Ambience between 2 slices of breadTo make a restaurant chic in the truest sense, it takes more than the food. No matter how palatable your plate might be, it is of no use if you have to endure inappropriate music or a tasteless setting. Being neither too big nor too crowded is another requirement. B-hind, a petite sandwich bar near Hongik University, fits into these fussy categories quite well.
What makes B-hind special, however, is more the atmosphere than the food, giving a customer a special feeling of comfort. Remaining true to its name, B-hind sits far back from the hustle and bustle, serving as a good hideout from the sound and fury of the public world. This may explain why B-hind enjoys a good number of solo customers, unlike other Seoul restaurants. Two tables on the terrace by a small, colorful flowerbed are highly endorsed.
Luckily, the folks in charge know that thrash metal does not go well with a mozzarella cheese sandwich. You can request the music that you like. B-hind keeps a fine collection of music CDs ranging from jazz to classical. If none of the selections meets your high criteria, you can bring your own CDs. B-hind is possibly the only sandwich bar on earth whose patrons discuss the mathematics of J.S. Bach’s harmonies on its Web site, www.b-hind.com.
When it comes to the food, however, the choices are rather scanty. Four options ― pastrami, melanzzane and mozzarella, tuna salad and sandwich of the month ― wait to appease your palate. For the price, 7,000 won (about $5.80), the portions are rather small. But the warm browned bagels with mixed grains go well with the fresh ingredients. If you have a large appetite, the sandwich of the month is recommended; July’s was bread stuffed with ham and covered in melted mozzarella cheese. August’s offering will be potato-pancake style, flavored with bacon. B-hind has a good selection of drinks and wine, but it takes a bit of knowledge to order the right drink. Here’s a tip ― keep away from the Green Milk Tea, topped with whipped cream and a spoonful of red bean paste ― an ambitious disaster. Overwhelmed by the toppings, the green milk tea loses its own identity, tasting nothing but some unidentifiable liquid. Affogato Al Caffe, on the other hand, is a thumbs-up, with three scoops of sweet vanilla ice cream floating in freshly brewed bitter espresso.
B-hind is not the place to hold your birthday party, but rather the place to take your closest friends to let them in on the secret.
Theme: Sandwich bar
Telephone: (02) 3141-7212
Hours: 11 a.m. to midnight (to 2 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays)
Location: 10 minutes walk from Hongik University
Price: 5,000 won to 15,000 won
Parking: Not available
by Chun Su-jin