Perhaps one of the things one shouldn’t miss when in Myeongdong (except shopping, of course) is dining at Myeongdong Kyoja.
Myeongdong Kyoja, previously named as Myeongdong Kalguksu, is a restaurant established in the 1960’s, whose specialty is kalguksu. Kalguksu is a dish which literally translates to “knife noodles”. It is named as such because the handmade noodles are cut instead of being spun or being made in a pasta making machine.
You’ll know that the place is popular because of the long line of people outside but fret not – the line moves fast – there were four of us and we were seated in no time. I’m not sure if the restaurant owns the entire building or just some of its floors but we were ushered into one of the upper floors. The menu was up on the wall just beside us and it offers four dishes: Kalguksu, Mandu (dumplings), Bibimkugsu (spicy noodles) and Kongguksu (noodles in cold soy bean broth). We had Kalguksu and Mandu.
We ordered four bowls of Kalguksu, one for each of us, and two servings of Mandu. The food was served only a few minutes after. So fast! I think this is how they get to seat other customers quickly. Fast service means the customer can finish eating fast. Our noodles came in large bowls, broth almost filling to the brim, served with generous amounts of noodles, small dumplings, and minced meat. The broth tastes rich; the noodles are soft and slippery. All ingredients mix together well inside our mouth. It tastes even better when you add kimchi. My daughter enjoyed the kalguksu so much (without the kimchi).
The Mandu is served in a plastic steaming basket, each containing ten pieces. Each piece is plump, full of minced meat and vegetable stuffing. Although we already had too much, we still couldn’t get enough of its taste but we fought the urge to order another round and left with our bellies full and sticking out.
Until now, we still cannot forget how the food in Myeongdong Kyoja tastes like and we dream of dining there again. This restaurant is definitely worth a visit!
Myeongdong Kyoja (Main)
25-2 2-ga, Myeongdong, Jung-gu, Seoul
Opens at 10:30AM and closes at 9:30PM
33-4 2-ga, Myeongdong, Jung-gu, Seoul
What restaurant in your most recent travel left a lasting impression on you? We love to hear all about it.