Fat Cat, one of Haebangchon’s staples, recently went through a huge renovation with their space and menu. Now calling themselves a neighbourhood bistro, their whole place became quite quaint — they’re now sharing their space with The Concorde and Midori Neko — and they’ve simplified their menu to have sandwiches, salads, and soups along with coffee, tea, and beer. The place does feel smaller, but at the same time they feel cosier; they also kept their pet-friendly patio! And while their menu options are limited compared to before, they still have their chicken pesto sandwich.
On my first visit, I tried their Epic Chicken and Multigrain Ball salad (all their salads cost 9,800 won). This salad has roasted chicken, seasonal greens, and multigrain balls with a choice of whole grain and balsamic dressing or oriental dressing. All their salad comes with a slice of May Bell Bakery bread. This salad tasted fabulous and it was filling! The multigrain balls — made with brown rice, millet, and black rice — were different and not something I’d have with a salad, but I found that they paired well together. All in all, I’m not always keen on salads, but I really enjoyed this one.
My second visit had me devouring their Chicken Pesto sandwich (8,500 won) and potato crisps. Normally the sandwich comes with tomatoes, but I’ve a huge aversion to raw tomatoes, so I asked them to not include them. Tomato-free, my chicken sandwich with cheese and pesto tasted great and it was quite filling. The pesto didn’t overpower the sandwich, and I felt that the flavour was just right. Oh, and the bread from May Bell Bakery was superb as always. My only quibble about the sandwich is that I wish they had the options to get chips/fries. I’d much rather choose to have fries, but this wasn’t a deal-breaker for me.
I did a takeaway for my third visit. I ordered the Savannah Beef salad for my dad, which is a marinated beef salad and root veggies with the choice of chipotle lime yoghurt dressing or citron dijon dressing. My dad liked the salad, but he commented that the beef was warm, but not the root veggies. I brought that up to the Fat Cat’s management, and they said they would look into improving that issue. As for me, I ordered their Greek Goddess with Couscous salad with whole grain and balsamic dressing. Basically this is their take on a Greek salad with greens, veggies, feta, and couscous. It tasted good, but I discovered that couscous did not agree with me at all. When I mentioned that little titbit to the Fat Cat’s management, they said I could always substitute couscous with their multigrain balls! This takeaway experience has shown me that the Fat Cat staff are willing to work with their customers, and that right there is always a plus for me!
Personally, I like the new changes, and I’ve been pleased by their service and their food. I also like how convenient things have become with Fat Cat and Midori Neko (a Japanese pastry shop) sharing the same space. I can have a good salad or a sandwich at Fat Cat, and for dessert I can opt to have some coffee with one of Midori Neko’s cakes! That right there is a win-win situation for me! Fat Cat indeed is a charming neighbourhood bistro, and I plan to frequent Haebangchon more often now instead of sticking to Gyeongridan all the time!
28, Sinheung-Ro, Yongsan-Gu, Seoul, Korea
서울특별시 용산구 신흥로 28
From Noksapyeong Station, go out of exit 2 and keep going straight. Bypass the kimchi pots and head up the road until you hit a T-intersection. Fat Cat is right across the street from the Kobawoo Supermarket, sharing the same space as Midori Neko.
3,000 ~ 10,000+ won budget per person