered a portion of their Beef & Barley soup (3,000). This is exactly what you want to eat in this weather and the soup was delicious. A good broth filled with proper chunks of vegetables, beef, and barley. I imagine it would be very good with a bagel dipped into it.
Overall I was very impressed with Bagel MTL and shall certainly be returning. The atmosphere was warm and inviting and the food delicious and more importantly homemade. The price was right too, brunch and coffee for under 10,000 is a rare find these days. They also do a take out orders for those who prefer breakfast in bed. Be sure to give this place a try before it gets super trendy and has a never ending queue.
Bagel MTL is located at 223-21 Yeonnam-dong, Mapo-gu, Seoul. To get there take a train to Hongdae (line 2), and come out of exit 3. Walk straight along the paved park type area, then take the the fourth main road to the right. Walk straight along this road, you will see Bagel MTL just up ahead on the left hand side. For more information you can call 02-322-9288 them on or check out their facebook page. They are open from from 10am-9pm and closed on Tuesdays.