Gone are the days when pink cafes filled with neon signs and rainbow drinks were the last word in cafe decor. The general trend now favored by Korea’s cafe owners, as well as their cafe-going public, seems to be turning to the traditional. Seochon’s Poongryu Hall is one such example. With a name derived directly from Hanja and a decidedly Eastern-influenced interior design to match, it joins the array of cafes that have started to take up this Korean Gothic aesthetic.
Korean Gothic Decor
Operating as a cafe-slash-bar with a special focus on cocktails and mocktails, Poongryu Hall is decorated in a perfect blend of modern and traditional elements. However, not entirely traditional in the way the airy Hanok cafes typically are decorated.
The dark lighting here and props such as paper lanterns dyed in the traditional red and blue of the Korean flag and thin paper screens with Hanja calligraphy on them set the scene for a more sophisticated space. The bar described their aesthetic as ‘Gothnic’ style. Coupled with jet-black tables and an open bar, it seems to be the perfect place to meet friends for some casual drinks over the weekend.
Poongryu Hall’s Menu
Although Poongryu Hall serves the typical coffee menu, the real star is the alcoholic drink menu. All the drinks are named in Hanja and are also offered in non-alcoholic versions.
The menu was written in care and detail. They even explain the small difference in taste for each cocktail and mocktail. Which, makes ordering a simpler affair.
I decided on the White Night mocktail. According to the menu, it was supposed to taste like an Einspanner. Meanwhile, my friend got a Jade cocktail. It appeared a striking, shimmering emerald green.
Out of their unique dessert menu, which featured items like cherry tomato croffles and Ang Butter Monakas, we decided on a simple strawberry pudding to share.
Poongryu Hall Review
The drinks were nothing short of amazing! My friend believed her drink was the best cocktail ever. Meanwhile, my own White Night was creamy and smooth, with a bitter coffee base that offset the sweetness perfectly.
The strawberry pudding proved to be very photogenic and tasted amazing. It had fresh strawberry slices, red-tinged lemon jelly, and custard pudding base with biscuit chunks dotted throughout it coalescing together in a harmonious palette.
Though the bar was full throughout the time I was there, it was relatively quiet. We had a steady flow of conversation without any unwelcome distractions, letting my own good memories add further to the charm I felt the place exude.
Poongryu Hall Address: 90-1 Nuha-dong, Jongno-gu, Seoul Korean Address: 서울 종로구 필운대로5나길 20-12 1층 Operating Hours: 01:00 PM - 09:00 PM *Closed Mon & Tues
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