Monkey Shoulder

Seoul-City-Center

4.7 / 5

May 11, 2018

Named for the brand of Scotch that's, oddly, extremely hard to find in Seoul – the boys here rely on friends travelling overseas to bring in their quotient of the eponymous nectar.

Named for the brand of Scotch that’s, oddly, extremely hard to find in Seoul – the boys here rely on friends travelling overseas to bring in their quotient of the eponymous nectar – Monkey Shoulder opened in summer 2014 to general plaudits from Seoul’s drinking cognoscenti. And, as you’d expect from its sobriquet Single Malt Whisky Bar, Monkey Shoulder features a lovingly curated selection of whiskies, mainly single malt Scotch, alongside an intriguing range of cocktails, with home-made chocolates by way of bar snacks. The feel here, like the name, is thoroughly contemporary: besides the essential wood panelling, there’s a dramatic illuminated back bar, complete with bottles, and acres of slick brushed concrete occasionally interspersed with industrial steel fans. The island bar boasts a striking copper bar top and whisky bottles decorate both walls and ceiling, some encased in artful steel cages. If you’re a Scotch cocktail fan, we recommend the house shot, a succulent, smooth blend of banana, cream and a hint of whisky that takes the Atholl Brose idea to a whole new level. Or opt for one of their range of lusciously presented juleps, or perhaps something more quirkily feminine, like a drink served in a slipper glass, a pink martini garnished with a flower, or even a bottled cocktail. Off-duty bartenders and drinks industry folk flock here on their nights off, alongside an understatedly cool crowd of locals: do join them for a dram or two. If drinking with bartenders is your idea of a good night out, come early in the week.

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