Croquette at Ham-mu Ba-ra (함무바라)

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So, Blue once told me there are two things he discovered about me when it comes to food. (1) My tongue (usually) reacts positively to expensive food (sosyal?) and (2) Once I started mentioning some random food like a thousand times within just a day, we should somehow find a way to actually satisfy my craving or else it would forever hunt me even in my sleep. LOL But hey, don't get me wrong, I'm not spoiled or anything. I don't get to eat anything I want on a whim. I just tend to be repetitive and I was probably starting to get under Blue's skin. 

Okay, enough of that. There was just this same instance weeks ago when I couldn't forget the 'goroke' (고로케) or croquette we had tasted. One of the students' mom in our hagwon or academy sent a box of goroke to her child's teachers and every one of us in the office was able to get a piece (ohhh, the spirit of sharing, don't you just love it?hehe). But I didn't eat mine until I got home to let Blue taste it, too. Why? Well, as each of my coworkers (both Korean and foreign teachers) started to take a bite, they couldn't help but rave about how delicious it was. Well, it really was! I mean I don't normally like croquette cos the ones I've had before had thick and hard (maybe too chewy?) coating for my taste. But this one's... *sigh*... heaven! We had egg-filled croquette and I.LOVED.IT. It came in several types of fillings, too.

We learned from the student's mom that the croquette shop was Ham-mu Ba-ra (함무바라) in Hyehwa. Yup, the Hyehwa where Filipinos gather for Sunday mass and an open market. This is how the store looks outside.

The place only had tables enough for like 8 people. Four people were already seated when we arrived, and two ajummas who came behind us grabbed their seats right away. We were lucky to have had our place to sit since several people just magically appeared and lined up behind us.

Their croquette comes in a variety of fillings. You'd see the names by the counter and on the menu board. There are sausage or so-si-ji (소시지) (I thought it should be so-se-ji (소세지) though, nangengealam?!kkk) cheese or chi-jeu (치즈), vegetable or ya-che (야채), curry or kare (카레), potato or gam-ja (감자) and red bean or pat (팥) which are all 1,500 krw a piece. There are also kimchi (김치) and spicy tuna or me-un-cham-chi (매운참치) which are 1,800krw per piece.

It was about 2:30 pm, and Asul and I had late breakfast, and so it was, technically, lunch. Okay, I'm defensive. I just don't want you think we have monstrous appetite! (though I SOMETIMES do^^) I picked cheese and vegetable-filled ones and Asul had the same. I was like, why did you order the same thing? And he gave me a look as if saying "Seriously? Are you nagging me over the counter right now?"^_____^  It just so happened that he wanted to make it simple since he was still thinking what to order for my SIL's as well and he didn't want to keep the people in line waiting.

veggie and cheese croquette
I was a little bit disappointed with the cheese. It wasn't as yummy as I expected it to be. Just an opinion^^ But the veggie was just delectable! The thing that I like about it is that its coating is pretty soft. I mean in a light and crispy way (not chewy!) It's bursting with rich and tasty filling,too! I particularly like the veggie and the egg croquette.

veggie croquette

(sorry, the picture below and the one above were shot in two different shooting modes^^ below was its natural color :)))

cheese croquette

The veggie is probably popular since some customers who seemed to be regulars in that shop were specifically asking for it. The owner had to turn them down though cos it was sold out already. We were the culprits actually^^ Blue ordered the last pieces to be given to her sisters (shhhhh^^)

The thing is, they only make croquettes in a specific quantity every single day (limited edition eto!^^) and so if they ran out already, you'd have to wait the next day to order. And another nice thing is, they only make the croquette once it is ordered. This is why you are  guaranteed with warm, soft, and fresh croquettes :))    

Anyway, and so we were full. but probably not quite,kkk since Blue asked me if I want another piece. We decided to share a piece of curry croquette.

curry croquette

Gosh, I was close to throwing up when I finished eating. How I wish I didn't order blueberry smoothie. I should have just settled with water. I could have saved 3,000 krw.   
mango and blueberry smoothie

I would definitely come back to this place when I can. You should visit it, too. At least if you're around the area, anyway. It could be a very satisfying treat^^ But if you're planning to buy many pieces, I suggest you call ahead to save time. I'm not sure though if they speak some English, so you might need some help if you don't speak Korean.

Their website:  http://www.함무바라.com/
Contact Number: 010-5238-5777

How to go there:
Hyehwa Station, Subway Line 4, Exit 4 or Exit 1
Walk straight towards Hyehwa Rotary. Take Hyehwa-ro (혜화로), the road just past Lotteria, between SK gas station (SK 주유소) and Hyehwa Post Office (혜화우체국). Walk straight, about 100 meters. The store is on the left side.

If you are coming from Hyehwa-dong Catholic Church, just go to the side opposite the church and take the direction I mentioned above^^


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