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When in Myeongdong, one should not miss Myeongdong Gyoja (명동교자), a noodle restaurant that has been in business for about 40 years. The restaurant is known for their knife-cut, handmade kalguksu noodles, which is its main menu item. It is served in a deep and flavorful broth with meat and vegetables. When I was here 5 years ago, me and my friends have to queue and wait for 30 minutes before we got seated. Fortunately for us, it was a rainy day when we dined in last year and the restaurant was quite empty.
There are only 4 dishes in Myeongdong Gyoza’s menu – mandu (dumplings), bibim guksu (noodles with vegetables and red hot pepper paste), kalguksu (wheat flour noodles in a hot broth) and kongguksu (noodles in cold soy milk broth). Kong Guksu is served in a chilled sesame and soya bean soup with shredded cucumber. It was an acquired taste as I love to have my soya bean drink with sugar.
Mandu its actually dumpling stuffed with pork, mushrooms, stir-fried zucchini, and mungbean sprouts. The dumplings were huge and meaty, filled with sweet and juicy minced pork.
The dumpling goes really well with these ginger and scallion dipping sauce.
Bibim Guksu is served cold and it is a favourite dish for hot humid summer. The buck wheat noodles were tossed well in a spicy, sweet sour sauce and aromatic sesame oil. It was so delicious and appetizing!
Kalguksu tastes something like our Chinese soupy noodles. The thinly sliced noodles were served in a flavourful pork broth along side with some dumplings and shredded vegetables.
Myeongdong Gyoza is a no frills restaurant. You sit down, tick your order (there’s only 4 items in the menu anyway), pass it to the wait staff, and dig in when your food arrives. Cutleries can be found at the drawer beneath the table.
The wait staff served us some mint candies after meals to help with digestion as well as to help freshen the breath.
Address: 25-2, 2-ga Myoung-dong, Chung-gu, Seoul, South Korea
Operating Hours: opens daily from 1030 to 2130
Myeong-dong Station (Seoul Subway Line 4), Exit 7. The upper street branch located next to H&M outlet. The other branch located near Watson.