This is for all, but also for me to check out! ^^
|Historic Noodle Restaurants|
In Korea, the summer season brings with it hot days and humid nights. To help fend off the heat and cool the body down, Koreans turn to chilled noodle dishes like naengmyeon, kong-guksu, bibim-guksu, and memil-guksu during the sultry summer months. Keep reading to find out more about Seoul’s time-honored restaurants serving up the best in refreshingly chilled broths, tender and chewy noodles, and mouthfuls of flavor.
Naengmyeon, a traditional Korean summer dish
Naengmyeon is a unique Korean chilled noodle dish that pops up everywhere as people seek relief from the summer heat. Naengmyeon is largely divided into two camps: mul-naengmyeon and bibim-naengmyeon. Mul-naengmyeon consists of noodles served in a chilled broth, sometimes with ice, while bibim-naengmyeon is a noodle dish served with a spicy red chili sauce. Naengmyeon is so popular that just about everyone has a bowl or two during the summer season!
The most well-known type of mul-naengmyeon is Pyeongyang naengmyeon and the most well-known type of bibim-naengmyeon is Hamheung naengmyeon, both of which are named after the North Korean cities where they originated. Pyeongyang naengmyeon consists of buckwheat noodles served in a chilled meat-based broth, Hamheung naengmyeon are noodles made of sweet potato starch mixed with a red chili sauce, and both are all-time summer favorites in Korea.
Heungnamjip – Est. 1953
Found along Naengmyeon Street in Ojang-dong, Jung-gu, Seoul is the popular Hamheung naengmyeon restaurant Heungnamjip. Established in 1953, Heungnamjip is famed for its hoe-naengmyeon. In this unique sweet and sour dish, chilled noodles are topped with slices of seasoned raw skate and flavored with a mixture of sesame oil, vinegar, mustard, and sugar.
The skate topping aside, what makes this restaurant stand out is its chewy noodles made from 100% sweet potato starch and its special soy sauce made from scratch at the restaurant. Don’t let the raw fish deter you. The restaurant also offers other great dishes like bibim-naengmyeon topped with beef and a boiled egg. For the best of both worlds, try the seokkim (combination)-naengmyeon, which comes topped with both beef and raw skate.
☞ Menu: Hoe-naengmyeon, Bibim-naengmyeon, Seokkim-naengmyeon: 9,000 won
Wooraeoak – Est.1946
Wooraeoak has been serving up its original flavor since 1946. The broth of Pyeongyang naengmyeon is usually flavored with beef or pheasant meat, but at Wooraeoak, the broth is made using only Hanu, prime Korean beef. A large chunk of Hanu is boiled for four to five hours and seasoned with only salt and soy sauce, giving the broth a hearty, yet simple taste. Those accustomed to more complex flavors may find the broth plain at first, but are sure to come around to its rich flavor, which has been bringing customers back for nearly 70 years.
Another popular dish at Wooraeoak is the sunmyeon noodles. Made of 100% buckwheat flour, sunmyeon noodles have a rough texture and unique flavor. Though popular, you won’t find these noodles listed on the menu, so make sure to ask your server if you are interested in trying it.
☞ Menu: Pyeongyang Naengmyeon: 12,000 won (13,000 won if ordering with sunmyeon noodles)
Hanilkwan – Est. 1939
In business since 1939, Hanilkwan in Jongno remained a well-kept secret until the 1970s. Since then, the eatery’s most popular item, bulgogi, has been a favorite of celebrities and even former presidents. As the restaurant’s mul-naengmyeon and bibim-naengmyeon are enjoyed with bulgogi, these items have also become big hits. The mul-naengmyeon in particular is unique since it is topped with seasoned cucumber and minced beef, a deviation from the standard mul-naengmyeon recipe.
☞ Menu: Seoul Naengmyeon: 10,000 won (available as mul-naengmyeon or bibim-naengmyeon)
Kong-guksu, a nutritious and refreshing summer dish
Kong-guksu is one of the most nutritious summer dishes as its broth is made with soybeans, which are high in protein and often referred to as the “meat of the fields” in Korea. To make kong-guksu, soybeans are soaked in water and then ground with a millstone to create a thick broth. Noodles are added and seasoned with salt resulting in an energy-packed dish that is as delicious as it is healthy. For an even more refreshing taste, kong-guksu is often topped with slices of cucumber and a handful of ice cubes.
Jinju Hall – Est. 1962
Located near City Hall Station in Seoul, Jinju Hall is one of the most famous kong-guksu restaurants around. Served in a big stainless steel bowl, Jinju Hall’s kong-guksu is unusually rich and has a deep yellow color. The broth is made from soybeans grown in the pristine province of Gangwon-do and is without any artificial additives. The beans are soaked and ground using a special grinding machine.
Just like the broth itself, the noodles served at Jinju Hall also have a savory, nutty taste. Made of flour, potato starch, buckwheat flour, peanuts, and pine nuts, the noodles are rinsed with cold water right after they’re boiled to add an extra bit of chewiness.
Diners can order extra soybean broth at no additional charge. The broth can also be purchased separately for take-out.
☞ Menu: Kong-guksu: 9,500 won, Kimchi-jjigae: 7,000 won
Bibim-guksu, a sweet, sour, and spicy summer dish
This dish is great to have in the summer as it helps revive your appetite in the sweltering summer heat. Mainly made with a traditional Korean spicy sauce, sliced cucumbers, cabbages, and a cooked egg, bibim-guksu has a uniquely sweet, sour and spicy taste.
Yurimmyeon – Est. 1964
Located in Seosomun-dong, Yurimmyeon is one of the best bibim-guksu restaurants in Seoul. This beloved restaurant continues to serve its famous recipe that has remained unchanged for the past 50 years. Noodles are made in-house and boiled to bring out a chewy texture. Their main dish, bibim-guksu, is topped with cucumbers, carrots, and julienned eggs, seasoned with a dressing sweetened with honey, and sprinkled with seven-grain powder. The noodles are served in a broth with leeks, pickled radishes, mustard, and sauce.
☞ Menu: Bibim-guksu: 7,000 won, Bibim-memil: 8,000 won
Memil-guksu, a hearty and refreshing meal
The last on our list of cold noodle dishes is memil-guksu (or memil soba), which is a type of buckwheat noodle dish served with a chilled dipping sauce made mainly of soy sauce. To complement the clean and nutty taste of the buckwheat, the dipping sauce is topped with grated radish, shredded dried laver (seaweed), and sliced leek for a more complex mix of flavors.
Mijin – Est. 1954
The recipe for Mijin’s buckwheat noodles has remained unchanged ever since the restaurant opened nearly 60 years ago and still draws lines of customers every day during lunch and dinner. The restaurant’s signature memil soba (buckwheat soba) is served with a dipping sauce made with dried anchovies, kelp, and bonito flakes and then served topped with sliced leek, grated radish, shredded dried laver, and horseradish. The chilled sauce has such a deep flavor that you may find yourself running out of sauce before you finish your noodles, but have no fear, refills are unlimited. For a less salty version of this mouth-watering delight, simply remove the dried laver (seaweed) out of the sauce.
☞ Menu: Memil Soba: 7,000 won, Bibim-memil: 7,000 won, Hot Memil Soba: 7,000 won