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[Well-curated] Zodiac cocktails, pet-friendly lasagna place and surround sound cinema

By Hwang Dong-hee, Park Yuna, Kim Hae-yeon

Published : Jan. 27, 2023 - 09:01

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Zoosindang, a zodiac-themed cocktail bar, is located in Sindang-dong, Jung-gu, Seoul. (Hwang Dong-hee/The Korea Herald) Zoosindang, a zodiac-themed cocktail bar, is located in Sindang-dong, Jung-gu, Seoul. (Hwang Dong-hee/The Korea Herald)

Cocktails inspired by 12 zodiac signs

Sindang-dong in Jung-gu, Seoul, was once an enclave of shamans, with the name of the neighborhood meaning a shrine or temple dedicated to spirits.

When the sun goes down, Zoosindang, a cocktail bar themed after the stories of the 12 zodiac animals, comes to life.

At first glance, the place looks like an eerie shaman’s house with no entrance. Push the cat statue, who is gatekeeping the place, and you will find yourself in an otherworldly forest.

The bar is true to its concept. Every corner is decorated with Asian elements -- from the folding-screenlike menu, to the lanterns and engravings on the wall.

Signature cocktails themed after zodiac signs -- (from left) the rabbit, the snake, the sheep and the monkey at Zoosindang (Lee Jung-youn/The Korea Herald) Signature cocktails themed after zodiac signs -- (from left) the rabbit, the snake, the sheep and the monkey at Zoosindang (Lee Jung-youn/The Korea Herald)

Find out what zodiac year you were born. And how about a signature cocktail that is themed after it?

The “rabbit” cocktail is served in a mortar-shaped glass with a piece of rice cake for a pestle. The drink is a blend of distilled soju made from glutinous rice with savory yeast.

The zodiac cocktails are about 17,000 won ($13.78) each. The bar serves other classic cocktails, tapas and snacks.

Zoosindang is open from 6 p.m. to 2 a.m. On weekends, it closes one hour early at 1 a.m.

The house beef ragu lasagna, shrimp rose sauce lasagna and Romanian salad (Park Yuna/The Korea Herald) The house beef ragu lasagna, shrimp rose sauce lasagna and Romanian salad (Park Yuna/The Korea Herald)

Picky Nicky Lasagna

If you're in the mood for a hearty meal after walking your dog in Seoul Forest Park, Seongdong-gu, head to Picky Nicky to try different varieties of lasagna.

The traditional Italian dish is cooked with either the house beef ragu, fresh tomato, truffle beef, a salsiccia cream sauce or shrimp rose sauce. We recommend the house beef ragu lasagna for a basic, authentic option. For side dishes, the grilled vegetables or the Romanian salad will go well with the lasagna.

The restaurant is open 11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m., Monday to Friday, and noon to 9 p.m. on weekends. Break time is from 3:30 p.m. to 5 p.m.

The restaurant is pet friendly.

(Picky Nicky Lasagna's Instagram account) (Picky Nicky Lasagna's Instagram account)

A Laika Cinema theater (Laika Cinema) A Laika Cinema theater (Laika Cinema)

Cinema dedicated to high-quality sound

Friday nights at the theaters have become a thing of the past as multiple streaming services have launched in Korea. The pandemic has accelerated the switch to watching in the comfort of our own homes and one would need a really good reason to head to the cinema.

At Laika Cinema, located near Sinchon Station and a block away from Yonsei University, the high-quality sound is the draw.

The cinema is equipped with a top notch projector and the Dolby Atmos sound system which creates an immersive, surround sound experience for moviegoers. Each screening is limited to 39 people only and makes for a cozy, intimate experience.

Opened in January 2021, Laika Cinema is located within Spacedog, a cultural complex in Yeonhui-dong.

The theater is situated in the basement, and ticket booths are on the ground floor.

Also worth visiting is the cafe Gwehedo located on the second floor. The cafe, whose name means "orbit" in Korean, resembles a spaceship.

The third and fourth floors are a shared rental office space called "Spacedog Studio," where artists and entrepreneurs mingle and discuss creative projects.

Visitors can also walk upstairs to the building’s rooftop garden which has several benches and an expansive view of the neighborhood.

Edited poster of the 1959 French film Edited poster of the 1959 French film "400 Blows," currently being screened at Laika Cinema (Laika Cinema's Instagram)

Screening schedules are updated weekly and can be viewed on Laika Cinema's official website or Instagram. In addition to emerging independent and art-house films, the theater also shows popular and beloved classics.

Tickets can be bought on site or reserved through its website and Naver. Tickets cost 10,000 won for adults on weekdays and 11,000 won on weekends.

Early bird rates for the first screening of the day is 6,000 won on weekdays and 7,000 won on weekends. A 1,000 won discount is offered for Yeonhui-dong residents at the ticket booths upon presentation of their ID cards.