Popular Street Food at Myeongdong Seoul

Seoul Street Food Found at Myeongdong

Apart from indulging in restaurant food, what is a Seoul Food trip without immersing yourself in their street food culture. There are many places that sell street food but my favourite one is at Myeongdong district.

At Myeongdong, you also can find such shop, almost selling every kind of street food

Exit from Myeongdong MRT at Exit 5, 6, 7, 8 and a busy Myeongdong shopping street will be presented right before you. It’s an area where you can find everything you need for skin care and choices of restaurants and cafes are excessive. I do not have the exact location of these street food stalls but just walk around that area. These stalls are not hard to spot.

Click here for my full list of  Seoul Food Itinerary

Such scene is really enticing, especially in a cold weather

Myeongdong – Korean Grilled Cuttlefish

This is one of my favourites. I had it the first time I visited Seoul and i made it a point to come back to the same stall again. At W$4000 (S$4.80), it’s not cheap but still  reasonable for a whole cuttlefish.

The frozen cuttlefish is freshly grilled by pressing it against a top and bottom electric grill. The originally flat cuttlefish is fluffed up after passing through the shredder. The piping-hot shredded cuttlefish is chewy but not rubbery and unlike most dried cuttlefish, the texture is much more enjoyable and is not straining on one’s jaw.

Myeongdong – Steamed Egg Muffin (GyeRan Bbang 계란 빵)

This gotta be the most seductive street food during a cold season. Hot steam is sprouting from the air vent of the pan, keeping the muffin soft and moist.

The cake itself is steaming hot and moist and i love the texture but i thought it is a little lacking in flavor. It’s suppose to be a little sweeter. The egg yolk is fully cooked with no additional flavoring.

Myeongdong – Tteokbokki (떡볶이 Spicy Rice Cake)

Tteokbokki, without doubt is the most popular street food in Seoul. This Korean soft rice cake needs no introduction. Most of them are cooked in spicy sweet sauce and serve in small bowl or cup. Unlike Singapore’s version, Seoul’s version are mostly spicy so do know what to expect. This cost about S$5 even in Singapore’s foodcourt but you can get a portion for less than S$2.00 in Seoul.

Myeongdong – Fries Coated Hot Dog Bun

This is one hell of a street food. It’s a layer of fries, coated on a layer of bread, wrapping itself around a stick of hot dog and topped with Ketchup.

The idea seems sinfully good, but i suggest to eat this only when you are sure it’s freshly fried. Else, the fries exterior will taste rather soggy and greasy and you will end up scrapping away the fries and just finish the dog.

Myeongdong – Eomuk Guk (어묵국 Fish Cake Soup)

This is the best street food during winter season because the stick of fish cake comes with a cup of anchovies soup to warm your body and soul.

The texture of their fish cake is soft and less springy than our Singapore’s version and it’s really tasty. Some people may complain about the MSG in the soup though.

Myeongdong – Dong Pang 동빵 – W$700

Poo pancake (Dong Pang) is very popular in Seoul recently. There was one particular stall that is really popular with really long queues. I saw this similar one at Myeongdong and although it may not be the best, this is pretty good too.

Initially I thought the texture will be similar to the Japanese Pancake (the one on the shape of a fish) but it’s actually more moist and texture is somewhat similar to a sponge cake.

The exterior crust is really crispy and it comes with many flavours like Vanilla, Cheese, Chocolate and Red Bean.

Myeongdong – Hotteok (호떡)

Hoddeok is one of Korea’s most popular street food. It’s freshly press-fried on a frying pan where the exterior is fried to crisp and is sometimes served in a paper cup.

There are a variety of fillings and the most traditional one is made with brown sugar, honey, chopped peanuts, and cinnamon. The paste is soften during the frying process and turn into a flowy semi liquid form. 

Hotteok  is very enjoyable with a crispy exterior with a flavour packed filling. The sweetness is above average though.

Conclusion

I believe what I had tried is only the tip of the ice berg as the variety of their food is just astonishing. Induldging in Seoul’s street food culture is definitely one of my best Seoul experience and will continue to do so when info visit Seoul.

Myeongdong has a diverse range of street food and they only come alive from evening time. Remember to leave some space in your stomach in you are visiting the Myeongdong district.

And for the ladies, remember to bring your shopping bags. The variety of skin care products you can find in Myeongdong is crazy. However please be careful with your belongings as it is really crowded on a weekend evening.

Click here for my full list of  Seoul Food Itinerary

If you are wondering what restaurants are there in Myeongdong, i previously wrote about the famous Myeongdong Gyoja and Yoogane Myeongdong branch.

Gwangjang Traditional Korean Market is another place to experience Seoul’s unique dining culture and they are famous for their Meat Pancake (Bindaetteok 빈대떡)

Come out from Exit 5, 6, 7 and 8 to reach Myeongdong Shopping District

Edae – Grilled Chicken Skewer

Among all street food, this is my favourite. Succulent Grilled Chicken with juicy leek. Read more about this chicken skewer here

Dongdaemum – Omelette toast

This is not found at Myeongdong but it was near to my hostel at Dongdaemun. You can visit this place if you happen to stay around this area.

Every piece of toast and omelette are freshly prepared. A layer of fresh butter is applied onto the hot plate and the bread are toasted over it.

The thick chunky omelette has a mix of carrot, green onion, onion and each piece is meticulously prepared by the lady.

The omelette is finished by sprinkling sugar over it. Trust me. The sugar version is nicer and more unique. I tried both. They are open as early as 6 am in the morning and is still operating at 12 midnight.

Here is the map if you need it:

Other Street Food

Apart from Myeongdong, there is also a good section of Korean Snacks at the food department of Lotte Departmental Store. You may also want to swing by if you are planning to visit them. The selections there are quite amazing as well.

Advertisements

Kang Ho Dong Baekjeong Korean BBQ at Myeongdong, Seoul

Kang Ho Dong Baekjeong Korean BBQ (강호동 백정)

*Update. The Dongdaemun Branch that i went had apparently moved and therefore i will indicate the address of their most popular Myeongdong branch instead*

English Address (Google Map): 3-3 Myeongdong 2(i)-ga

Korean Address (Naver Map): 서울특별시 중구 명동2가 3-3

Introduction

Korean BBQ restaurants can be found at almost every corner of Seoul and the pricing can differs a lot depending on the shop, as well as the type of Meat ordered. Baekjeong is one of the popular and reasonably priced BBQ restaurant.

Baekjeong is a restaurant opened by a top Korean host Kang Ho-Dong (강호동/姜虎东). For Running Man fans, you may have heard of Yoo Jae-suk. Both Yoo Jae-suk and Kang Ho-Dong are said to be among the best comedian/host in South Korea. Kang Ho-Dong’s masterpiece includes X-Man (co-host with Jae-suk), Star King and Happy Sunday: 2 Days 1 Night. The unique thing about Baekjeong is they use charcoal stove for grilling instead of a gas one.

Menu 1: Click to enlarge

Menu 2: Click to enlarge

Marinated Pork Belly

I had my share of unmarinated meat at runningman Haha’s restaurant Paljamakchang already so I decided to try the marinated version this time. For marinated meat, remember to request for netted grill instead of a flat grill. Else the marinate will stick to the pan and the meat will be burnt very easily.

The marinated pork belly cost W$8900 ($10.90) for two slices (150g) . Their pork belly is really well flavored in a sweet spicy marinate. I am instantly hooked to the sweet BBQ fragrance of their pork belly. The crispy tender pork belly is especially enjoyable when wrapped in fresh lettuce, green onion and garlic.

Fresh and Crunchy Lettuce

Tada – The end product

Marinated Pork Rib W$9900 (S$12.00)

The Rib cut is always my must-order for Korean BBQ because of it’s tender and succulent nature. Baekjeong’s rib looks absolutely appetizing and taste equally good for it’s price. Although it’s not the best tasting rib I had, there is absolutely no complain.

The Rib cut.

I didn’t order alot because this is my supper meal. On top of the grilled meat, Baekjeong BBQ comes with a portion of Egg, which is serve in a hollow of the BBQ plate. The taste is actually quite ordinary, like our steamed egg, but it just feels kind of nice to grill your own hot plate egg and it’s complimentary.

Conclusion

The price of Baekjeong BBQ items are very reasonable so i can order without worrying too much on the price. The tables are very well spaced from each others and staff are friendly so it’s quite a good dining experience. The quality of the food is quite decent and I left the place feeling well satisfied with my Korean BBQ craving fulfilled.

The side dishes

Map and Directions

Actually the direction is exactly the same to Myeongdong Gyoja and it’s along the same street.

1. Come out from Exit 8 of Myeongdong Station, turn to your left and walk straight for three to five minutes

2. Past two cross junctions and turn right at the 3rd one

3. You should be able to see Baekjeong

The Famous Yoogane Chicken Galbi at Myeongdong

Yoogane Chicken Galbi (유가네 닭갈비)

Myeongdong Branch 1 English Address (Naver Map): 서울 중구 명동2가 3-1

Myeongdong Branch 1 Korean Address (Google Map): 3-1 Myeongdong 2(i)-ga

Operating Hours: 10:45am to 12:00am

Myeongdong Branch 2 English Address (Naver Map): 서울 중구 충무로2가 66-6

Myeongdong Branch 2 Korean Address (Google Map): 66-6 Chungmuro 2(i)-ga

Operating Hours: 10:00am to 1:00am

Click here for my review and menu of Yoogane Singapore @ Bugis Junction

Click here for my full list of Seoul Food Itinerary

Introduction

Yoogane, since 1981, had grown to one of the most popular galbi brands in South Korea. Galbi, generally refers to a variety of grilled dishes in Korean cuisine that are made with marinated meat in a ganjang-based sauce.  Yoogane’s signture dish will be their Yoogane Marinated Dak Galbi (닭갈비). A

Yoogane has a couple of branches in Seoul and i visited one of their two Myeongdong branches. This restaurant can be located very easily, especially the Myeongdong Branch 2, which is only about a couple minutes walk from Myeongdong MRT station.

Yoogane Marinated Dak Galbi

The classic Dak Galbi cost W$8500 (about S$10) per pax which is rather reasonable comparing to Singapore’s price. Refer to this menu for prices of other variations of Dak Galbi:

Click to enlarge

Upon placing my orders, a huge pan (just the pan, as you can see from the photo) of marinated chicken was placed on the stove in the middle of the table.

Their supposed spicy chicken is not exactly spicy and it’s more like sweet chilli paste (I have a pretty high threshold for spicy food though). It is pan-grilled on the spot, with aluminum sheet circling the pan to prevent splattering.

Side orders

The unique selling point of Yoogane is for their add-on side dishes, that are to be added into Galbi Chicken to be pan-fried together. Side dishes generally range from W$1500 for a portion of rice or noodle, W$2000 for a plate of Mozzarella Cheese, and up to W3000 for a rice cake combination plate. I ordered their fried rice and noodle.

Noodle that comes with their home-made chilli sauce

I prefers the rice, mainly because of the seaweed that comes with it! W$1500 for 1 person’s portion

The fried rice/noodle is prepared by their experienced waiter using the remaining sauce in the pan. The slightly burnt sauce coats the rice/noodle while condiments like seaweed or cheese (at a cost) are sprinkled over to complete the dish.

Freshly prepared fried rice. Served within a couple of minutes.

Fried Rice – W$1500, perfectly coated with Ganjang sauce

Fried noodle, sprinkled with cheese.

Conclusion

Despite the great online reputation, i thought Yoogane is not the most fantastic chicken that i had in Seoul. Probably it’s a matter of expectation VS reality. However, if i have the choice again, i will probably still visit Yoogane.

Although Chicken Galbi can be found in Singapore, the taste and value of Yoogane’s far exceeded the one i had (clue: restaurant location is near Tiong Bahru). The best thing about this restaurant is for it’s ample space between tables.

This restaurant is so popular that it opened a second branch at Myeongdong, just a few minutes walk away. I believe there must be a reason for it’s popularity. My conclusion will be – not the most fantastic and unique meal i had in Seoul, but it’s good enough. No regrets.

And Yoogane is coming to Singapore! They are opening a branch at Bugis Junction! So exciting!

Click here for my review and menu of Yoogane Singapore @ Bugis Junction

Click here for full list of Seoul Food Itinerary

Map and Directions

I visited their 2nd branch in Myeongdong, that is within a few minutes walk from Myeongdong exit 8. Come out from Exit 8, to your left and walk straight. You won’t miss the shop.

One thing to take note is, you won’t see “Yoogane” on their signage, but the signage will be in Korean “유가네”. The most prominent feature of their signage is for it’s red, orange and yellow logo. Just keep a look out for this and you won’t be wrong:

유(Yoo) 가(Ga) 네(Ne)

PS: It had been a while that i last updated my Seoul post. I would like to thank miracler for sending me a message, to remind me that there are people who hope to read more on my Seoul posts. This is an encouragement for me to continue. It’s indeed not an easy task to blog on a regular basis, so my respect is out to all food bloggers, and i aspire to be able to blog regularly like some of them. Thanks all for taking the time to read this post!

Click here for my full list of Seoul Food Itinerary

Myeongdong Gyoja (Gyoza) – Most popular Restaurant in Myeong District

Myeongdong Gyoja 명동교자

Operating hours: 10:30am to 9.30pm

Main store

English Address (Google Map): 25-2 Myeongdong 2(i)-ga, Jung-gu, Seoul, South Korea ‎

Korean Address (Naver Map): 서울특별시 중구 명동2가 25-2 ‎

Myeongdong Branch

English Address (Google Map): 33-4, Myeongdong 2(i)-ga, Jung-gu, Seoul, South Korea ‎

Korean Address (Naver Map): 서울특별시 중구 명동2가 33-4

Click here for my listing of Seoul food itinerary

Introduction

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.

Menu on wall: Click to enlarge

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.

Conclusion

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.

Click here for full list of Seoul Food Itinerary

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.

The signage is not in English so just keep a look out for the big brown sign board. For those who can read chinese, the best clue is the small “明洞饺子” indicated on the center left side.