Umeoniwa Jangdokdae 어머니와장독대 (Oedo-dong, Jeju City)

Either my neighborhood is a hot spot for great restaurants (matjibs 맛집) or I am becoming less picky about food (probably the former), but here is another solid restaurant specializing in spicy braised kimchi 김치찜 dishes in Oedo-dong.  Believe it or not, my first visit was not very pleasant, which was my fault alone for not sticking with their signature dishes. Instead, MJ and I ordered the jeongsik 정식 (set meal) thinking we could eat something light for lunch. The jangdokdae jeongsik @ 12,000 won person included ganjang gejang 간장게장 (raw marinated crab) as the main and okdom gui 옥돔구이 (grilled tile fish). Simply put, the crab had an off-bitter taste that rendered our palates useless for the rest of the meal and left us feeling bummed (luckily, the fish and sides were fine). I would not recommend the jeongsik, or at least here at this location. On the next visit, I thought I learned my lesson by NOT ordering what the restaurant specializes in. I didn’t. For some reason or another, I just wasn’t in the mood for a kimchi dish despite MJ’s plea to try it since she had tried and loved it several times before. Instead, my rebellious nature gravitated towards the small order nakji bokkeum 낙지볶음 (spicy stir-fried octopus) for 20,000 won and that’s what we got. And what we got was a heaping bowl of spicy deliciousness that really hit the spot. The octopus was soft and tender, and not overly chewy when prepared the wrong way. The addition of vegetables and somyeon 소면 (thin noodles) were perfect compliments to the octopus, providing some added texture to the dish. One thing to stress here though, the dish is spicy. This is the type of spicy where your mouth burns, even after drinking water, and has your stomach making slightly strange noises (ok, just my stomach). If you can’t handle the spice, let the server know to knock it down a notch. Overall, my second visit completely made up for my first visit and made me a believer again. With expectations high over their braised kimchi dishes, I can’t wait to make it back when I get a craving for good ol’ braised kimchi. 🙂

For those living in Jeju City, rest assured, the main branch (since 2005) is located in Yeon-dong with a few more scattered around the city.  Seogwipo City is represented as well!

Menu: minimum 2 person order for jeongsik
Jangdokdae Jeongsik w Ganjang Gejang and Okdom Gui @ 12,000 won
Dombae Jeongsik w Dombae Gogi (Boiled Pork Belly) and Okdom Gui @ 9,000
Bulgogi Jeongsik (Sweet BBQ Beef) Jeongsik @ 8,000 won
Boribap Jeongsik (Barley Rice) Jeongsik @ 7,000 won
Mugeunji Jeonbok Kalbi Jjim (Braised Ripe Kimchi w Abalone, Short Ribs) 50,000 won / 35,000 won
Mugeunji Kalbi Jjim (Braised Ripe Kimchi w Beef Short Ribs) 42,000 / 35,000 / 25,000
Mugeunji Kimchi Jjim (Braised Ripe Kimchi) 30,000 / 25,000 / 18,000
Mugeunji Godeungeo Jjim (Braised Ripe Kimchi w Mackerel) 30,000 / 25,000 / 18,000
Mugeunji Dubu Kimchi Jjim (Braised Ripe Kimchi w Tofu) 30,000 / 25,000 / 18,000
Nakji Bokkeum (Spicy Stir-Fried Octopus) 30,000 / 25,000 / 20,000

“So long as you have food in your mouth, you have solved all questions for the time being.” ~ Franz Kafka

Food ★★★★ out of 5 stars

Service: ★★★★ out of 5 stars

Ambiance: ★★★★½ out of 5 stars

Value: ★★★★ out of 5 stars

 

Umeoniwa Jangdokdae (어머니와장독대)

Address:  532-3 Oedo-dong, Jeju City  (제주시 외도1동 532-3)

Phone: 064-744-7889

Hours: Open daily 11am ~ 9pm

Directions to Oedo-dong branchhttp://me2.do/GnulVITn

Directions to Ido-2dong in Jeju City: http://me2.do/GpX4e887

Directions Yeon-dong in Jeju City: http://me2.do/FZek93lT

Directions to Seogwipo branch near City Hall: http://me2.do/GpX4Cfvf

 

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The spicy braised kimchi spread. Photo courtesy of Eungyoung Cheong. 🙂
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Although I wouldn’t recommend this Jangdokdae Jeongsik, here’s a picture to satisfy your curiosity.
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Now for the winning meal: Nakji Bokkeum (Spicy Stir-Fried Octopus). Look at that glorious plate of octopus and vegetables and somyeon noodles (hiding under the bottom) in a fiery hot, water-won’t-help-you sauce.
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The nakji bokkeum spread. Someone was a little too hungry (missing jeon piece on the left) before I could capture the moment.
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Barley rice combination and dwenjang (soybean) soup.
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As the name implies, there were plenty of onggi (earthenware pots) to make a collection of jangdokdae in the restaurant.
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Korean onngi have been around for thousands of years, helping in the fermentation process for such condiments like gochujang (fermented red chili pepper), doenjang (fermented bean paste), soy sauce, and kimchi varieties.

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