There are very few restaurants that become an integral part of the local community these days, especially with the gradual decline of mom-and-pop restaurants and the surge of larger chains with unlimited financial backing. So, it was such a relief when this quaint noodle shop called “Delicious Feast Noodles” 맛있는 잔치국수 (one of my personal favorites in Seoul) was able to survive a recent takeover by yet another coffee shop that replaced its iconic location right outside of Hyochang Park Station. Fortunately, after a three-month hiatus, the halmoni owner was able to find a nearby location just up the street (exit 5 of Hyochang Park Station) to continue operations for her regular customers.
Run by an endearing halmoni who has been the backbone of the neighborhood for over 15 years, she has cared for each and every customer like her own. Her generosity and home-style noodles haven’t gone unnoticed, catching the attention of media and has made her into a semi-celebrity in the area. Despite her success, she hasn’t budged on her insanely low prices (3,000 won across the board) since its inception. When asked why she hadn’t raised the prices despite her success, her response was simple: “I am not in it for the money.”
After suffering personal hardship, the restaurant was her outlet to give back to the community by doing something she knew that she was good at: making delicious bowls of janchi guksu (“feast noodles”), bibim guksu (spicy cold noodles), and yeolmu guksu (noodles with young radish kimchi). All three varieties are gigantic in size and flavor, leaving most customers baffled and guilty at the end of their meals when they fork over a measly 3,000 won. What makes this shop even more special is that you can supersize 곱배기 each dish free of charge. Yep, only 3,000 won for the regular and large version!
My girlfriend and I are regular customers here as our house is just around the corner, but we always leave a gratuitous “tip” every time we visit. The owner tries to turn down our gesture every time, but we always snap at her by saying, “When you stop selling 5,000 won noodles for 3,000 won, we’ll continue to pay what we want.” We never know what her reply is since we scurry out the door (a Korean thing) but we know that she’s always happy to see us on our next visit. 🙂
“As we help others, we cannot help but help ourselves.” ~ Ben Cohen
Food: ★★★★½ out of 5 stars
Service: ★★★★ out of 5 stars
Ambiance: ★★★★ out of 5 stars
Value: ★★★★★ out of 5 stars
“Delicious Feast Noodles” 맛있는 잔치국수
Yongmun-dong 2-6, Yongsan-gu, Seoul
Hours: Open every day except Sundays, 11-8 pm
Click here for an interactive map: http://me2.do/54cd8Ci9
excerpt from Humans of Seoul Facebook, 2015.
“You have to understand it’s not just about the food I serve, this place is a haven for people to get good food at a reasonable price. Most of my customers are regulars who have been coming for years and they feel right at home when they come here. As you can see, not much has changed since I opened over 15 years ago. Even the price of my janchi guksu “feast noodles” and all other dishes are still 3,000 won. Would you like a bowl?”
“우리 가게는 음식이 전부가 아니야. 적당한 가격에 좋은 음식을 먹을 수 있는 천국 같은 곳이지. 손님들 대부분은 오래된 단골이고 다들 자기 집에서 먹는 것 같다고 해. 보다시피 15년간 그리 달라진건 없어. 잔치국수 한 그릇에3000원이라네. 하나 말아 줄까?”