Chanyang Jip 찬양집 “House of Praise” (Jongro, Seoul)

Finally got to visit this famous, old-school Korean restaurant named Chanyang Jjip 찬양집 (“House of Praise”) with my Meetup food group, and I was glad it lived up to the hype. In all honesty, I have never been a big fan of noodles, hot or cold, but this restaurant made a believer out of me with their terrific food and friendly service.

With over 50 years of experience under their belt, they have been serving heaping bowls of kalguksu 칼국수 “knife-cut noodles” to locals and serious foodies in an obscure alley way in Jongro. What’s cool about the place is that they haven’t changed much over the years except one thing: their ridiculously low prices. Supposedly, their main dish cost 200 won (20 cents) back in 1965 and hasn’t really changed much, taking 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. As expected, it’s pretty bare bones here, so if you’re looking for a fancy interior and clean eating, you’d best go elsewhere.  

One of the main reasons why this modest place has regulars coming near and far are the two standout dishes: haemul kalguksu 해물 칼국수 (handcut noodles w seafood) and jjin mandu 찐만두 (steamed dumplings), priced at 5,000 and 6,000 won, respectively. The noodles and broth (anchovy stock) were both great. The noodles were thick yet firm to the bite while the broth was rich and briny. When combined with the freshly made kimchi, you’ll soon figure out it’s the perfect combination (soft, slippery noodles and crisp bites of kimchi). The supporting cast of mandu varieties (pork and kimchi) were big winners as well with the group. They were nicely seasoned, very moist, and had a pillowy texture. Again, absolutely delicious.

The group of eight adults were supposedly “big eaters,” but the bowl of noodles were so huge and overflowing that all but one of us in our group finished the entire bowl. Which simply meant that the “refillable” (mu-han-ri-pil 무한리필) noodles didn’t apply to anyone in our group.

At mind-boggling prices and perfectly executed dishes, Chanyang Jip is a must-try for people 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.

“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
Telephone: 02-743-1384

Here is the super fresh kimchi that is made daily. Combine this with the noodles and you really have a winning combination.
We ordered the pork mandu, which was nicely stuffed with chives, ground pork, and tofu. The kimchi ones (not pictured) were also a big hit with the group.
Tons of bajirak (short-neck clams), miduduk (warty sea squirts), honghap (mussels), gim (toasted seaweed), and scallions covering the famous noodles below.
If you’re able to finish off all the seafood and then the noodles, go ahead and ask for a “refill,” which the workers will happily oblige.
We were initially curious about the red plastic bowl when we got there. Here’s the reason why.
As you can see, they get plenty of love from media outlets, and deservedly so.
Some celebrities leaving their mark on the restaurant wall.
Simple, no-frills type of a restaurant that hasn’t changed in years, maybe decades, maybe half a century!
The sliding front doors to the restaurant show their main dishes, but having been open for over 50 years they have yet to update the signs.
If you see neon blue sign like this, you’ve come to the right place.

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