Loft is a new natural wine bar started by perennial Seoul tastemakers, Post Poetics. The same connoisseurship and high level of selection that goes into the bookstore shelves has clearly gone into the minimal gray-toned space. Located on the top floor of a unique, white building that was a former women’s clinic in the oft-overlooked Namsan neighborhood, I went to visit Loft with the same curiosity and apprehension one gets from a recommendation from a cool acquaintance. I don’t know much about wine, much less natural wine, but I was intrigued and surprised as I walked up the steps. The space integrates seamlessly with the plant decorated deck space, and natural light mixes well with the soft spotlights dotted throughout the spare space.
I sat down and waited for the first menu item to arrive. On a clean, white plate arrived the Annin Tofu, which is a tofu dessert covered in a thick coffee-based syrup. Tofu as a dessert? What a surprise and I was delighted by the new taste. The second dish was the Jeju Pork, which was seared to perfection with a soft pink center. Seasoned with pink pepper and thick salt there was a restrained taste that brought me gently to the shorts of Jeju-island, which made sense as the pork was sourced directly from Aewol-eup in Jeju.. It was garnished with pickled cabbage and served on the bone. The crisp, white wine I was served cut straight through the fat, leaving a clean taste. The server kindly explained the difference between “normal” and “natural” wine, which uses no additives in the brewing process and carries a heavier sense of terroir. That adds a nice bonus of sustainability to wine drinking experience.
Lastly, the same kind server suggested that I check out their rooftop space (at the time closed due to COVID-19 restrictions). This is a real treat as it offers a rare vista of Seoul. On the roof I was given a strange, but bright sense of hope living in busy, downtown Seoul. Loft gave me that sense of delight you get when you learn something new.
Loft: 31, Sowol-ro, Jung-gu, Seoul, Republic of Korea