Zoomak | 13/96 Rosedale Road, Rosedale, Auckland 0632
Albany is a go-to for good Korean food, with so many amazing Korean restaurants there. But there is one that is particularly special and stands out for me the most. As soon as I saw this place, it had me think, “I have to visit this place!.” I first saw Zoomak on my friends’ IG stories, and I was so shocked at first. I had no idea there was a place like this in Auckland (I’ll get to why soon). It took me a while to find out where this place was, but I finally did and it’s Zoomak in Albany. I don’t go up north often so it took me a while to check the place out, but I finally had the chance to try out the place and it for sure did not disappoint!
JTBC | The World of the Married
When you walk into the place, at first glance, it may seem like there is nothing special. But if you look a little bit further, you can see a little pojangmacha (포장마차) set up in the back! Pojangmacha (pocha, for short) translates to ‘covered wagon’ or ‘covered cart’ and also are known as ‘tent bars’. They are small tents or stalls commonly found on the streets of Korea for street food and drinks. It is a popular go-to for Koreans who are looking for cheap, quick eats or to have a chat with friends and colleagues over soju. So what makes a pojangmacha different? It’s all about the atmosphere!
INSTAGRAM | @ALBANYZOOMAK
This is what sets Zoomak apart from all the other Korean restaurants - they recreated their own pojangmacha at the back of the restaurant! There is this “outside” area at the back of the restaurant surrounded by blue tarpaulin, pretty hanging lights, and the menu written on wooden planks hanging on the wall to recreate the pojangmacha vibes. It may not look identical to the bright red and yellow ones you see in k-dramas, but the vibes are definitely there! Just a warning for those who like drinking though, the pojangmacha vibes will make you want to drink more. So be prepared to get drunk!
Not only did the interior meet my expectations but the authentic food sure did too. I only ordered two things from the menu because there were only two of us, but man do I wish I went with more people so I could’ve tried more of their menu. We got the gamjatang (감자탕), pork bone soup, and buchu-jeon (부추전), chives pancake as a side. The broth of the soup was so rich and delicious, I even contemplated ordering another bowl of rice to finish with the remaining soup. I’m usually not the type who likes to eat things with the bone in because I find it a hassle, but the meat was so tender and literally fell right off the bone. It was so yummy that I made sure to clean off the pork bones too! The gamjatang really hit the spot perfectly on the cold winter’s night. Usually, I don’t have high expectations when I order jeon at restaurants because it usually doesn’t have that nice crispy outside that I like. But the buchu-jeon was a shocker! I can say it was one of the best jeon I’ve had! This was the only time I had jeon out, that was ACTUALLY crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. I could hear the crunch of the yummy, fried goodness with every bite.
INSTAGRAM | @ALBANYZOOMAK
I had the absolutely perfect meal for the typical chilly, rainy weather these days and I can not wait to go back again to try out more of their menu! Not only does the jeon I had (that I still think of from time to time) make me want to go back there, but I would love to visit Zoomak purely for the pojangmacha vibes. The combination of authentic Korean food and the inviting, unique atmosphere is perfect whether you’re looking for a spot to drink with your mates or simply want a hearty meal.