Byukdam Pocha 벽담 포차 (Jongro, Seoul)

There are only a handful of places I visit where the owners, not the food, make a lasting impression on me. Whether it be through impeccable service or charismatic charm (or a combination of both), there is something that draws me to these types of places again and again. Byukdam Pocha in Jongro is one such place.

 

Run by a tag-team duo of friendly ajummas with infectious smiles to make your day (or evening) a little better, they’ve been serving up a wide variety of fresh, spicy, braised seafood dishes in their small container-like restaurant for over 20 years. According to one of the ajummas, much of their seafood is bought fresh every morning at a nearby fish market, ensuring freshness and deliciousness unlike other places that use frozen seafood. With that assurance, some friends and I stuffed ourselves with their recommended jjukkumi bokkeum 쭈꾸미 볶음 (spicy stir-fried baby octopus) along with a few bottles of green bottled drinks (i.e. soju), mandatory for a true pocha experience. Everything was great from start to finish: the starter side dishes were light yet filling, being balanced with fresh greens like seaweed (kelp), lightly blanched vegetables, steamed tofu, ubiquitous kimchi varieties, and a main spicy dish of tender baby octopus that paired perfectly with our drinks. Throw in perfect weather with good conversation among friends, it was a true pojangmacha 포장마차 (makeshift tent street vendors) experience with great food and even better service. Highly recommended for people who like old-school places such as this! 🙂

 

“It’s okay to eat fish because they don’t have any feelings.” ~ Kurt Cobain

Food: ★★★★ out of 5 stars

Service: ★★★★½ out of 5 stars

Ambiance: ★★★ out of 5 stars

Value: ★★★★ out of 5 stars

Byukdam Pocha 벽담 포차

Address: 서울종로구 1.2.3.4 가동  

Hours: early afternoon to late night (specific hours pending)
Directions via Naver maphttp://me2.do/5hVxGvxY
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