South Korea is a country with four seasons, but global warming has made spring and fall shorter, summer hotter and winter colder. It’s only November now, but it’s already so cold for Koreans that we want to visit hot-soup(Gookbap in Korean) restaurants. Gookbap is Korean soup usually served in a black bowl called “Ddukbaegi”, and the ingredients differ from beef, pork to bean sprouts. Various parts of beef and pork can be ingredients for Gookbap. Usually, Gookbap restaurants offer Kimchi which goes perfectly with the soup unlimitedly. Korean representative liquor, Soju, is well known to be the perfect partner for Gookbap. Not only it goes with Soju well, but also after drinking Korean people usually soothe their stomachs with Gookbap lol. The price of Gookbap varies from region to region but is usually ranged from $6 to $10.
If you’ve ever looked up good restaurants in Seoul, you’ve probably seen this soy sauce marinated crab restaurants located in Ah-hyeon-dong. In fact, this restaurant is located right in front of my house, and this place is the reason why I get to see foreigners in my neighborhood, where there is not much to come. Of course, this place is not bad either, but soy sauce marinated crab is usually expensive (to be honest, I don’t know if this restaurant serves something special or really good). Right near this restaurant, you can see the local market named “Ah-hyeon Sijang). If you follow the market path while looking around, you will find this Soondae-guk place, named “Eunseong Soondaeguk” which I want to recommend today.
Inside Ahyeon Market, there are many things to see and eat, such as supermarkets, rice cake, Korean-style side dishes, kimchi, Korean seaweed, clothes, shoes, and Pojangmacha where you can eat and drink outside(They usually serve Korean style pancake called Jeon). There is a “Hoddeok” place which is a popular Korean dessert shop among foreigners, as well, so you can wrap up your meal neatly after eating Soondae-gukbap. It won’t be hard to find Ahyeon Market, because it is really close to Ahyeon Station exit 3 or 4.
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Walking along Ahyeon Market Road toward Ewha Women’s University direction, you will find this “Soondae-Gookbap” restaurant, which is always filled with local Koreans(Usually Ajeossi(middle-aged men), but don’t mind!) This restaurant opens from 11 AM to 9 PM every day except Sundays and Mondays. I’m not sure whether they have an English menu or not(I’ve never asked for one…), and it might be not easy to communicate in English with the servers. This restaurant is always full of locals, so it isn’t really specifically targeted at tourists. But no worries! Just show them the picture of the bowl, and display one, or two fingers haha. Body language is always the answer when you are outside your country.
Some people may not understand the meaning, because it is a Korean letter, but there is a notice in front of the store in Korean letter that a drunken man is not allowed to enter the restaurant. The owner of this restaurant is a very gentle and philosophical man, and he has even been on several TV shows! He and his wife go on a vacation abroad for over a month in summer and winter, and they make a donation of 10cents per one bowl of Sundaeguk.
Personally, I don’t like to go to restaurants that other Koreans recommend to be famous, or that are introduced in tourist books when I travel abroad. I like to explore and find some “not famous among Koreans, yet really good” restaurants. If you were a traveler of my nature, and have some courage to enter the restaurant filled with Korean middle-aged men, please try this place!