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Saturday, May 30, 2009

Gogi SSam Naengmyeon (Seoul)

"Meat and cold noodle combo"... here again, the name tells it all. The price too : KRW 5,000 for the standard pack plus 500 wons for the bigger size. Cold noodles alone go for 4,500, so most people come for the pack.

In Myeong-dong more than anywhere else, restaurants cannot survive if they don't taste good. This one could increase prices by almost 30% overnight (until March 27, noodles were at 3,500) without losing its momentum : during rush hours, you may still have to queue after twenty people (about 10-20 mn should do).

Gogi Ssam Naengmyeon is so successful it opened a second restaurant down the same narrow street (even after Myeongdong's revival, the least glamorous part of the maze). I never tried that second one, which looks narrower and less comfortable, but stretches over three floors. Both have a view on the street, but more customers can enjoy it in the original - and wider - building.

Food now. Noodles come in the two usual varieties : a standard mul naengmyeon (in icy water), and a killer bibim naengmyeon ("mixed") with a mean red pepper powder you can tame with the free hot chicken feet broth. The pork is well seasoned and grilled - formatted for local taste buds, but not toooo sweet.

You pay in advance and have to help yourself to water and broth, but dishes are served at your table, which you don't have to clean afterwards.

Overall : definitely not haute cuisine, but definitely a yummy bargain in a friendly atmosphere.

Thus the success in such a demanding area. Young pairs make most of the clientele, and you often see two friends sharing one pack, but not necessarily for a question of budget : you cannot BOTH enjoy many Myeongdong street snacks AND swallow this pack.

SM 200905

Gogi SSam Naengmyeon / 고기쌈냉면 (restaurant)
no telephone / no reservation / no frills

no address either ! On the west side of Myeong-dong 2-gil, across the Savoy Hotel, at the frontier between Chungmuro 1-ga and Myeong-dong 2-ga. My best guess, after checking the map : 22-2 Chungmuro 1-ga.

see other restaurants in Seoul and Korea.

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