We’re back from Korea and what better way to start the year with Kodachaya, the best bar in Gangnam. Well one station away at Shinnonhyeon Exit 5. Located in the basement it’s fitting that the entrance looks like you’re on the way to the subway. Once your inside though, you will forget that it’s in the basement.
Kodachaya is busy every day of the week. I went with some really good friends of mine twice. Both Saturday and Wednesday we had to wait in line. Fortunately the waiting area is right in the heart of the action. Even with a full house, somehow, someway you still won’t have to wait long.
Kodachaya uses the self-serve idea, a unique idea we don’t see in North America. At the center of it all is a market where you can order and watch your food made fresh. Head back to the tables that surround the market just a few steps away, or head to the fridge to grab your own beer.
What? They got self-serve beer? As if that’s not enough, the draft beer pours itself. #robots. That’s not all. They have all your favourite brands of soju, rice wine (makgeoli), and even some Hagen Das ice cream. There are fridges closer to your seats with free bottles of water. These fridges are essential to life, make sure to grab a few bottles.
One of the popular items we tried was the kimchi fried rice. Served on a hot plate, it’s especially popular because of the amount of cheese they use. Just make sure to eat it while it’s still hot or that cheese ain’t coming off. There were many other options, but being a Japanese themed bar we went with the yakitori, you can’t go wrong with that.
This idea works not all through the honor system. They give you a sort pager with a number on it, the type that usually vibrates when you’re waiting for your order at a coffee shop. Every time you order food, or grab some drinks, you just present your number and the items get added. It kind of feels like having a tab open. Once you’re finished, just pack up and head to the front to pay your bill.
With the market theme, self-serve, and payment system it’s the ideal place to join tables with the cute girl or good looking guy in the seats next to you. The ratio is about 60:40.
Kodachaya is a special place to me. The picture just above kind of captures what I was feeling. For a few minutes I sat there to live in the moment, good friends around, the smell of the food, and to top it off the sounds of Primary and AOA’s Don’t Be Shy playing in the background. It was everything all together that made me think I’m actually here, this is the place I want to be, everything was perfect for that short moment.