I think the curiosity gets the better of us when we walk pass this restaurant in Seongnam-dong (old downtown or Jung-gu) only a couple of doors down from Paris Baguette and across the road from Woori Bank. Usually when I walk pass, there is a line-up outside, which was partially the deterrent (because I hate queuing), but also because there didn’t appear to be any pictures or english found anywhere in or around the shop, ergo, it was put in the “too hard” basket even though I was desperate to find out if the food warranted the queue.
You will all be pleased to know that this adorable little restaurant only serves up three main dishes. All of which – thoroughly enjoyable! My husband agrees, that sometimes it is comforting to know that there is a limited menu choice so you hope that they do what they do have particularly well, and that they do.
For 6,000 Won, you can treat yourself to the plain pork curry or the bibimbap, both of which were generous portions. Both of the pork dishes on offer come with their own little servings of sides, including a portion of Kim Chi (radish), green onion salad, mash potato salad and something that resembles coleslaw with thousand island dressing. But it doesn’t stop there! You also receive a small bowl of udon noodles. The pork curry with the cheese cost slightly more at 8,000 Won, but it is well worth it. I must say, I am partial to this the cheese pork curry – when you cut into it, the cheese oozes out just like the garlic butter does when you cut into a chicken Kiev. Indulgent and delightful!
왕 돈가스 (wang-don-ga-seu) Pork Curry with Rice – 6,000 Won
The bibimbap is not served with meat, but does have egg, along with a small selection of sides including radish Kim Chi chopped into tiny bite size pieces which make them so much easier to eat. The accompanying soup is what appears to be a dry squid base, and is delicious and full of flavour. I enjoy bibimbap, so I found this of the same standard to many other that I’ve had since arriving in Korea, but it is definitely not everyone’s cup of tea and if bibimbap is not your Korean dish of choice, I would highly recommend that you stick with either of the pork curries.
The staff in this establishment has very limited english, however were able to convey that the meat was pork and that the other dish was pork with cheese. I can now (after four weeks of Korean lessons) recognise the characters for bibimbap in Korean, so that was a no brainer. In addition, the staff were very quick to clear up the dishes from the departing patrons, and even took our order whilst we were still in line outside so that once we were seated, our meals were served almost instantly. I cannot express to you exactly how much it just tickles me with joy on the inside when I observe a business being run with efficiency.
There is no english menu, but never fear, I have deciphered it all for you so you know which one to point to when it comes time to order. Conveniently, there is also a store in Nam-gu (new downtown / Samsan-dong), but its exact location escapes me.
샐러드 (sael-leo-deu) – Salad – 3,000 Won
공기밥 (gong-gibap) – Plain Rice – 1,000 Won
맥주 (maek-ju) – Beer – (price not stated)
콜라.사이다 (kolla saida) – Cola Soda – 1,000 Won
You can find this little gem in old downtown by punching the following address details into Google Maps.
Street Address: 4 Sigyetap-geori, Jung-gu, Ulsan, South Korea
Alternate Address: 19-4, Seongnam-dong, Jung-gu, Ulsan, South Korea (use this address for your in-car GPS if it’s anything like the one that my car is fitted with)
Phone: (052) 242-0002
Trading Hours: 11am – 9:30pm
Take Out/Take Away: Yes