The Korea Herald


[Well-curated] Bowling night, Netflix binge, topped off with ramen just the way you like it

By Kim Hae-yeon, Lee Si-jin, Park Yuna

Published : Feb. 3, 2023 - 09:01

    • Link copied

Temple Strike bowling alley in Gangnam-gu, southern Seoul. (Temple Strike) Temple Strike bowling alley in Gangnam-gu, southern Seoul. (Temple Strike)

Bowling alley with neon lights and rock-'n-'roll

February has begun, but the evenings in Seoul are still quite chilly after sundown.

When it feels too early to call it a day with friends or acquaintances, a special bowling alley decorated with flashy neon lights and some rock music awaits.

Only a three-minute walk from Gangnam Station's Exit No. 10, Temple Strike, a bowling alley located on the basement floor of the bustling district, opens from 11 a.m. to 5 a.m. the next morning.

Although it operates as a casual bowling center for bowlers during the day, the atmosphere completely changes into a hipster's paradise after the sun goes down.

Highlighted as a trending spot for both groups of business colleagues and college students looking to socialize after dinner, the atmosphere after 5 p.m. resembles a vibrant club.

Electronic dance and hip-hop music fill the air as bowlers drink and chat while enjoying their games.

Another big attraction at Temple Strike that differentiates itself from other bowling centers are the friendly staff, who communicate and mingle with the bowlers.

The staff often provide free bowling tips to bowling beginners upon request, and open spontaneous competitions and surprise free-beer events in the evening.

Prior reservations are not accepted, and all lanes are given on a first-come first-served basis.

A single game costs 9,300 won per person to play, which includes rental fees for bowling shoes and socks.

Those who are on the wait list during peak hours, usually from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m., can enjoy dart games offered at 2,000 won per pair of players.

Guests are required to order at least one drink per person. Price for a bottle of beer ranges from 7,000 won to 10,000 won, and fruit juice is served at 7,000 won.

Whiskey and vodka shots alongside small bites and snacks can also be ordered separately at Temple Strike's bar zone, located next to the dart games.

"So Not Worth It." (Netflix)

Netflix's "So Not Worth It"

Tired of waiting for the second part of “The Glory” or fed up with grim crime series that are dominating Korean small screen nowadays?

Brighten up your weekend with the 12-part sitcom “So Not Worth It.”

The show is Netflix’s first and only Korean sitcom, which premiered in June 2021. It presents the stories of eight friends from different countries, living in an international dormitory.

While not many of Netflix’s Korean originals were considered as sought-after projects before the outbreak of the “Squid Game” craze -- in September, 2021, “So Not Worth It” caught many viewers’ attention for presenting how the foreign-born students are immersed in a fictional Korean university and the country’s culture.

As the creators of the legendary Korean sitcoms “Nonstop” and “High Kick!” were behind the series, many local viewers expressed their excitement for the sitcom.

Foreign viewers felt the show was unique in how, not only it has stepped out from the shadow of existing drama series, but also how it has the feel of an American sitcom with laughter tracks.

Starring Nigerian Korean model Han Hyun-min, singer Minnie of girl group (G)I-dle, actors Carson Allen, Terris Brown, Park Se-wan and more, the show offers a diverse range of characters, who are different not only in ethnicity and social class but also in their personalities and dreams.

This allowed the viewers to empathize with at least one of the characters in the show.

From an unexpected meeting with a con artist on the street to a blind date, the series presents interesting scenarios that reflect the possible lives of college students living in Korea.

“So Not Worth It” is available via the global streaming service Netflix with 32 different language subtitles.

The show is dubbed in English, Japanese, German, French, Chinese, Spanish and more.

Customized ramen served at Shin Ramyun Cafeteria. (Nongshim) Customized ramen served at Shin Ramyun Cafeteria. (Nongshim)

Customizable ramen: Shin Ramyun Cafeteria

If you are a fan of Korean-style spicy ramen -- you might be familiar with Nongshim Shin Ramyun. At the pop-up store in Seongsu-dong, near Seoul Forest Park, you can customize the ramen to your own taste. You can choose the noodle type, spiciness and extra ingredients, which will be served to you on the spot.

The Shin Ramyun Cafeteria pop-up store in Seongsu-dong, Seoul. (Nongshim) The Shin Ramyun Cafeteria pop-up store in Seongsu-dong, Seoul. (Nongshim)

Since its opening on Jan. 9, the pop-up store -- Shin Ramyun Cafeteria-- has attracted 19,000 people, going viral on social media. You can even learn some interesting things about the ramen brand, Nongshim, at the pop-up store such as the fact that the country’s first spicy flavored ramen, Nongshim Shin Ramyun, was launched in 1986.

The pop-up store has a game zone where you can play a game to win ramen-themed merchandise from the brand, including a blanket, a cell phone grip accessory and a bag that features a ramen design. If you are visiting with friends, do not miss the opportunity to take a photograph at the instant photograph booth in the pop-up store.

The customized ramen will be available every hour from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. The store will run through Wednesday at the SFactory building in Seongsu-dong, Seoul.