September 27, 2018

Secret Bar: The Odd Seoul

They say keeping secrets can be hazardous to one's health. Medically speaking, keeping a secret or holding on to them puts the brain in an awkward, compromised position. According to studies, when you keep a secret locked inside, you don’t allow a part of your brain to perform its natural functions. Instead, that part of your brain becomes stressed and thus the probable negative effects take place.

So with that being said, I'm letting you in on a secret. I don't know if you know that I am in pursuit of finding out the metro's best kept (are they still?) Secret Bars with a magnifier in one hand, (nope, just kidding). So a few weeks ago I have uncovered my 8th Secret Bar. It's very different from the ones I've been to as this one is modern and hip.

Meet The Odd Seoul. The entrance to this soju bar is hidden behind one of the enigmatic paintings on one of the walls of Gaja Korean Kitchen. How do you open it? That you have to find out. Well you can browse through my Instagram highlights under “Food” to find out or just persistently ask one of the staff at Gaja.

Like what I mentioned a while ago, The Odd Seoul compared to other speakeasies that you can find in Metro Manila is not at all vintage or quirky. Just like its mother establishment Gaja, it is modern, hip, colorful and sleek - which will surely appeal to the younger crowd. Like most secret bars, seating is limited. But if you don't mind feeling like titos and titas of Manila and want to score a comfy area to sit while getting betrayed by their Soju and yakult shot mixes, then you better get there earlier than usual. 

The Odd Seoul offers unique and Signature Soju Cocktails still with touches of Korean flavors, spirits and drinking traditions. But since Korea equates to Soju, better try to experience that one first before you move on to the heavyweights.

Kimchi Sour - soju, kimchi, almond, lemon juice, egg white and dried rose. Korea’s national drink made even better. This is everything you love about kimchi with the right amount of buzz.

Yogurt Lady - soju, vodka, Yakult, Melona and Aloe Vera juice. A time-jump drink for sure! The ladies in yellow pushing those all-too-familiar Yakult carts definitely won’t mind serving this – plus an ice pop – to their more mature patrons. 

Smoking Tiger - soju, sherry, guava, lemon juice and smoke (like literally). Tame your taste buds with a strong and brisk whiff of smoky flavors. This definitely packs a punch.

My Sassy Girl - soju, passionfruit, almond, salted pineapple, mango, and liqueur. It’s the perfect drink that embodies the ultimate sassy girl. The most unexpected types-sassy girls are seemingly sweet, you won’t even realize they’re badassess. 

Hallyu - soju, gochujang, gim. Taking its name after the Korean Warm this red-hot cocktail bursts with flavors of gochujang and gim. It’s addicting, but we’re giving you a fair warning that it’s kind of destructive, too! It’s best to stay close to your designated driver upon driving.

ODD - one of the Soju shooters which contains soju, tequila, lychee, pomegranate, Aloe Vera juice. Our signature! Go safe and start with white, get in there and get bloodied up with red, and finish off with a smooth blue. A little odd, but it works, right?

My favorite among the signature Soju Cocktails that we tried that night are the: Yoghurt Lady and Smoking Tiger. The Yoghurt Lady was sweet and easy to drink because the alcohol is masked by the flavors of the Melona and Aloe Vera. As for the Smoking Tiger, I love it! One because it takes after the Enchanted Rose in the Beauty and the Beast (my favorite Disney movie of all time), two: how it is presented with smoke effects and all and I love that smoky, tangy taste that it has. 

Although The Odd Seoul is a Korean inspired drinking place and a self-proclaimed Soju bar, you could still find Western hooch labels like Olmeca Tequila, Bacardi, Jameson and Jack Daniel's on their bar racks and list. They also carry the local brand Bulul Draft Beer line: Ekis - Extra Pale Ale. Dank fruity notes and Aroma. Kudeta IPA - Indian Pale Ale. A well balanced IPA with caramel notes and citrus fruity aroma. Vanilla Bourbon - Stout. Dark beer aged, with Vanilla Beans from Tahiti and a hint of bourbon. Tisay - Blonde Ale. Golden in color with light grape fruit taste. Pilsner - Lager. Clean crisp taste of a perfect beer. Trigo - Wheat perfect for a summer beer. Fruity tart notes.

If you're particular with the music being played at bars, don't worry they’re not going to blow your ears out with K-Pop songs. Guest DJs vary on a nightly basis, playing tunes that won’t stop you from dancing even if the space is not enough for you to outstretch your arms. (If you've been to Valkyrie, or any of the “it” clubs around Manila you have no right to complain haha!). 

It's always a cool experience for when I get to discover a secret bar behind something, a door, a closet, a phone booth, a painting. Every secret bar you set foot in, in Manila, is a unique experience. I'm just going to say this visit to The Odd Seoul is one for the books. For how downright fun and equally crazy AF that night was. Ideally, what happens in Odd Seoul stays in Odd Seoul. Right? Right!

Check out some of the other secret bars in Manila here: 
Shhh... Don't Tell: Some of Manila's Coolest Speakeasy (Hidden) Bars
Solaire Resort & Casino's New Speakeasy: Baccarat Room & Bar
Secret Bar: RM-16
Secret Bar: ABV
Secret Bar: OTC
Secret Bar: Bank Bar MNL
Secret Bar: The Exit
Secret Bar: Mandalay Whisky and Cigar Bar
Secret Bar: The ODD Seoul
Secret Bar: INT Bar 
Varra Restobar - San Juan's New It Place
Secret Bar: Alibi
Secret Bar: Bar by EAST at Lamp Quarters Marikina

2/F, 8445 Kalayaan Avenue, 
Poblacion, Makati City
Contact Nos: +63 9064930799

For more information, complete menu and restaurant reviews, check out their Zomato profile: 
The Odd Seoul Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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