The wife and I finally found ourselves out of the house without a stroller! Horray for date night! We’ve had our eye on Reilly’s for well over a year. It was last year around this time it opened and we’ve never really got around to visiting, and it’s not for lack of trying. The first time we tried to visit was when they debuted. However, we wanted to avoid the late night crowd and decided to check them out around 4pm. However, they were not open until 5pm, but since we were hungry, we decided to eat elsewhere. The second time we only had a quick beer before heading to Vatos. The final attempt was a couple of weeks ago when JP and I decided to venture there for lunch. Although the doors were open, we were turned away. Fourth time is a charm. We finally had a proper sit-down meal, and honestly it was worth the wait.
How to get there: This one is right on the main strip of Itaewon, so it isn’t that difficult to find. First take the subway to Itaewon Station (Line 6) and depart from Exit 2. Walk about 50 meters and you will see Reilly’s Taphouse and Restaurant on the third floor on your left. It will across from the KB bank. It’s right in the bloody heart of Itaewon.
Atmosphere and Service: We knew it was going to be pretty rowdy in there on Saturday night, and needless to say, we were correct. The place was packed and it was loud. My wife and I were seated at the stools near the entrance of the restaurant. We expected it to be noisy, so we can’t really complain about the noise. However, I would highly caution to people if they are intending to go there for a nice, quiet dinner. That said, when we left around 9pm, the atmosphere cooled down and you could chat without using a megaphone. The restaurant has that typical polished wooden, Irish/English pub setting. The bar is huge, with kegs of various ales from around the world. There is also a sketch of Al Bundy. A lighthearted atmosphere as one should expect from a pub.
The service was good. Anytime we ordered a drink, we were served promptly. Our food came out in about fifteen minutes after ordering it and it was nice and hot. There are only a couple of minor infractions. First, we gave our order to somebody whom we didn’t think worked there. It was a guy, possibly the owner, who approached us without a notepad and took our food order. He was not distinguishable as an employee. Maybe wear a Reilly’s golf shirt or something in the future? Also, the server asked if we wanted our food to come out separately or all together. That’s a nice touch. However, we said all at were starving and just wanted all the food to sample each others. It came out one by one. Oh the irony…
Food and Drink: After a long week, we needed some drinks. We ordered a Cosmopolitan, a Jeju Orange IPA, a Anderson Vally Summer Solstice, Watermelon Wheat, Magner’s Pear Cider, Widmer Brothers Pitch Black IPA, an order of Onion Rings with Garlic Mayo, Bangers and Mash, and finally The Cajun Chicken Burger.
Food: Onion Rings, Bangers and Mash and the Cajun Chicken Burger.
Onions Rings with Garlic Mayo (9,000KRW): 9000KRW for an order of onion rings. Sigh. Welcome to Itaewon. Well, the price is high, so the quality better be high too. The onions rings came out first, and were golden brown for the most part. The rings were heavy on the batter in my opinion. This could go either way depending on how you like your onion rings. Personally, I prefer heavy batter, so this worked out well. The garlic mayo was an excellent companion. We really enjoyed the onion and garlic flavors contrasting each other and it was a nice change as opposed to traditional onions rings. Would I pay the 9000KRW again? Yeah, I’m a food slut.
Bangers and Mash (17,000KRW): First of all, it is a fucking shame that I couldn’t get a better photo of this dish because it was indeed a beautiful dish to behold. Thankfully, my wife’s iPhone did not completely shit the bed, so she was able to get a good shot. I don’t know if aesthetics are normally encouraged at a pub, but the bangers and mash looked absolutely beautiful. Everything was laid out perfectly on the plate and was just visually appealing when it arrived at the table. The sausages were cooked nicely, a little grease glimmering off the sausage. The mashed potatoes were smooth, even a little creamy and had a generous portion of gravy in the middle. It was like a delicious pool of brown juices which was sufficient enough to dip all of my sausages in with some left to spare for the potatoes. Speaking of gravy, it had a tinge of sweetness to it which was unique and quite enjoyable. Finally the carrots were seasoned and cooked well. However, the peas were canned and like eating little green pebbles.
Cajun Chicken Burger and Chips (15,000KRW): The Cajun Chicken Burger was a nice fare. The chicken was blackened, giving it a little more flavor. It was topped with garlic mayo, lettuce and a tomato. Also, the bun was toasted. It’s the little things that stick out. A full meal, including crispy fries (or chips as they said in the old country) and a small bowl of coleslaw on the side. Overall, a very satisfactory meal.
Drinks: A night out without the kidlet. We took advantage. A Cosmo, Watermelon Wheat, Jeju Orange IPA, Anderson Valley Summer Solstice, Magners Pear Cider, and a Widmer Brothers Pitch Black IPA all tasted excellent and were perfect cool down for a warm summer’s night.
Cosmo (8000KRW): The last drink of the night for my wife and Carrie Bradshaw’s go-to drink took the edge off a screaming baby all afternoon. “An injection of calm” is how my wife described it. The Cosmopolitan generous serving of vodka and a refreshing splash of cranberry juice with a hint of lime.
Reilly’s Jeju Tangerine IPA (7,500KRW): If there is any more of a refreshing drink in Seoul right now, lead me the way because right now this IPA is the king of summer. I absolutely love this IPA. It is smooth with a slight amber color. The orange does not overpower the spices of the IPA, instead creates a nice balance. It is definitely a perfect summertime beer and I would highly recommend it.
Anderson Valley Summer Solstice (9,000KRW): Not as refreshing as the Orange IPA, but still pretty damn good. I’m becoming a huge fan of Anderson Valley and their brews. I tried their Boont Amber Ale when we visited Brick Oven New York Pizzeria and was not disappointed. The Summer Solstice was a little heavier and not as sweet than the Orange IPA, but it still had a refreshing taste. Slightly creamy, with a hint of spice, it still hit the spot.
Watermelon Wheat (8,500KRW): You need to give this a try, even if you aren’t a fan of beer. The Watermelon Wheat was so unique that it didn’t even taste like beer. That said, it was a nice change, and since I’m not really a beer snob, I wouldn’t turn my nose up at it. It was a light bodied ale, almost to the point of clear. The watermelon’s sweetness is prevalent, even more so than the Orange IPA. Definitely worth a try, especially during the long, torrid summers of Seoul.
Magner’s Pear Cider (10,000KRW): Decided to make the switch to cider. Clearly we established a fruit theme for the evening. The Pear Cider was nice and did not overwhelm the other flavors of the cider. Very light, cool and refreshing.
Widmer Brothers Pitch Black IPA (6,500KRW): Looks like stout, but tastes like an IPA. The Widmer Brother Pitch Black IPA was the most curious beer I consumed on the night. The final beer of the night and a denouement of the craft beer tour was not disappointing. The beer was dark, disguised as a porter, but had a little spice of an IPA. However, there was much more of a porter taste to it. It had a smokey taste, with a little hint of sweetness (caramel?). That said, it was a great beer overall, and I would order it again.
Value: The total bill came to 94,000KRW which included six drinks, one appetizer and two mains. This is Itaewon, and this is the price you will pay. For a night out for us, which is very rare these days because of junior, I will gladly spend this amount. However, I don’t know if you would want to make this a weekly thing if you are on a budget. The food was great, and the beer selection was awesome. The atmosphere was lively, but seems to die down as the night goes on and every heads to the club, so choose your time wisely depending on the experience you want.
Who Should go to Reilly’s Taphouse and Restaurant: Probably one of the larger craft beer selections in Seoul, and it’s right on the main strip of Itaewon. Beer lovers rejoice!
Who Should Avoid Reilly’s Taphouse and Restaurant: Reilly’s leans more towards the “taphouse” side of things. We sat next to a family and the child was unamused with the atmosphere and selection of food and drink. Take the kids elsewhere.