Saturday, April 18, 2009

Sabal (Seoul)

The administrative area of Sajik-dong covers West of Sejongno all the way to the fortress (Gyonam-dong on the other side of the hill), and includes 12 smaller neighborhoods or "court dongs"*.

The two "majors" being culture and parks (Gyeonghuigung, Sajik Park, Seoul Museum of History, Sejong Art Center, art galeries, Inwangsan...), and administrations (central government, metropolitan police, offices and officetels...), there is a large offer of restaurants and cafes, all thriving on officeworkers but some batting steady over the average on weekends.

The Gyeonghuigungoe Achim complex stands where Naeja-dong-gil and Jusigyeong-gil meet, across the Seoul Metropolitan Police Headquarters. Its apartment / officetel mix is more residential than Byeoksan Gwanghwamun Sidae or Ssangyeong Platinium (to the East), but less than Space Bon (to the West), so not all its restaurants are deserted on weekends.

"Sabal" and "Market" share the same owners, and both propose an alternative and often innovative take at basics using fresh ingredients : rice for Market and noodles for Sabal.

I have a preference for the latter. Sabal proposes different styles of noodles (janchi guksu - veggies, seafood, gimchi...), with a great variety of tastes and dishes. By "dishes" I mean that not two bowls look the same, which echoes the name of the restaurant (사발 = "bowl").

Rice comes in big portions at Market, so if you want to try both, you'd better go for a massive lunch at Market, and enjoy more refined flavors and a cosier atmosphere for dinner at Sabal.

Sabal / 사발 (restaurant)
Gyeonghuigung Achim ("King's Garden") block #3, 1F (142),
72 beonji, Naesu-dong, Jongno-gu, Seoul, ROK
Tel +82.2.720.4845

Market / 마켓 (restaurant)
same address
Tel +82.2.720.8211

Seoul Village 2008

* see Jongno-gu dongs

see also other restaurants in Seoul and Korea..

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