With my jam packed schedule it has actually been quite a while since I last had a chance to eat at my favourite HBC bistro, McCoy’s. So when they invited me back to try their new menu, i just couldn’t say no. I last reviewed the cute and quaint eatery at the end of last year, when it became one of my most popular date night restaurants. Not only is the place absolutely adorable, the food is also fantastic and it’s very well priced. I hoped that nothing had changed in that department since my last visit and luckily I wasn’t disappointed.
Sometimes nothing beats a good French bistro and when I heard through the grape vine that there was a new one that had opened in a new hot little area called Yeonnam-dong, just by Hongdae it seemed like the ideal spot to go for lunch and a wander. From the outside the second floor restaurant doesn’t look all that special but once inside it is light and airy and has a very french country chic feel about it. All the furniture is vintage and imported from France. We were very lucky to be seated at the 120 year old table, and I couldn’t help but think of all the people who had enjoyed meals at it over the years.
A few months ago I was lucky enough to be invited to enjoy an incredible 16 course tasting menu at Ryunique. And, since my visit, Chef Ryu has been very busy opening up a new bistro called Normal. The food is, unsurprisingly, a simpler version of the theatrically styled gastronomy he does at Ryunique. While the menu would lead you to believe that the food is standard bistro fare, I knew from my previous dinner that it would be anything but simple. There seems to be a bit of an influx of new bistros opening in the last month, and the few that I have been to haven’t really impressed me all that much, despite receiving high praise from other reviewers. So I was very interested to find out how Normal would compare.
A few days ago I got invited by a friend to come and try McCoy’s in Haebangchon. He had declared that it was an absolute gem of a place and a real find. I had heard a few mutterings on the grapevine about it, so my interest was certainly piqued but I honestly didn’t have my hopes that set that high. However since the dinner was on the house I figured it was worth a try.
I discovered this little gem a couple of months ago now, but have only just got around to sharing it with you. Located at the bottom of Itaewon, Hillside Pub & Bistro has a lovely little patio rooftop which is the perfect place to drink a few too many cocktails on a sunny afternoon.
Drinking can really take it out of you, so to keep up our stamina we decided to try some of the food too. Our first choice was the Bacon Cheese Burger (12,000), Accompanied by potato wedges and coleslaw, this certainly hit the spot.
We also ordered a Chicken Cesar Salad (13,000) in an attempt to be somewhat healthy. A bed of salad leaves with a large juicy chicken breast, there was plenty to go around. It wasn’t an authentic Cesar salad by any means, but it was nice and well made.
Since I ordered a salad I rewarded myself with an order of onion rings (7,000). These tasted as good as they looked. Nice and crispy with a lovely tartar sauce dip on the side.
The food was all nice enough, and will hit the spot if your hungry and in the mood for pub grub. However the star attraction for me is the drinks. They have a very long list of cocktails which is more than enough to keep me happy. They have my new summer favourite, the Lynchberg Lemonade, as well as all the old favourites like my beloved June Bug. There are plenty of beers at decent prices to keep the boys happy too.
Hillside Pub & Bistro is located on the hill just overlooking the bottom of Itaewon (Macdonalds end), at 57-28 Itaewon-dong, Yongsan-gu, Seoul. To get there, take a train to Itaewon Station (line 6) and come out of exit 1. Walk straight for about four minutes. When you reach KEB bank on your right, you can see a road just past veering up the hill parallel to the main road’s sidewalk. Hillside Pub & Bistro is just at the top of the hill on the right. You can call them on 070-4136-2208.