Malt Bar Off
May 11, 2018
As Psy told us all in his 2012 slice of viral crazy, Gangnam Style, Gangnam, Seoul’s ritziest, glitziest district, offers more bling than you could shake an imaginary pair of jingly reins at. Yet, while Malt Bar Off’s outstanding selection of single malt Scotch firmly belongs in Gangnam, the 25-capacity space has a subdued, downhome class that means it has aged well since opening, and the location is a little way off Gangnam’s beaten track. While there’s a “secret” menu of excellent, mainly whisky-based cocktails – whisky with orange juice and ginger ale? Yes, please! – and a small but perfectly formed choice of other spirits, the focus in this little place is firmly on the malts. In fact, Malt Bar OFF (just plain old “Off” to locals) was Seoul’s first ever purpose-built single malt whisky bar. The staff seriously know their stuff, and rewards for the Scotch investigator run from nuts, dried fruit and a cheese platter through to chocolate handmade in-house for pairing with specific whiskies. Trust them to navigate you through the extensive menu to a dram that’s perfect for your palate or, of course, pick a bottle you’ve been holding out for. Despite its status as one of the pioneers of whisky in downtown Seoul, Malt Bar Off has never really been fashionable, which, in turn, means it’s never become unfashionable: it remains a hidden gem for the connoisseur to enjoy discreet good times and, of course, the rich, ripe scents and aromas of Scotland’s finest nectar.