Gwang Dong Sikdang 광동식당 (Pyoseon-myun, Seogwipo)

To be straight honest with you, this is by far the most interesting restaurant that I have visited during my time on Jeju Island. There’s nothing fancy about the place (imagine an abandoned home in the countryside), the menu is not extensive (three items total), the atmosphere is drab (have you seen walls cry before?), and the service is questionable and slightly on the intimidating side. Okay, I’m being a little too honest as I try to remember bits and pieces of my visit here last weekend, but my experience here was unforgettable for two simple reasons: 1) the ajumma owner was the liveliest, most honest (slightly crass) person I have ever met, either making you feel uncomfortable at the in-your-face service or making you feel right at home with a motherly-like frankness, 2) the food is brought to you in a large steel bowl, and first thing out of the ajumma owner’s mouth, “You’re free to take as much as you can eat, but you have to finish your food or else.” I’m not sure about you, but for those who have an appetite like myself this is a pork lover’s dream to stuff your face without any limitation. And stuff our faces we did at only 6,000 won per person..

Their signature dish is Duruchigi (aka Dweji Gogi Duruchigi 돼지고기 두루치기), a sweet and spicy dish made with marinated Jeju black pork served with a heaping mound of veggies like bean sprouts, green onions, and thinly cut radish. After being told to take as much as we could eat, we were basically left to cook the meat ourselves on a hot iron griddle installed in front of our table. Some people might not enjoy cooking their own food at restaurants, but I prefer it being the avid home cook.  I like my meat thoroughly cooked with the vegetables combining the awesome juices from the marinade. Once the meat was finished, it was an endless routine of wrapping the meat in some lettuce leaves and filling our bellies until content. By estimation, my girlfriend and I piled on roughly 600 grams of pork among the two of us, which means 6,000 won for a 300 gram serving of Jeju black pork (say what!?). Remembering what the ajumma told us, we painstakingly finished off every single piece of pork along with the banchan (side dishes) and a bowl of rice (1,000 won extra).  We left feeling full and content without even making a scratch in our wallet. 🙂

Duruchigi is a traditional dish from the Gyeongsang provinces. Normally, it refers to a mixed dish of various meats, seafood, vegetables and seasonings. Although pork is commonly used these days, it originally used squid as the main protein.  If you are familiar with Jeyuk Bokkeum 제육볶음 (Spicy Pork Stir Fry), this is Duruchigi’s close cousin with extra vegetables and served in a more BBQ style manner. There are many variations, with the main ingredients ranging from onions to spinach, squid to pork, depending on the region. Kimchi Dweji Gogi Duruchigi comes from North Gyeongsang Province. When you cook Duruchigi, the amount of juice in it is the key. The dish goes well with spirits, especially soju, Korea’s most popular distilled liquor.

“If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world.” ~ J.R.R. Tolkien

 

Food: ★★★★ out of 5 stars

Service: ★★★★ out of 5 stars

Ambiance: ★★★ out of 5 stars

Value: ★★★★★ out of 5 stars

 

Gwang Dong Sikdang 광동식당

1152-4 Saehwa-ri, Pyoseon-myun, Seogwipo (서귀포시 표선면 세화리 1152-4)

Phone: 064-787-2843

Hours of Operation: Open daily 11am ~ 8pm

Click here for directions: http://me2.do/xxynpmvY

 

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“Help yourself to as much meat as you want, but you have to finish what you take. If you don’t, I will kill you.” These are the exact words of the ajumma owner to a few young customers sitting next to us.
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Without any vegetables, this would be your standard Jeyuk Bokkeum (Spicy Stir Fried Pork).
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Duruchigi will always have a good amount of vegetables. This one included plenty of beansprouts, green onions, and seasoned radish.
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Almost ready to eat….
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Finally ready to eat….nom, nom, nom.

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