Sunday evenings normally leave me feeling a little down in the dumps because of the impending, treacherous Monday morning. So the weekend before last, to match my dark mood, I visited Witch’s Kitchen; a witchy, Halloween-y themed Italian-fusion restaurant in the Hongdae area of Seoul.
When we arrived at 7pm we were told there was a 40-minute wait and to leave our phone number as they would call us when our table came free. 30-40 minutes later we got our call and headed back to a table on the second floor, near the kitchen. We ordered our food from the newspaper-esque menu, going for a selection of dishes to share between us, plus a few of the popular cocktails served in an IV drip.
Food-wise, we went for the sweet potato cream pizza at 16,500W, mac and cheese at 4,000W, tomato ricotta cheese salad at 5,000W and the taco salad at 6,000W. The food all came out at different points within about 5-7 minutes of each other, but not until our drinks had been served. They were all presented fantastically, and I barely wanted to break them apart! But break them we did, and they tasted fab.
The sweet potato cream pizza was served with honey on the side to drizzle on top if you wanted (which I did) and to my delight (but not without Fii pointing it out) the base and crust were made of puff pastry, making the whole thing super light and avoiding that heaviness of regular dough. I particularly loved the spider web and sweet potato spider decoration! The tomato ricotta salad, served in the shape of a funny little skull, was light and fresh, drizzled in a slightly sweet, slightly tangy vinaigrette, and I have zero complaints about the mac and cheese. The best part about it was that it was served on a hot stone plate so it stay warm and melty for a long time – especially important because the summer air-con was on full blast.
By far, the stand-out dish for me was the taco salad; a Mexican-inspired salad served in the shape of a witch’s hat. Actually, it was more like a deconstructed taco, with the black taco shell with it’s ring of sweetcorn and black beans sat on top of the salad leaves, and the hot, spicy salsa pork hidden away underneath. It looked fantastic, but break it all apart and put it all together again and it tasted fab as well.
As for the IV drip drinks, I was super excited about them. Fii and I chose non-alcoholic cocktails – the peach and blue orange ‘remedies’ – while Ruth went for the alcoholic watermelon ‘remedy’ (7,000W non-alcoholic, 7,500W alcoholic). They tasted pretty artificial and sugary, but I love me some sugar every now and then, and they were a lot of fun so I didn’t mind too much.
The décor is what really set the place off. Over your heads are low-hanging ceiling lamps emitting an orange-yellow light, decorated with a witch’s hat lampshade. There are some tables with red drapes hanging round them (so cool!) and the walls are covered with books, skulls, severed hands in pots, and other witchy trinkets. The detail even went down to the water carafes and hotplate stands which were both ornate and could’ve been plucked straight out of, well, a witch’s kitchen. To add to the experience, on the entry floor there are a few little tables and a dressing up corner where you can try on witch’s hats and other accessories and take photos by the fake fireplace, or even perch yourself on a broom and snap a shot outside the front of the restaurant!
I wasn’t expecting much of the place besides some cool décor, but I was pleasantly surprised. I had been recommended the restaurant by a colleague who had said it was good, but because it’s a novelty, themed place I didn’t have many expectations for the food. I was pleased to have been proven wrong!
You can find Witch’s Kitchen in Hongdae on ‘parking lot street’, down the alleyway on your left just before you get to the Osulloc café. It’s open daily from 12:00 – 22:30 with a break in service from 16:00 – 17:30. You can find them on Facebook and Instagram.