Naengmyun & Jukumi @ Paldang Naengmyun (Hongdae, Seoul)

Here is another tried and tested restaurant in Hongdae that I frequent on a regular basis. They specialize in naengmyun (cold noodles) and jukumi (baby octopus) variations, and I must say they do a great job at keeping the dishes simple yet full of contrasting flavors. Unlike most Korean restaurants, they don’t mask the flavors with too much gochujang (red pepper paste) or gochugaru (red pepper flakes), which would be a shame in itself when you have something special as baby octopus to work with. 

On this particular visit, we ordered the jukumi jungsik (baby octopus set meal) consisting of spicy stir fried octopus, dwenjang jjigae (soybean paste soup), and albab (rice w fish eggs) for only 7,000 won. You’re supposed to add the jukumi with the albab (a la bibimbab) for a complete meal but that’s optional depending on your preference. Each of the dishes complemented one another very well and left us feeling more than satisfied, so satisfied that we ordered another dish: bibim naengmyun (spicy mixed cold noodles) + sootbul gogi (bbq beef). Again, more satisfaction despite an uneasiness stemming from too much eating (unbuckling the belt helped a lot). Just to note, the naengmyun was good but nothing spectacular than other naengmyun that I’ve had. However, when you add in the gogi (beef) pieces with each bite, the naengmyun you thought was “normal” becomes something different: ridiculously spectacular.

Situated in the popular, trendy area in the backstreets of Hongdae, specifically the Sangsu-dong area, make sure to give the place a try.

Food★★★★ out of 5 stars
Service: ★★★★ out of 5 stars
Ambiance: ★★★★ out of 5 stars
Value: ★★★★ out of 5 stars

Paldang Naengmyun (팔당냉면)
313-1 Sangsu-dong, Mapo-gu
Phone: 02-322-3299
Hours of Operation: Open every day 11am ~ 9:30pm

Directions: Come out Sangsu Station (Line 6, Exit 1) and walk straight until you reach Dunkin Donuts on the corner right. Take that right at DD and another right into the next alley way. Paldang Naengmyun is right across Julio’s Mexican Cuisine on the right hand side, 2nd floor.

Click here for directions via interactive map:  https://goo.gl/maps/b1jHS

 

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As you can see, there are plenty of signs to their second floor restaurant.
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It’s a simple, clean restaurant that seats up to 30 customers at once. No need for fancy interiors when the food is this good.
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The naengmyun comes with a few slices of bbq beef, which ultimately makes for some seriously good eats.
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Jukumi Jungsik (Spicy Baby Octopus Set) that was really good despite the simplicity of the set. The stir fried baby octopus was fiery hot, but when added to the rice bowl it was a match made in heaven.
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Stir-fried jukumi (baby octopus) looks pretty innocent and plain, but the taste was none other than spicy goodness.
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Along with the great presentation here, adding the spicy jukumi really made this a balanced meal contrasting all the different ingredients, textures, and flavors.

 

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