Mong Ddang Jokbal 몽땅족발 (Cheonho-dong, Seoul)

Instead of getting terribly irate and vexed about another casualty of gentrification (e.g. Old Noryangjin Fish Market, parts of Euljiro) I’m just gonna appreciate the ones that are still hanging by a thread, like Cheonho Market. Unlike other areas that get redeveloped, this entire market will be completely gutted and demolished to make way for commercial apartments. Yep, more freaking apartments.

According to the 80-year-old halmoni (grandma) at Gangwondo Jip 강원도집 construction will begin as early as this August or, if lucky, the early part of next year. This will also affect a nearby alleyway known as Jokbal Golmok 족발골목 where the third generation owner of Mong Ddang Jokbal 몽땅족발 shared the same sentiments. Surprisingly, there’s little angst and opposition compared to Euljiro, making it an enigma of sorts because the market has been around for over 50 years. Another visit this weekend will help answer some lingering questions.

The traditional market houses, to my knowledge, at least three different food “alleys” serving some classic dishes. The previous post featured naengmyeon, this one jokbal, and the aforementioned Gangwondo Jip is one of four soondae gukbap (soup w blood sausage and rice) restaurants spanning 50+ years of business. With limited time, I recommend you visit because the food is simply spectacular without any pretentiousness.

Pictured is the medium size platter of jokbal for 35,000 won plus must-order jaengban guksu 쟁반국수, noodles with veggies in a sweet and tangy vinaigrette sauce. Jokbal is the ultimate anju, so beer and soju (or makgeolli) are absolutely mandatory.

Food: ★★★★ ½ out of 5 stars

Service: ★★★★½ out of 5 stars

Ambiance: ★★★★ out of 5 stars

Value: ★★★★ out of 5 stars


Mong Ddang Jokbal 몽땅족발

Cheonho-2dong 417-45 (천호2동 417-45)

Hours: Open every day from 12:00 pm to 1:30 am except major holidays

Phone: 02-484-9771

Click here for an interactive map:  http://naver.me/GCkPgs6n

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