[Seoul] Craftworks Taphouse & Bistro (Namsan)

Subsequent to my visit here in July 2012, Craftworks has since expanded its operations to 3 outlets across Seoul, and 1 sliiiightly outside Seoul in the idyllic Baekhyun-dong area in Bundang, Gyunggi-do. The neighborhood of Baekhyun-dong also happens to house my favourite cafe in all of Korea, but that’s material for another entry.

The Craftworks outlet I visited was its flagship one in Namsan. Lest the word “Namsan” leads you to think that its located in the Myeongdong area, Craftworks is actually on the other side of Namsan, i.e. Itaewon. We’d (okay, I’d) originally planned to have breakfast at The Baker’s Table, but were turned away as it was a Sunday morning and the restaurant was full.  While dragging the rest to Suji’s I passed a sidewalk sign advertising for Craftworks, next to which there was a narrow path leading to the door of the bistro. To be honest I’d have walked right past the place without knowing there was a restaurant there if it hadn’t been for the folding sign.

Skillet Scrambler, 12,000 won.

Mmmm, this is really not the most artful way to present a dish. Totally looks like someone threw together a bunch of leftover ingredients from the previous night and had a half-hearted go at them with a chopper. Luckily it all came together nicely, though I would credit that to the fail-safe ingredients rather than to the chef’s finesse. You’d have to be quite something if you can manage to make a combination of eggs, bacon, sausages, chorizos and potatoes taste bad. I would probably have appreciated this much more if I were nursing a hangover. Served with a slice of rye bread on the side to mop up the mess.

Buttermilk Pancakes, 10,000 won.

The pancakes here were delicious. Buttery, airy and just the right level of moist, they tasted great even without the accompanying maple syrup. Sausages were a tad too salty, so you might want to opt for bacon or ham instead.

Shrimp Benedict, 13,000 won.

Craftworks (Namsan) offers 5 different types of Benedicts: Classic (with bacon), Veggie, Craftworks (with chorizo), Southern (with pulled pork) and Shrimp. We went for the Shrimp, and it arrived at our table looking like a stunner. My heart actually skipped a beat when I saw how gorgeous it looked… I tend to get a little emotional when reacting to food. Tastewise it was disappointing, as the grilled shrimp was rubbery, the English muffin impossible to saw through and the hollandaise bland. The whole plate was pretty tasteless save for the bacon (reliably delish) and the potatoes. The latter tried to overcompensate by being a kidney-shriveling level of salty, though that’s irrelevant now that they’ve switched up the potatoes for home fries.

I’d settled on Craftworks for breakfast because I remembered reading that they were good. After we dined here I went to google the place again and realised that they were infinitely more popular for being a taphouse than a bistro. Online reviews about the selection of craft beers offered here are uniformly glowing. My suggestion? Have your breakfast at any of the other restaurants in the nearby Haebangchon area before heading to Craftworks for drinks.

Craftworks Taphouse & Bistro (Namsan)
651 Itaewon 2-dong
Myungsan Bldg. 1st Floor
Seoul 140-861, Korea
(Address in Korean: 서울시 용산구 이태원2동 651번지)

Opening hours: 11 am to 1 am, Mondays to Fridays; 11 am to 2 am, Saturday and Sunday.
Tel. No.: +82 2-794-2537
Website: http://www.craftworkstaphouse.com/

Directions: Take Exit 2 out of Noksapyeong station (Line 6). Walk 50 meters, then take the underground crossing. Head 30 meters to the intersection. Craftworks (Namsan) is just past NOXA restaurant.

Note: Food menus at all 4 outlets are different, so if you’re going for the food be sure to check the items available on their website before deciding which branch to visit. The Namsan outlet offers the most comprehensive brunch menu.

5 Responses to “[Seoul] Craftworks Taphouse & Bistro (Namsan)”
  1. It’s strange, I just wrote an article about their food actually improving. Sorry you had a bad experience. I’ve never had brunch there, it feels as though the brunch scene in Itaewon is in need of some serious competition to bring up the quality.

    • theyummyyak says:

      Haha this entry was based on my dining experience more than a year ago, so in all fairness they might have improved since 🙂 I thought Suji’s and Vatos Urban Tacos were pretty good when I visited, but the prices… ugh.

  2. Reblogged this on Derek Versus Lonely Planet and commented:
    The Yummy Yak wasn’t feeling brunch at Craftworks. The Itaewon brunch scene needs someone to step up.

Check out what others are saying...
  1. […] Appearance wise it was a little underwhelming, but boy were the tangy and savoury flavours hearty. The wood-firing oven technique of baking employed here gave the casserole a nice, smoky crust, but it also dried the eggs out a little. Even so, this was an example of a hangover dish done right – Yeah I’m lookin’ at you, Skillet Scrambler. […]

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