Food + Soju + Good Times
북촌 칼국수 pronounced bok-chon kal-guk-su, is famous for their kalguksu (칼국수). Kalguksu, which literally means “knife noodles”, is a Korean noodle dish consisting of handmade, knife-cut wheat flour noodles served in a large bowl with broth and other ingredients.
It’s a small restaurant located at the entrance to Samcheong-dong (삼청동). It’s so popular they have these benches for people waiting in line. Luckily we went at 4pm on Sunday, in between the lunch and dinner rush.
When you walk-in you see them hand making the dumplings (만두), which they are also famous for.
They have other items on the menu but everyone orders from the 1st page.
The 겉절이 or fresh kimchi, meaning it has not been fermented, was pretty good and tasted home-made.
The 백김치 or white kimchi was too sour for my liking but you can tell they used fresh, quality cabbages, not some second-rate ones bought off the back of a truck.
The kalguksu was very good overall, the broth was lite and flavorful, the noodles were fresh and chewy. I personally need meat in every dish and I like my soup broth to be thick but normally people would very much enjoy this kalguksu.
The jumbo dumpling soup (왕만두국) was also very good. I was surprised that they went to the trouble of using different broths for the dumpling soup and the kalguksu. I thought the kalguksu broth was more flavorful and they would be better off using that broth for both. And the dumpling were fantastic!
Considering the price, this was an outstanding meal. They stick to the basics, they know what they are doing, and they try to make everything as fresh and home-made as possible.
This would be a great place to take your friends that are visiting Seoul because the food is suitable for most palates, since there are no funky ingredients. Everyone eats noodles and dumplings. And you’ll probably end up taking your visitors to Samcheong-dong for sight-seeing or Insa-dong for souvenir shopping.
It would also be a great place to take your parents, they’ll appreciate the simplicity and remind them of the “old days”.
Rating: 7 out of 10
북촌 칼국수: 02-739-6339 in Samcheong-dong (삼청동)