Seriously, there’s nothing better than Ssam: the art of constructing the ultimate bite through different varieties of wrappings and accouterments. Although there’s not a single right way to do it, I like mine double wrapped with leafy lettuce and perilla leaf followed by pa-chae (thinly sliced scallions), slivers of raw garlic, ssamjang (dipping sauce), and, of course, plenty of meat.
The ssam game doesn’t get any better than here at Oneun-jung 오는정 where they serve mouthwatering jjok galbi 쪽갈비 (pork short ribs). After being bathed and marinated in an aromatic sauce, the short ribs are hand-grilled over yeontan charcoal to impart extra smokiness and caramelization. Yep, they practically do all the grilling for you so you won’t smell like BBQ afterward. The short ribs are finished off at the table and then cut into bite-size pieces, allowing you to practice your same game by mixing and matching the colorful set of healthy banchan layed out in front of you. I personally loved the thinly sliced cabbage with a soy sauce dressing, slightly tart and vinegary with perfectly contrasting textures from the cabbage and grilled pork If any, the only downside was the absence of kimchi or the like, which would have added another level of flavor when grilled alongside fatty cuts of pork (which these were not).
There are other cuts of meat on the menu including pork belly, pork jowl (neck), and others, but the pork ribs (14,000 won per person) are their bread and butter that’s kept them in business for over 40 years. The place fills up on weeknights with locals and nearby office workers looking to eat and drink away their stress, but weekends are much tamer according to the owner.
Food: ★★★★ ½ out of 5 stars
Service: ★★★★½ out of 5 stars
Ambiance: ★★★★ out of 5 stars
Value: ★★★★ out of 5 stars
Oneun Jung 오는정
Euljiro 3gil 29 (을지로 3길 29)
Hours: Open every day 11:00 pm to 11:00 pm
Click here for an interactive map: http://naver.me/xaynFLs1