Monday, 7 January 2013

Food in Myeongdong - Jjimdak & Gomtang

There are numerous eateries at the Myeongdong shopping street. However, for good and popular shops, you need a local, or at least someone who has stayed in Seoul long enough to introduce you. Otherwise, check on blogs for recommendation.

Our friend, Mr KH, brought me to this Jjimdak place during my previous business trip and it was yummy! So I went back to Myeongdong and look for it. There were two similar shops selling, but I couldn't remember which was the one that he brought us. So, I just stepped into one, hoping that it is the correct one. Turns out to be not the one he brought us. However, this Bongchu Jjimdak, is also a very popular one, where many bloggers have recommended.

Jjimdak, or Andong Jjimdak is braised, or stewed chicken in soya sauce. Andong is the place where the dish is originated. The taste is slightly different from the one that our mum cooked in Singapore, or the Chinese-style one. This one is cooked with Korean glass noodles, carrots and potato, and the taste is really good. I love Korean glass noodles, the thick chewy type.

You can choose from different portions - Small, Medium or Large according to the number of pax. This restaurant only serves this dish. I was told that in Korea, if the shop only serves or specialised in one particular dish, it must be good.

There are a few other branches of the Bongchu Jjimdak as well. We saw one at Hongdae area. It could be a franchise store.

Snew's Rating:  4.2 / 5
After all the BBQ and spicy stuff, it's good to try something that is comforting to the tummy, and a dish that is close to home.

Bongchu Jjimdak, Myeongdong

25-2, 2-ga Myeong-dong,
Chung-gu, Seoul, South Korea
Opens: 11am to 11pm

Exit at Myeongdong Station (Subway Line 4), Exit 8. Walk straight and you see a small street with eateries on your left. Turn in the street. Walk straight ahead for 5 minutes and you will reach the shop.

The one that Mr KH recommends was another Andong Jjimadak. For a foreigner like me, I think that both are equally good. This is just a few shops next to Bongchu Jjimadak.


On our last day, we met up with Mr KH. I told him I wanted to have something simple, no more of those spicy stuff and BBQ before our flight home. I ask him if he could bring us to the Seolleongtang - Ox Bone Soup as I came across a blog on this and I have always love Ox Bone or Ox Tail Soup. Hence, he brought us to this place - Hadongkwan which has been around for the decades.

Hadongkwan - 河东馆 is truly a very traditional Gomtang restaurant. The name of the restaurant is in Han language, which is our Traditional Chinese. Places with Han language in Korea usually means that they have been around for very long time. A search in the internet shows that this shop has been operating for 70years.

Gomtang or Seolleongtang are both brewed from Ox bones for hours to get the flavour. I am not sure what is the difference between the two though. Do drop me a comment to enlighten me if you know.

Mr KH was surprised that I have suggested to have Seolleongtang as he says that most people have this after a night of heavy drinking. This is probably the usual treat for hangover for the Koreans. For me, I need to detox after nights of BBQ meats and spicy stuff.

We have to pre-pay when you order your food before it is served. We get to choose between the normal at 10,000KRW or the "special" at 12,000KRW, which has more slices of beef. We ordered only the beef strip (slices of beef) as we are no fan of beef tripe. Beneath the soup is the rice, which is served in the same bowl. This reminds me of Teochew Porridge. You may also ask for a refill of soup.

As with most Korean meals, Kimchi is also served here. I was told that you can also mix the Kimchi into the soup to get the Kimchi spice taste. Wouldn't that defeat the purpose of detox, and overshadow the flavour of the beef broth? Instead, I use the salt to taste as it was pretty bland.

Snew's Rating: 3 / 5
I would recommend this for breakfast or a light meal. Even though we order an upsized portion at 12,000KRW, it was not really very filling. Papa Snew was hungry when we reach the airport.

Hadongkwan Gomtang

10-4 Myeong-dong 1-ga,
Jung-gu, Seoul, Korea 100-021
Opens: 7am - 4.30pm

Exit 5 from Euljiro-1ga Station (Subway Line 2)
or Exit 4 from Myeongdong Station (Subway Line 4)
Check on Hadongkwan Gomtang for map directions

Initially I thought that Mr KH would bring us to the Sinseon Seolnongtang which has a number of branches. However, he brought us to the Hadongkwan. We would try it the next time we are in Seoul. If you have tried this before, do let me have your comments.

Related Posts:

Myeongdong, Seoul

Bukchon & Samcheongdong, Seoul

Gyeongbokgung Palace, Seoul

Lotte Hotel, Seoul


  1. Glad to chance upon your blog on food in myeongdong. Will be there this year end with my 2 kids, may I know is the bongchu jjimdak spicy? Coz my 2 young kids cant take much spicy food. Will try the ox bone soup though. Thanks!

  2. The bongchu jjimdak is not spicy. Kids can eat. Taste like ginger chicken stew in soya sauce