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Sunday, June 22, 2014

[Seoul, Myungdong/Myeongdong] Myungdong Gyoza - Myungdong Kalguksu (Myungdong Noodles House)


This restaurant is often on many tourists' eat lists when they go to Seoul. It opened in 1966 and has been serving hot noodle soups and mandu (steamed Korean dumplings) ever since.

It appears in Korean, Japanese, and Chinese guidebooks. I am also sure it appears in English guidebooks, too, but I have never seen an English speaker whip out a guidebook at the table.

Expect a line if you go at peak hours.

This place is CASH ONLY and is pre-pay!!!

There are two locations in Myungdong.
One is right across from the Forever 21 and the other is located on the same street, but in a little bit less convenient area. I usually go to the place behind Forever 21 because there seems to be the most chairs and it is the original location.

This location has two floors of seating. I am usually seated in the upstairs room.

Two major things to note.
1. This place is PRE-PAY and you order right away when you sit down.
Make sure you choose what you want to eat as you are standing in line or look at the pictures in the window.
2. It is CASH ONLY.

The menu is not extensive. There are four menu items and each is 8,000KRW and the entire menu is eligible for take-out orders.

The menu is available (in its entirety) in Korean, Japanese, and English.

You can order the mandu (dumplings) (10/order), bibimguksu (spicy noodles), kalguksu (hot noodles soup with pork on top), and kongguksu (cold noodles in a soymilk broth).

I usually order a mandu and a kalguksu. I believe these are the most popular dishes.
The kalguksu is served extremely hot and includes about 4 or 5 mandu. It is actually quite filling and the broth is very rich and savory. It is a chicken broth and is sometimes too rich/thick for me. Kalguksu are handmade noodles that are hand-cut.

The mandu is Chinese-style and filled with pork, leeks, and vegetables. They are steamed and served in the steamer still warm. I would highly recommend these dumplings!

The kongguksu is a dish that is perfect for vegetarians. It's a very Korean dish. It is cold noodles that are served in iced soybean soup. My vegetarian friends said that this is probably one of the best places to get kongguksu, so check it out! The soybean soup is not watery as sometimes happens when you are served something with ice in it on a hot day. The noodles are also special. They are green chlorella (algae) noodles. This is probably a super healthy meal in every way! My vegetarian friends got very full on this meal and were completely satisfied and made mental note of this place as a vegetarian-friendly option in Seoul.

The bibimguksu is also pretty good. I personally do not eat it that often because I like eating hot soup. I think that it is a little expensive for this type of noodles. It is spicy Korean sauce on same green  noodles in the kongguk su. It Is served with julienned cucumber served on the hand-cut noodles. Since i does not have any meat on it, it is also vegetarian-friendly.

OH YEAH!
The other super famous thing about Myungdong Gyoza is its kimchi! It is ridiculously garlic-y. Probably not the best dating location. It is so garlic-y that they give you mint gum after your meal and if you go to the bathroom, they have mouthwash next to the sink.

Oh, one more thing, too.
The napkins, spoons, and chopsticks are located in a drawer hidden under the tabletop. You'll find it I'm sure.

So, to reiterate. Each menu item is 8,000 KRW. It is pre-pay in CASH only.

Directions:
Myungdong (line 4)
From exit 8, go straight to the first street, then turn left. At the first street, you should see ALand 2nd Page. Keep walkigt straight until you see the Forever 21.

Euljiro-1-ga (line 2)
From exit 6, walk straight along the main road until you get to the Young Poong Bookstore. Turn left there and walk straight. You should pass the street with the Woori Bank on the corner. Walk to the next street and turn right. Walk straight until you see Forever 21.
If you want to go there, you have to take subway line number 4, which is blue color line, and then get off at Myungdong station. Go out through exit number 8, after that, turn left and go straight along this road. After pass one and half block, you can find Myungdong Kyoja on your right. If there are too many people, go one more block. You can see another Myungdong Kyoja on your left.

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