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[Gourmet Restaurants Series 9] Samcheongdong: Gourmet Lover's Lane

 

“Samcheong” which means the three colors of blue, was given this name because the mountains, waters, and the people are really nice in this neighborhood. Meanwhile, this area has become appealing because of another reason; the taste, which can be pleasantly experienced at the restaurants in this neighborhood.
From old established restaurants with a noted specialty to newly modern restaurants with a fusion style, there are multifarious restaurants in Samcheongdong, yet most of them blend modern with tradition by using remodeled traditional Korean style houses called “Hanok”, which is influenced by the northern Hanok Village in this neighborhood. Samcheongdong is where delightful tastes and sweet scents of traditional foods can be enjoyed together.

▒ “Baedongbaji,” Korean Full Course Meals Cooked with the Utmost Sincerity

“Baedongbaji” serves delectable Korean course meals. The interior is very neat and has a Korean traditional décor, along with the food being superb, which is why many people are coming to the restaurant even though it is somewhat far from the main street of Samcheongdong. Baedongbaji means the bulging shape of rice plants when it sprouts ears. The name reminds us of the importance of rice, the staple food of Korean meals.
At Baedongbaji, Korean meals are served as a full course. For the full course lunch which costs 17,000 won, salad, sliced boiled pork(Bossam), Fried Sweet Potato Noodle with Vegetables and Meat(Japchae), Cold Jelly Fish and Vegetables with Sour Seasoning(Naengchae), and Steamed Pollack with Spicy Seasoning (Bugeojjim) come with it. This is served also with appetizers and special dishes. And, Rice, Kimchi, Bean-paste Pot Stew (Doenjangjjigae), Seasoned Wild Vegetables, and Salted Fish are served as main course. There are 7 small dishes only for the Seasoned Wild Vegetables.
For dessert, rice cakes and tea are served. There are various Korean course meals ranging from different prices at Baedongbaji. Main courses are almost the same for any of the course meals, but special dishes are added for more expensive course meals. Foods are served with high quality brass tableware, which makes the table look more elegant.

TIP> The glass wall on the 2nd floor gives a fine view of neighborhood.
Detailed Info>
○ Business Hours : 12:00~15:00 & 17:00~21:30
○ Closed : Lunar New Year’s Day, Chuseok
○ Inquiry : (02) 720-9644
○ Menu Specialties: Korean Full Course Lunch 17,000 won~25,000 won / Korean Full Course Dinner 35,000 won~99,000 won / Galbi-Gui (Grilled Beef Ribs) 40,000 won
How to get there: Go out of Exit 1 of Anguk subway station (line no.3) -> Take a taxi to KBI (KOREA BANKING INSTITUTE) – Usually only costs the basic fare (1,900 won), but could vary due to traffic -> Walk straight to the three-way junction -> Turn right and walk straight 60 meters upwards on the road -> The restaurant is located on the right side and the exterior is a traditional Korean-style house.

 

 


▒ “Darakjeong,” a Traditional Simple Taste of Mandu

“Darakjeong” has been popular for a long time only because of the simple taste of its traditional Mandu (Korean Stuffed Dumpling). Since its opening in 1991, tasty soup and scrumptious Mandu have been served. A fist-sized Mandu is fully packed with seasoned meat, bean-curd, and various vegetables.
Its thick dough makes it chewy and delightful. For one person, “Manduguk”(boiled dumpling soup) is a good choice. The delicious and nourishing taste of Mandu goes well with the sweet, spicy, and fresh taste of soup. Manduguk is served in a brass bowl which keeps the food warm while eating. For a large size group, “Mandujeongol” cooked with various vegetables in a casserole is recommended. There are two types of Mandujeongol that have different tastes. The main characteristic of “Kimchi Mandujeongol” is its spicy flavor, which reminds people of the refreshing taste of Kimchi soup, and “Tojang Mandujeongol” expounds on the savory taste of bean-paste soup. Tojang means folk soybean-paste.
“Nokdujeon”(a Korean pan-fried dish with green mung bean) is another famous dish at Darakjeong, which is pan-fried with a very light seasoning to emphasize the original taste of Nokdu (green mung bean). Salted oysters with hot pepper are served with Nokdujeon instead of soy sauce, which is a perfect match.

TIP> Mandu is made on every Thursday and Friday afternoon, which spectators can see if they are lucky to be strolling by.
Detailed Info>
○ Business Hours : 11:00~22:00
○ Closed : National Holidays (New Year’s Day, Chuseok)
○ Inquiry : (02) 725-1697
○ Menu Specialties: Manduguk 7,000 won / Tojang Mandujeongol 9,000 won for 1 person / Nokdujeon 9,000 won
How to get there: Go out of Exit 1 of Anguk subway station (line no.3) -> Take a taxi to KBI (KOREA BANKING INSTITUTE) – Usually it only costs the basic fare of 1,900 won, but could vary according to traffic -> Walk straight to the three-way junction -> The restaurant with a round shaped roof can be seen diagonally. There is a large pine tree in front of the restaurant.

 

 


▒ “Seoureseo Duljjaero Jalhaneunjip(The Second Best in Seoul)” Stop in for Some Delicious Sweet Red-bean Soup

The delicious sweet red-bean soup called “Danpatjuk” in Korean at “The Second Best in Seoul” has always been an all time favorite since it opened in 1976. Not only the exterior but also the interior is very simple and modest similar to a teahouse in the 70’s. This does not keep people from coming back because the unforgettable taste of the Sweet Red-bean Soup keeps people coming back to this place.
“The Second Best in Seoul” was originally opened as a teahouse for traditional Korean medicinal teas; sweet red-bean soup being one of their main specialties on their menu list. But, nowadays, the sweet red-bean soup has become the most popular menu item. Sweet Red-bean Soup can be enjoyed as a light meal because it fills you up quickly. In addition, chestnuts, gingko nuts, red beans, and glutinous rice cake in the thick red-bean soup provide good nutrition.

TIP> The name is very special, right? “The Second Best in Seoul” was named by their modest mind of making food with utmost sincerity.
Detailed Info>
○ Business Hours : 12:00~22:00
○ Closed : National Holidays (New Year’s Day, Chuseok)
○ Inquiry : (02) 734-5302
○ Menu Specialties: Sweet Red-bean soup (Danpatjuk) 5,500 won / Sipjeondaebotang-traditional Korean medicinal tea 5,500 won / Sikhye-a sweet drink made from fermented rice 4,000 won
How to get there : Go out of Exit 1 of Anguk subway station (line no.3) -> Take taxi to KBI (KOREA BANKING INSTITUTE) – Usually costs only the basic fare of 1,900 won, but could vary due to traffic -> Walk straight a little ways -> The restaurant sign will appear on the right.

 

 


▒ “Romanée Conti”, a Restaurant With a Breathtaking View

“Romanée Conti” is the name of a French wine. At this restaurant, various wines can be enjoyed with your meal. There are more than 170 different kinds of wine and various dishes that go perfectly with the wines. “Coq Au Vin” and “Tteokgalbi Meal” are the most popular dishes. Coq Au Vin is a traditional French recipe, which cooks up fresh chicken drumsticks and vegetables with red-wine seasoning for 8 hours. As for Tteokgalbi, it is a BBQ of mixed rib meat and vegetables.
Romanée Conti has a wonderful view located on a hilltop with a glass wall on one side of its traditional Korean-style house. It is the best restaurant to enjoy a sweet meal with some nice wine sitting by the window at sunset.

Detailed Info>
○ Business Hours : 12:00pm~1:00am on the next day ○ Closed : 24 Hours Open
○ Inquiry : (02) 722-1633
○ Menu Specialties: Coq Au Vin 38,000 won / Tender Loin 29,000 won / Pasta 16,000 won
How to get there: Go out of Exit 1 of Anguk subway station (line no.3) -> Take a taxi to the opposite side of “Samcheongdong Sujebi” Restaurant (Most taxi drivers will know this place because it is really famous) – Usually costs only the basic fare of 1,900 won, but could vary due to traffic -> Go up the stairs on the left-hand side of a green building called “RIB HOUSE” -> At the traditional Korean-style house, a sign that says “Romanée Conti” will appear.

 

 


▒ ‘Nunnamujip (雪木軒: Snow, Tree, House)’, Famous for Cold Kimchi Noodle Soup

“Nunnamujip” is famous for a North Korean dish called, “Kimchimariguksu”, which is a noodle dish in cold Kimchi soup with toasted laver, a boiled egg, and sesame in it. The soup is refreshingly cold and a little spicy. For “Kimchimaribap”, a bowl of rice is put into cold Kimchi soup instead of noodles. The taste is very unique. In addition to Kimchimari, “Tteokgalbi” is a popular dish on the menu as well.
The main restaurant is located in the basement, which has only limited seating capacity with a few tables. As a result, many people are usually waiting in line for lunch or dinner. A 2nd franchise has currently opened in a three-story building across the street. To enjoy this quaint atmosphere, the first establishment is better, but the new one’s interior design is much newer and fancier giving it a fresh altering look.

TIP> A wonderful place for a light meal!
Detailed Info>
○ Business Hours : 11:30~21:30
○ Closed : National Holidays
○ Inquiry : 1st Restaurant (02) 725-3712 / 2nd Franchise (02) 739-6742
○ Menu Specialties: Kimchimariguksu (Cold Noodles in Kimchi Soup) 4,500 won / Kimchimaribap (Cold Rice in Kimchi Soup) 4,500 won / Tteokgalbi 7,000 won
How to get there: Go out of Exit 1 of Anguk subway station (line no.3) -> Take a taxi to KBI (KOREA BANKING INSTITUTE) – Usually costs only the basic fare of 1,900 won, but could vary due to traffic -> Walk straight to the three-way junction -> Walk straight a little ways across the pedestrian crossing -> A yellow colored restaurant sign will appear on the right-hand side; this is the is the new building of the restaurant. Across the street is another yellow sign, which is the older establishment. On the sign are Chinese letters that read ‘雪木軒’ along with Korean letters.

 

 


▒ “Cook´n Heim,” Wine and Dine in its Beautiful Traditional Korean-style Garden

“Cook´n Heim” is a fancy restaurant where a traditional Korean-style house, beautiful garden, and a small gallery harmoniously come together.
The main menu specialties are Hamburg Steak and Pasta. For Hamburg Steak, the beef is chopped and mixed without any chemical seasoning. Bread is homemade where the dough is kneaded and baked. Cook’n Heim serves no junk food, only well-being food. “Cook´n Heim’s Hamburg Steak” with mushroom cream sauce and pineapple slices as well as the “Herb Hamburg Steak” with Rosemary are the most popular dishes. Pasta with cream sauce or tomato sauce and salad are also popular.
The restaurant creates its own small art cultural gallery. Art pieces for exhibition are updated weekly in its gallery, and visitors can enjoy the exhibition for free while they are dining. When the sun sets, a movie is shown which has been installed on a wall in the garden. It is wonderful to have dinner outside watching a movie in summer.

TIP> The 30th customer on every Saturday receives a book as a complimentary gift.
Detailed Info>
○ Business Hours : 12:00~22:00
○ Closed : National Holidays
○ Inquiry : (02) 733-1109
○ Menu Specialties: Cook´n Heim Hamburg Steak 21,000 won -25,000 won / Pasta with Shrimp and Crab Meat 15,000 won / Salad with Ricotta Cheese 9,000 won
How to get there: Go out of Exit 1 of Anguk subway station (line no.3) -> Take a taxi to the Samcheongdong Police Box – Usually costs the basic fare of 1,900 won, but could vary depending on traffic conditions -> Walk straight a little ways -> A red colored sign will appear on the right-hand side. The sign will say “Cook´n Heim” which is written in English. The restaurant is located on the 2nd floor. To enter, use the stairs on the side of the building.

 

 


▒ “Samcheongdong Sujebi,” the Pioneer Restaurant in Samcheongdong

This restaurant usually becomes crowded during lunchtime as well as dinnertime. In fact, “Samcheongdong Sujebi” is the reason why Samcheongdong became famous for so many of its excellent restaurants. Since its opening in the 1980’s, the restaurant’s Sujebi has become widely known for its delicious taste, causing many people to frequently visit. As a result, many other restaurants have opened around Samcheongdong.
The extraordinary taste of Samcheongdong Sujebi comes from its savory soup and softly chewy Sujebi dough. The soup is deliciously cooked with refreshing anchovy sauce, short-necked clams, and potatoes. Vegetables like zucchinis, carrots, and onions are added to the soup. The Sujebi dough is broken apart into small pieces by hand and put into the soup so that the flat noodles of Sujebi are very thin and softly chewy. Sujebi is served in a bowl for one person or in a jar for two persons. The famous Korean pan-fried dishes of Samcheongdong Sujebi like Gamjajeon (with Potato), Pajeon (with Green Onion), Nokdujeon (with Green mung bean) are good appetizers that go well with Sujebi. For two people, two orders of Sujebi and any Korean pan-fried dish should be plenty.

TIP> Sit near the kitchen so you can get a glimpse of how they make Sujebi!
Detailed Info>
○ Business Hours : 11:00~21:00
○ Closed : National Holidays
○ Inquiry : (02) 735-2965
○ Menu Specialties: Sujebi 6,000 won / Gamjajeon 6,000 won / Nokdujeon 10,000 won
How to get there: Go out of Exit 1 of Anguk subway station (line no.3) -> Take a taxi to “Samcheongdong Sujebi (Most taxi drivers are familiar with this place because it is really famous)” – Usually costs the basic fare of 1,900, but could vary according to traffic conditions.

 

 


▒ Don’t Forget Dessert!

“VIUM”, the Right Blend of a Gallery and a Teahouse
“VIUM” is a blend of a gallery and a teahouse with an aesthetic beauty of leaving some space to exist. This is expressed in the meaning of its name. VIUM was originally opened as a gallery, but later it was renovated to a teahouse where a few tables were put near the windows.
The gallery exhibits and sells art pieces with strong vibrant Korean colors. There are various products like personal adornments, ceramic wares, and interior accessories. Just looking around is also enjoyable. Traditional teas and coffee are served. There are not many kinds of teas to chose from, but they are high in quality and luxurious. Cheolgwaneum (a special oriental tea) and Rose Herb Tea are really nice.
VIUM remodeled its building from a traditional Korean-style house to a teahouse with a glass wall on one side commanding a beautiful view of the neighborhood. Although modestly small with only four tables, one can have calm and relaxing conversation and enjoy some tea at VIUM.

Detailed Info>
○ Business Hours : 11:00~19:00
○ Closed : Every Sunday and Monday
○ Inquiry : (02) 730-7258
○ Menu Specialties: Cheolgwaneum(Special Oriental Tea) 6,000 won / Rose Herb Tea 6,000 won / Coffee 6,000 won
How to get there: Go out of Exit 1 of Anguk subway station (line no.3) -> Take a taxi to the three-way junction, where the Prime Minister’s official residence is located in Samcheongdong – Usually costs the basic fare of 1,900, but could vary depending on traffic conditions -> “VIUM” is located on the right. The building is covered with glass, and the name is written on the building in English. If it is difficult to ask for the Prime Minister’s official residence, take a taxi to “Samcheongdong Sujebi (Most taxi drivers know this place because it is really famous)”, and walk straight a little ways. Then, you will see shortly the three-way junction.

 

 

How to Walk to the Main Street of Samcheongdong
Go out of Exit 5 of Gyeongbokgung subway station (line no.3) -> Cut across the inside of Gyeongbokgung to the exit on the opposite side -> Once you come out, walk across the pedestrian crossing on the big main road -> Turn left and walk 400 meters straight along the broad road -> Turn right at the three-way junction, where the main street of Samcheongdong starts -> Walk a little way along the street, and you’ll see “Cook’n Heim” on the right-hand side -> Walk a little further down, and you’ll come to the three-way junction, where the Prime Minister’s official residence is located.
The “Vium” is also located right there -> Walk further down the street, and “Romanée Conti” will appear on the right. You’ll also see “Samcheongdong Sujebi” which is located across the street -> Go straight and past KBI (KOREA BANKING INSTITUTE), you’ll see “The Second Best in Seoul (Seoureseo Dubeonjjaero Jalhaneunjip)” -> Keep walking straight a little ways, the three-way junction, where “Darakjeong” and “Nunnamujip” are located, will soon appear -> Make a right-hand turn and walk straight up the road, where “Baedongbaji” will be. It will take about 30~40 minutes from Gyeongbokgung Subway Station to “Baedongbaji”.
If you’re not in a hurry and have some leisure time, why not take a nice stroll around Samcheongdong neighborhood to find all the famous restaurants that were mentioned above. Happy Excursions!

 

 

▒ Map of Samcheongdong

* Above information may change after October 2009.
Date 10/08/2009



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