Although my current job leaves me with little time and much less energy to blog or run my food meetups regularly, I am still fortunate to find some standout Korean restaurants in the vicinity of my workplace (Sogang Univ.) and different pockets of Seoul. And when I do find a worthy place that deserves more attention, I am happy to break out the camera and capture the dining experience in its entirety.
Here’s one restaurant that I frequent a few times a week – a rarity for me because I always want to try out new places – called Soonnam Siraegi, a franchise restaurant originating from Jeonju (Korea’s culinary capital). It is one of the few places that honor a rustic dish primarily found in rural areas of Korea: Siraegi Guk 시래기찌개 (Dried Radish Greens Soup). This is a healthy, hearty, and vegetarian-friendly dish with tender pieces of radish greens in a creamy, soothing broth. The combination of dwenjang (soybean paste) and deulkkae garu (perilla seed powder) gives the base a very earthy flavor, perfect for those wanting something light and clean. Although the soup alone would be enough to satisfy my cravings, the complimentary buffet-style banchan (side dishes) goes one step further than normal restaurants. It includes my personal favorite dotorimuk (acorn jelly) and other winners like japchae (glass noodles), pickled veggies/greens, and of course kimchi. If you eat like a horse and don’t think this could fill you up, just ask the helpful imo (“auntie”) for a free refill on the rice or soup and she’ll hook you up. Total cost: 6,000 won!
Update: Deviated from the usual order and recently tried out the Doma Suyuk Jeongsik (Boiled Pork Set Meal) for 10,000 won per person (minimum 2 person order). I highly recommend this set meal for people who need some protein in their diets; the pork is super tender and tasted like it was boiled in an interesting combination of cinnamon and Ssanghwacha, a popular medicinal drink. Siraegi Guk is also included.
“When a man’s stomach is full it makes no difference whether he is rich or poor.” ~ Euripides
Food: ★★★★½ out of 5 stars
Service: ★★★★½ out of 5 stars
Ambiance: ★★★★½ out of 5 stars
Value: ★★★★★ out of 5 stars
Soonnam Siraegi (순남시래기)
Baekbeom-ro 28 Sogang Building 2 (Sinsu-dong), Mapo-gu, Seoul
Hours: Open every day from 11am ~ 10pm
Official Website: http://soonnam.com/
Click here for an interactive map: http://me2.do/xNkEqqjE