Writing about dining options in Seoul feels bordering on the absurd as there are a truly mindblowing number and variety of places and that’s just my impression from wandering around the Myeongdong area around my hotel. I haven’t even headed off for Gangnam style hijinx south of the river, yet.
At the heart of a bustling alleyway lies Myeongdong Kyoja which has been trading there since 1966. As with many of Seoul’s places, it specialises in just a few dishes, with the chopped noodle classic kalguksu their particular speciality.
It was pissing rain so I was glad to be indoors. I was greeted by one of a battalion of waitresses and shown to a table split up into eight little dining stations for solo diners.
The menu was as brief as expected so I managed to convey that I wanted the kalguksu without too much fuss. It almost immediately arrived accompanied with a little dish of kimchi which was replenished as much as you wished without additional charge.
The kalguksu was a big bowl of noodle soup topped with four little dumplings on the edge and a pile of beef mince in the middle. It proved hearty and restorative stuff with a lightly aromatic broth, satisfying wheat noodles and good meaty notes throughout. The kimchi was excellent and the waitress who did the replenishing seemed tickled to be getting the chance to use her excellent English when asking me if I wanted more.
The canteen style place was quite an experience as a steady parade of diners cycled through, each looking pretty pleased with what they sampled.
So overall, Myeongdong Kyoja was a great place yo dive in to further Korean adventures. The kalguksu was really good and I left thoroughly fortified for the day ahead. Make sure to give it a look when you’re next in Seoul.
Blythe scores Myeongdong Kyoja
4/5 for food
4/5 for presentation
3.5/5 for setting
4/5 for service
giving an overall 15.5/20
I ate: kalguksu
I drank: water
I wore: idiotic white shirt
Total bill: 8000 won
Address: 29 Myeongdong 10-gil, Myeongdong 2(i)-ga, Jung-gu, Seoul