Asahi Orien Beer Restaurant: Getting Japanese beer in S. Korea is pricy
Published: January 31, 2008
SEOUL - I went searching for a taste of Japan in Seoul and found
it - at Tokyo prices.
With more than a decade in Japan under my belt, I start to salivate
at the thought of Japanese beer after a few months without it in
That's why I decided to head for the Asahi Orien Beer
Restaurant near Yongsan Garrison on a recent Friday night. Asahi is
my favorite Japanese beer, and I've actually toured the Orion - which
is the correct spelling, by the way - beer factory in Okinawa.
My hopes, high when I walked in the door, were dampened more
than a bit when I checked out the menu.
I'm used to paying about $3 for a draft Korean beer, so the $7.50
glass of Asahi Super Dry nearly stopped me in my tracks.
And while the food featured in the menu sure looked tasty, I'll never
know. I wasn't going to pay $14 for nachos, $15 for seafood soup or
$24 for a measly
helping of fresh fruit.
Because I wasn't eating, I had more time to compile this list from
Strangest item: Gastropods season (hot). What? Tease me with
delightful details, don't make me think I'm reading - or eating - a
Second strangest item: Shrimp potato. The photo actually looked like
some blob of a potato with a shrimp tail sticking out the back and a
lovely line of mayonnaise scribbled across the top. Ummm … no thanks.
Item I'll never order: Roast pork kimchi with bean curd. Because I
respect my stomach. And the word "curd" bothers me.
After my first overpriced beer, I decided to go for the nearly
$9 beer sampler: offering a taste of Asahi Super Dry, Cafri, Red Rock
The waitress made it a point to explain how tiny each sample
was, leading me to believe it's been a point of complaint in the
I actually enjoyed it. It's not hard to deceive a beer drinker, and
the four glasses did the trick. I felt like I had come out on top.
And I'll keep telling myself that!
To see previous
After Hours reviews, go to:
Asahi Orien Beer Restaurant,
Hours: Varies based on location
Prices: Pricey. Draft Asahi Super Dry runs about $7.50 a
glass; cocktails run about $6.50; and forget about the $240 special
that gets you a half-liter of Ballantines whiskey, three bottles of
beer and a food sampler plate.
Specialties: Food menu tied in to your favorite beer; all
expensive. Eat before you arrive.
English menu: English, Korean and Japanese available.
Dress: As casual as you want.
Clientele: A few people on dates, and a bunch of guys who
looked like they just finished work.
Location: Exit Yongsan Garrison's Gate 1 and cross the
street to the side with Camp Kim. Turn right, walk past Camp Kim like
you're headed to Seoul Station. Just past the first major
intersection, located between the Baskin-Robbins and Kentucky Fried
Chicken, you'll see the basement restaurant.