goto content

  • sitemap
  • sign up
  • my page
  • visitkorea on Facebook
  • visitkorea on Twitter
  • visitkorea on YouTube
  • visitkorea on RSS

h1 Title
compactShare | facebook email favorites print

[Gourmet Restaurants Series 10] Jangchungdong Jokbal Street




Located near Jangchung Gymnasium (Jung-gu, Seoul) are about ten restaurants whose specialty is jokbal (pig’s trotters). In the past, the area teemed with customers, especially on game days at Jangchung Gymnasium. An area known for its traditional food, the restaurants here have done business for as many as fifty years.
Even now, whenever one hears the word jokbal, the first thing that comes to mind is Jangchung-dong jokbal. The secret of its popularity is the broth in which the jokbal are cooked. Around 30 jokbal are placed in a large pot, seasoned and simmered for 2~3 hours. The steam rises from the pot until the mouth-watering jokbal are done to perfection. It is claimed that the jokbal broth has a history as old as the restaurants themselves. There is always a little broth left over from a batch of jokbal, and more water is added to the remaining broth again and again with each new pot of trotters. The secret of the delicious meaty flavor lies in the rich broth, and to this day, every restaurant’s broth recipe is considered top secret.
Most of the signs along Jokbal Street in Jangchung-dong say, “The Original” “The Original of the Original” or “Grandma’s” In fact, it is impossible to know which restaurant was really the first because some restaurants started doing business at around the same time. Moreover, female proprietors who opened restaurants long ago really are grandmothers now. Instead of depending on these claims, it would be wise for customers to select a restaurant based on the unique taste.
Jokbal prices are basically the same everywhere. A small serving platter is 20,000 won, a medium serving platter is 25,000 won, and a large one is 30,000 won. One small dish is plenty for two adults, and customers who want a heartier meal can order other dishes as well, including bindaetteok (mung-bean pancake), pajeon (green onion pancake), or manduguk (dumpling soup).
Restaurants are usually crowded after 6 p.m. on weekdays, and at lunch and dinner time on weekends.

TIP> How to savor the taste of jokbal

No matter where you go for jokbal in Jangchung-dong, you’ll get almost the same side dishes and condiments. Side dishes include lettuce, radish “water” kimchi, kimchi, shredded radish, and buchu (Korean leek), and condiments include ssamjang (mixture of pepper and fermented bean paste) and salted shrimps. Most customers wrap the jokbal in lettuce leaves along with some of the side dish or condiment, and enjoy. Most restaurants make their own salted shrimps and ssamjang.

To experience the pure unadulterated flavor of jokbal, however, it is recommended that you also try them plain. You will enjoy the irresistible taste of the meat, soft fat, and chewy skin. It is customary after finishing the meal to cleanse the palate with radish “water” kimchi.

▒ "Pyeongando Jokbal" Jokbal that melts in your mouth

This Jokbal Street restaurant has a history of over 50 years, and the elderly white-haired proprietor has been running the business the entire time. Basketball players who had a game at the Jangchung Gymnasium visited the restaurant. When it first opened, the price of jokbal was 150 won and the bindaetteok, 10 won. Back then, the food was a luxury that students couldn’t even dream of buying, but now everyone can afford it. The taste of jokbal here is special: first because the trotters are transported to the restaurant immediately, and also because of the restaurant’s unique broth. The meat is extremely chewy and the delicately flavored fat melts in your mouth like ice cream. For a treat that cannot be enjoyed anywhere else, the owner hints that the large serving is much more delicious than the small one.
Detailed information>
☞ Business hours: 12:00~23:30
☞ Closed: New Year’s Day,
     Chuseok (Korean Thanksgiving)
☞ Phone: (02) 2279-9759
☞ Menu: Large serving of jokbal 40,000 won/
    Medium serving of jokbal 30,000 won/
    Small serving of jokbal 25,000 won/
    Bindaetteok 5,000 won/
    Makguksu (buckwheat noodles): 6,000 won
☞ How to get there: Take subway 3 and get off at Dongguk University. Go out exit 3
    and walk around 150 meters and you will see the restaurant on the right.

▒ "Fat Grandma's Place" Enjoy a doubly delicious treat - jokbal and bindaetteok

An elderly lady with fine wrinkles is still in charge of creating the captivating taste of jokbal. Originally, the restaurant did not have a name, but customers referred to it as the “Fat Grandma’s Place.” Sure enough, as you enter the restaurant, you will notice a plump, elderly lady with silver hair sitting at the counter.
The place is well known for jokbal with an exquisite combination of rich meat and soft fat. Three or four ingredients, including ginger, are added to the simmering broth to eliminate the strong meat smell. When you order a small serving, you are served radish “water” kimchi as well as two small bindaetteok free. You can order additional bindaetteok too, three for 5,000 won. When you order a large serving, you are served four free bindaetteok. Many customers order jaengbanguksu (spicy buckwheat noodles), which goes perfectly with jokbal.

Detailed information>
☞ Business hours: 24 hours/day
☞ Open year-round
☞ Phone: (02) 2273-5320
☞ Menu: Large serving of jokbal 30,000 won/
    Medium serving of jokbal 25,000 won/
    Small serving of jokbal 20,000 won/
    Jaengban Makguksu 10,000 won-15,000 won
☞ How to get there: Take subway line 3 and get
    off at Dongguk University. Go out exit 3, and
    walk straight ahead, around 150 meters. You will see the restaurant on the right.

▒ "Original Jangchungdong Grandmother's Place" Fresh jokbal

Following in his mother’s footsteps, the son of the previous owner is now managing the family business. Opened during the early years of Jokbal Street, the delicious meat at this restaurant is fondly remembered by customers. While the meat itself has almost no fat, the fat portion is extremely soft and savory. This restaurant is also different from others in that it provides kongnamulguk (bean sprout soup) with the jokbal. Pyeongyang-style naengmyeon (cold noodles) and Tteongmanduguk(rice cake-dumpling soup) are also delicious. Pyeongyang naengmyeon is cooked to suit South Korean tastes. The noodles and dumplings are hand-made.
Especially noticeable is the clean appearance both inside and out, despite the restaurant’s long history, probably because the building was rebuilt after a fire in the 1980s. Plenty of tables on the first and second floors accommodate customers, and the third floor is for large groups.

Detailed information>
☞ Business hours: 09:30~23:30
☞ Closed on: New Year’s Day, Chuseok
☞ Phone: (02) 2279-9979
☞ Menu: Large serving of jokbal 30,000 won/
    Medium serving of jokbal: 25,000 won/
    Small serving of jokbal: 20,000 won/
    Naengmyeon: 5,000 won/
    Rice cake-dumpling soup: 5,000 won
☞ How to get there: Take subway line 3 and get
    off at Dongguk University. Go out exit 3 and walk straight ahead around 150
    meters. You will see the restaurant on the right.

▒ Map of Jokbal Street in Jangchung-dong
* The above information is subject to change after October 2009.

Date 10/08/2009

Quick Menu Quick Menu