Finally got to visit this famous, old-school Korean restaurant named Chanyang Jjip 찬양집 (“House of Praise”) with my foodie group, and I was glad it lived up to the hype. To be honest, I have never been a big fan of noodles, hot or cold, but this restaurant made a believer out of me. With over 50 years of experience under their belt, they have been serving up heaping bowls of kalguksu 칼국수 (“knife noodles”/hand-cut noodles) to locals and serious foodies in the back streets of Jongro. What’s cool about the place is that they haven’t changed much over time except one thing: their prices. Supposedly, their main dish cost 200 won back in 1965 and hasn’t really changed much, take into account inflation rates. Unlike many restaurants that start off small and become successful, Chanyang Jip didn’t expand and fancy things up–they basically kept their “humble” interior intact and their food the same for all those years. It’s pretty bare bones here so it’s definitely not for everyone (see pics below).
Onto the food, they serve only two dishes here: haemul kalguksu 해물 칼국수 (noodles w seafood) @ only 5,000 won and jjin mandu 찐만두 (steamed dumplings) @ 6,000 won. The noodles and broth (a myeolchi / anchovy stock) were both great. The noodles were thick and filling while the broth was rich and hearty, and when combined with the freshly made kimchi, you have something very special and pretty darn addicting. The supporting cast of mandu varieties (pork and kimchi) were big winners as well with the group. They were nicely seasoned, moist, pillowy and most importantly, very delicious. Next, the portions were huge, so huge that all but one of us in our large group finished the entire bowl. Lastly, and just random thoughts as a future restauranteur, they dump so much seafood in the form of baby clams, mussels, baby shrimp and warty sea squirts that it makes you wonder if they can turn a profit. One thing that I forgot to mention is the noodles are “refillable” (mu-han-ri-pil 무한리필), meaning you get an unlimited amount of noodles.
At mind-boggling prices and perfectly executed dishes, Chanyang Jip is a must-try for serious foodies who want authentic Korean flavors in an old-school setting. And just a piece of advice, make sure to bring your appetite because you’ll need it to finish off their huge portions and maybe, just maybe, get extra noodles at no extra cost.
“One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well.” ~ Virginia Woolf
Food: ★★★★½ out of 5 stars
Service: ★★★½ out of 5 stars
Ambiance: ★★★½ out of 5 stars
Value: ★★★★★ out of 5 stars
Chanyang Jip “House of Praise”
Jongro-gu, Donhui-dong 27
Hours: 10am-9pm, closed on Sundays