Don’t let its name deceive you, this restaurant is far from ugly. Located in the hip and indie art scene district of Hongdae in Seoul, Ugly Stove is your homelike interior restaurant that gives off a very hipster vibe, certainly in sync with what Hongdae has to offer.
The interiors are filled with a bizarre mix—wood blocks with rough floor-like walls on one side and wooden planks-inspired walls on the other. These are accompanied by rectangular or squared-shaped shelves completed with vases and other accessories.
The lighting is no different. Sometimes you see pink chandeliers but sometimes minimalistic light bulbs. The seatings are a mix of funky, abstract-patterned chairs or Victorian-styled ones while the tables are like home-made wooden ones. There’s also an artificial tree in the middle of the restaurant with a clock.
Where the mini-bar is located, a makeshift market stall also stands. With fruits like pineapple and oranges, vegetables and even uncooked spaghetti—it’s more than enough to create your own recipe. Only that the display is made of plastic.
But that’s not all. The utensils are larger than your average spoon and knives, placed in a metallic watering can. True to its name, most of the food are served in stove-like plates. Artificial plants can also be found in various parts of the restaurant.
Ugly Stove’s design and philosophy is to highlight the use of natural ingredients rather than artificial ones. And because natural ones can look ‘ugly’ in its natural state, hence; the store’s name. The awkward mix of its interiors shows the relationship of natural-bred products and artificial ones.
To ensure only fresh products, the ingredients that the restaurant uses are delivered to them at dawn in order to be used during throughout the whole day. They also bake their own bread and make their own cheesy—homebred indeed. Their food choices ranges from salad, panini and sandwiches, steak and pasta as well as a brunch menu. They also offer freshly made juice. For easier use, you also place your order on a paper where the menu is written. Once you have selected your choice (by putting a tick), you may ring the bell for you order to be picked up.
Address: 19, Hongik-ro, Mapo-gu, Seoul
Opening hours: 10:30 to 22:30
How to get there:
1) Hongik Univ. Station (Seoul Subway Line 2), Exit 9.
Take a left at the first alley and continue walking for about 7 minutes; the restaurant will be located on your right.
2) Sangsu Station (Seoul Subway Line 6), Exit 1.
Walk for 12 minutes to reach the restaurant.