Christmas at Craftworks Taphouse

For Christmas this year Nathalie and I decided to try something new, so we booked an early Christmas eve dinner at Craftworks which boasted 2 hours of all you can eat buffet of Christmas-y foods, though mostly meat.

Pangyo is a planned city built-in 2001 and you can tell. It’s spacious, quiet and filled with fancy shops and restaurants. Craftworks wasn’t an easy walk from the station, it was too cold so we didn’t even try. Instead, we took exit 1 and grabbed a cab on the corner. We were a bit early, since our start time was 4, but they went ahead and let us in and showed us to our seats. The workers all seemed extremely excited and we were their first round of Christmas guests. They squeezed in tables, organized by groups, either groups of twos or more. Every reservation had a specific seat. Groups of 4 or more got gingerbread houses to decorate as well.

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Since Nathalie and I were early we had time to look over the drink menu, which wasn’t included in our prepaid meal. I picked out their house lemonade, forgetting that in Korea lemonade tends to be sparkling, and was a bit disturbed that it came with a beer like taste. Nathalie ordered their ginger beer imported from Australia which was good. These were about 6,000 won each and the cheaper drinks available on the menu.

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Based on when people arrived we were allowed to go up to the bar and fill a paper plate. They had salad with a lemon vinaigrette, roast beef, turkey, corned beef, ham, turkey legs, salmon, mac and cheese, potato cakes and potato slices covered in cheese and other spices, meat and cheese platters, bread, grilled veggies, and shrimp. Nathalie and I filled our plates, sat down and ate. Our seats weren’t bad but there were some people who due to the set up of tables struggled a bit more to get in and out. It was rather cramped.

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When we finished our first plates we got up to get seconds and were rather surprised at how little there was left. We probably should have read the little note on the event page that it wasn’t like a “Korean buffet and there would be natural limitations” but maybe I haven’t been to any buffet that doesn’t prepare for seconds or thirds.

It was good though, the corned beef was very flavorful and Nathalie loved their mac and cheese which was spicy, but it was a bit too much for me. I just wish I had gotten some ham before they ran out so fast. Lesson: Christmas buffets that don’t look like buffets and look like you’re eating at someone’s house (paper-plates and all) fill up your plate with everything you want to try, just in case.

After everyone went through once they packed up and put out their desserts, cakes, cheesecake, candies, candy canes, and by the time Nathalie and I went up, a lone cookie. We made a plate to share, to try a few different things.

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They also made pumpkin pie shots for everyone, without alcohol. Those were super tasty.

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Craftworks was a friendly place, we liked the atmosphere and the workers and the food. It seems to be a neighborhood bar that people frequent. Probably also for beer. We did enjoy it, however it felt like a first attempt at a holiday dinner. I feel like they didn’t make enough food for the amount of people who showed up, definitely not enough to boast a 2 hours all you can eat buffet. Also you had to go outside and into another room to use the bathroom, and that meant the restaurant temperature dropped fast till the point I was shivering because they hadn’t brought the heat up to combat the cold of the door opening and closing a lot.

It was fun though. And a lot of families that came had a blast, it was fun to watch children making gingerbread houses with their parents. The food was good too and it was nice to be somewhere festive for the holidays.

Outside of holidays Craftworks serves a wide variety of food for lunch, dinner or to go with one of their beers. They make pizza, salads, sandwiches, burgers, and even nachos. It seems like a great place for people who live in the area to have something that reminds them of home. It’s a bit expensive, but for something near Bundang that’s not much of a surprise.

Happy Holidays!

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