Myeongdong Gyoja 명동교자
Operating hours: 10:30am to 9.30pm
English Address (Google Map): 25-2 Myeongdong 2(i)-ga, Jung-gu, Seoul, South Korea
Korean Address (Naver Map): 서울특별시 중구 명동2가 25-2
English Address (Google Map): 33-4, Myeongdong 2(i)-ga, Jung-gu, Seoul, South Korea
Korean Address (Naver Map): 서울특별시 중구 명동2가 33-4
Myeongdong gyoja is one of the most popular restaurants in Myeongdong shopping district that was featured in the South Korea Green Guide Michelin 2012-2013. They started operation in Year 1964 and had been popular since then. Both main store and the branch are situated in Myeongdong. I visited this place on my first trip and returned to this place as I thought this is worth a second visit.
There are only three items on their menu during autumn/winter (Nov to Mar) – Kalguksu (knife sliced noodle 칼국수), Bibimguksu (cold noodles with chilli paste 비빔국수) and Mandu (steamed dumplings 만두), or otherwise known as Gyoja in Japanese term.
By the way, there is no ‘Z’ in Korean language so Gyoza is spelled as Gyoja instead.
Mandu (steamed dumplings 만두) 10 pcs – W$8000
The most obvious difference between this steamed dumpling and a typical Chinese and Japanese version is the difference in shape. This mandu is huge and meaty, and it’s filled with sweet and juicy sesame-oil-infused minced meat. The paper thin mandu skin tears off effortlessly when I sink my teeth into it. My memory did not fail me. This is still as kick-ass good!
In my opinion, the mandu is even more enjoyable and taste exceptional when it’s dipped into their home-made sauce which taste like a blend of soy bean paste, green chilli, vinegar, and spring onion. I think some may find this sauce a little too salty for their liking.
Among all steamed dumplings, be it from China, Hong Kong, Japan or Korea, this one easily made it way into my best steamed dumpling list and i will definitely come back again.
Bibimguksu (cold noodles with chilli paste 비빔국수) – W$8000
Apart from the gyoja, Myeongdong Gyoja offer two other noodle dishes – Bibimguksu (cold noodles with chilli paste) and Kalguksu (knife sliced noodle soup). This is my first time trying their cold chilli noodle and it was awesome. I tried their Kalguksu soup the last time back in year 2011 and I did not remember that it’s as memorable as this chilli noodle.
Bibimguksu is served cold, with the buck wheat noodles tossed well in a spicy, sweet and sour sauce. It was delicious and the sour spicy sauce made this dish really appetizing! The crunchy cucumber also enhanced the overall texture of the noodle.
And for the chilled noodle, i like the fragrance of the sesame oil and it’s really spicy! Note that the noodle must be cut using the provided scissors into smaller strands of noodle. Else, most time can be spent chewing the buck wheat noodle into smaller bits. Overall, I enjoyed every bit of this noodle.
Kalguksu (knife sliced noodle 칼국수) – W$8000
Kalguksu taste a little like Singapore’s handmade noodles. The thinly sliced noodles were served in a light and flavorful chicken broth, with a few dumplings and shredded vegetables.
The thing is made this dish so special is for the noodle’s softness. The broth infused into the thinly sliced noodle easily, which made the noodle really enjoyable. The portion of the noodle is big and i think it’s good enough to be shared among two people. You can almost see a serving of Kalguksu on every table in Myeongdong Gyoza.
Kimchi, a worthy mention
Myeongdong Gyoja’s Kimchi is very well marinated and very spicy compared to the typical kimchi that i tried in Seoul. Those who love garlic will love this Kimchi cus the garlic taste simply overwhelm the whole dish. I am not exactly a hardcore Kimchi fan, but this one is to my liking – spicy, garlicky, very well flavoured that gives a punch.
Price of the Gyoja is well worth it, at about S$9.50 for 10 pieces but noodle is slightly pricey for the same S$9.50 for Singapore standard. But well, you are in a restaurant environment, with free flow of Kimchi and you’re in Seoul, S$9.50 for a bowl of noodle now seems reasonable.
Myeongdong Gyoja is one of my favourite restaurants in Seoul. The restaurant is always busy and the staff are always overwhelmed so the service may be a little slower. But in exchange, the quality of the food here makes it well worth the wait. If you are really really full, i recommend to just try their Gyoja.
Map and directions (To main store)
This restaurant can be accessed easily from Myeongdong MRT station.
1. Come out from Exit 8 Myeongdong
2. Turn to your left and walk straight for three to five minutes.
3. Keep a look out to your right and you should be able to see Myeongdong Gyoja.
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