Seoul Food: Surf’s Up Restaurant and Surf Shop – Apgujeong
Surf’s Up Restaurant & Surf Shop
Aloha, Seoul! Get ready for ‘Ono Grinds in Apgujeong. Surf’s Up Restaurant and Surf Shop in Apgujeong has been around since I started working in the area back in March 2017. Back then I had a vested interest in Hawaii and the laid-back life. I popped in to check out their menu, but at that time they were only serving desserts and craft beer. A bizarre combination, to be sure, but I loved the calm, elegant interior and the chill vibe there. A couple of weeks ago I walked by and saw a pop-up sign advertising pub grub. We had to pop in for lunch!
Since it’s a Hawaii-themed surfer’s oasis, Surf’s Up in Apgujeong uses lots of wood paneling. Exposed walls and ceilings create an industrial vibe softened and accented by surf boards and ocean vistas throughout. In addition to the cafe, Surf’s Up operates:
- A Surf Shop (with their own collections/ lifestyle brands)
- An Accessories Store
- A Surf School
- A Guesthouse in Yangyang
Surf’s Up Menu
The menu at Surf’s Up lacks focus insofar as the food is pretty basic with a hint of Hawaiian flavours. You definitely won’t find poke on the menu. There are 5 kinds of hot dogs, and they seem more American-style than the sweet corn dogs they tend to make up here. We didn’t give them a try. On a more adventurous day I’ll let you know if the Cheese Chili Dog is Coney Island-worthy or just sweet cheese from a gun. The menu seems to have been run through Google Translate, but has some pretty reasonable items. Having mistakenly paid $8 for an iced Americano across the street from Surf’s Up, these are very welcome price points for the area!
- Mac n’ Cheese Balls (KRW 6,000)
- Grilled Buffalo Chicken (KRW 7,000)
- Beef & Cheese Sandwich (KRW 10,000)
- (Greek) Salad (KRW 5,000)
- Americano (KRW 4,500)
- Caffe Latte (KRW 5,500)
Mac N’ Cheese Balls
If macaroni and cheese is on the menu then it’ll be a must-try for me! I’ve been pretty disappointed recently by macaroni pasta salad in Jeongja and toxic-waste coloured macaroni in Gangnam. Surf’s Up served up their mac n’ cheese balls (KRW 6,000) with a light breading, a creamy drizzle, and a fresh Marinara sauce full of parsely. The Marinara may have stolen the show as a perfect pairing. It wasn’t overly rich or thick. It tasted as though the chef had smashed up a bunch of tomatoes, onions, and parsely that morning and let it marinate so it would be perfect for our lunch. I probably should have stopped there, but at such low prices we thought portions would be smaller!
Grilled Buffalo Chicken
While this portion looks pretty small, it was definitely filling. The grilled chicken was tossed in a tangy sauce which reminded me more of a pineapple and teriyaki bbq sauce than Buffalo. With chunks of bell pepper, broccoli, pineapple, and caramelized onions it was a mean in and of itself. I think I’ve found my new go-to meal in a pinch by work.
Beef & Cheese Sandwich
KRW 10,000 in Gangnam won’t get you too much, so we were surprised at this super loaded, toasty, grilled cheese sandwich. A dug right in and loved the meat and cheese combo. I didn’t give it a try, but A told me I should 100% get it the next time we stop in. Just look at all that ooey-gooey cheddar cheese!
I wish I knew what kind of coffee beans they use at Surf’s Up. The latte and Americano had a floral aroma and a smooth and sweet taste. After mac n’ cheese and chicken, I had no room for salad. Underneath the veggies and Greek dressing there was actually a good amount of Feta cheese. The salad came with two crusty and squishy pieces of sourdough – another rare find in Korea!
Surf’s Up Surf Collection
On the 2nd floor of the building you’ll find some great gear! Surfboards, wet suits, and beachwear are displayed in the airy, loft-style space as well as online. Looking online the wet suits seem to be as reasonably-priced as the food. Boards are all around 2,150,000. Tops start at KRW 39,000. They even sell surf wax on site for KRW 4,000. I’ve only surfed once in Tofino, British Columbia, but Surf’s Up makes me want to trip out to Yangyang!
Surf’s Up Surf School
Cowabunga, dude! Want to learn how to hang ten in Korea’s surf capital, Yangyang? Surf’s Up offers group and one-on-one surf lessons for kids and adults alike. Surf’s Up lessons range in price from KRW 80,000 (beginner group Lesson) to KRW 650,000 (5 one-on-one lessons for intermediate to advanced surfers). Overnight guests pay KRW 25,000 to stay at the Surf House.
Surf’s Up Surf School & Guesthouse
Weekdays 9am – 6pm / Weekends 8am – 6pm
강원 양양군 현남면 동산큰길 17 서프스업 / 033-671-0549
Gangwon Yangyang Hyunnam-myeon Dongsan Mountain Highway 17 / 033-671-0549
Getting to Surf’s Up Restaurant & Shop in Seoul
I work between Apgujeong and Apgujeong Rodeo stations, so I pass this place on my way from the gym to school in the morning. For those treating this as a destination, head to Apgujeong Rodeo Station and take Exit 5. Walk 2 blocks (past the MAC Cosmetics and Lululemon stores) and take a right. Surf’s Up will be in the 4th block across from FIFTY Cafe. You might not get lei’d, but it’s definitely a great spot to relax and unwind (or get lit before Monkey Beach)!
- Surf’s Up Address: 642-25, Sinsa-dong, Gangnam-gu, Seoul // 서프스업 | 주소: 서울특별시 언주로 168길 33, 1층, 2층
- Phone Number: 02-511-2503
- Business Hours: 10:00 – 23:00
- Parking: Valet Parking
- Surf’s Up Menu: Hawaiian, Pub Grub, Coffee, Desserts
- Surf’s Up on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/surf5upseoul/
- Surf’s Up Website: http://www.surfshop.co.kr/
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