On a hot summer day when one wants to have something cool to eat, many Koreans think of naengmyeon, a cold dish of chewy noodles with a palatable broth. Seoul is dotted with numerous naengmyeon restaurants known for their time-honored tradition and taste and frequented by regular customers. Let us take a look at some of the most famous naengmyeon restaurants in Korea’s capital.
The restaurant is touted a forerunner of Pyongyang-style naengmyeon in Seoul. The broth tastes salty yet clean. To enjoy Eulji Myeonok naengmyeon to the fullest, have this broth well mixed with chewy noodles made of buckwheat and starch. Red pepper powder adds spiciness to the dish. The restaurant is a minute walk from Exit 5 of Euljiro 3-ga Subway Station.
Featured in 2017 Michelin Guide, Woolaeoak is considered the place to go for Pyongyang naengmyeon. The buckwheat noodles, steamed Korean beef slices, and broth brewed with Korean beef come together to create a rich yet neat flavor. The dish is served with toppings of cool peach, white kimchi, and radish. One bowl of naengmyeon is 13,000 won. You will see Woolaeoak restaurant on your left when you turn right at the first alley you encounter when walking from Exit 4 of Euljiro 4-ga Subway Station.
# Ojang-dong Heungnamjib
This is a well-known Hamheung-style naengmyeon restaurant. The main entry is sushi naengmyeon served with seasoned ray and vegetables. Seasoned ray, vegetables, and noodles made with sweet potato starch are served in the aromatic cow leg bone stock and seasoned with spicy and sweet sauce. You can add sugar, mustard, sesame oil, or vinegar according to your preferences. The dish is 10,000 won. To reach the restaurant, walk for about 10 minutes from Exit 6 of Dongdaemun History & Culture Park Station.
# Ojang-dong Hamheung Naengmyeon
Ojang-dong Hamheung Naengmyeon has a large following due to the unique flavor of its naengmyeon featuring chewy noodles, a clean broth that is easy on the stomach, pungent raw fish with vegetables, and sweet and sour sauce. The two main dishes are raw fish naengmyeon and spicy naengmyeon. Some customers like to add a spoonful of sugar to the noodles to enhance the flavor. One bowl of the noodles costs 10,000 won. Walk from Exit 8 of Euljiro 4-ga Subway station, turn left at the Jung-gu Office Intersection, walk for about 100m, and you will find the restaurant across the street.
# Additional Information/ Are You Familiar with Chogye-guksu?
Chogye-guksu (“vinegar and mustard noodles”) is another dish that can help diners escape from the summer heat. As the dish name implies (“cho” is from “sikcho” meaning “vinegar” and “gye” is “mustard” in the Pyeongan Province dialect), its taste comes from the combination of vinegar and mustard. With chicken breast fillet bountifully placed atop noodles and served with brisket broth and thin sheets of ice, chogye-guksu delivers a sweet-and-sour and refreshing flavor. As chicken breast is not only rich in essential amino acids but is also known to warm the body from the inside, it is a perfect partner to cold noodles.
The most famous chogye-guksu place is Misari Milbit Chogyeguksu located in Hanam-si of Gyeonggi Province. The restaurant has drawn attention for the healthy version of the dish which uses a special sauce made with medicinal herbs and fruits boiled for over 10 hours. In addition, it serves acorn round cake and large buckwheat dumplings.
Misari Milbit Chogyeguksu is near Misari Regatta and the address of the main restaurant is 608 Misadae-ro, Hanam-si, Gyeonggi-do (tel. +82 31-795-0330). A branch also operates in Seoul, at COEX Mall (B1 J114).
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