Naengmyeon season has officially arrived. Although I’ve grown mighty fond of naengmyeon 냉면 over the years, it still doesn’t compare to its countryside cousin, makguksu 막국수, which is my go-to dish when I need a respite from the heat. In fact, I traveled all the way to Bukhansan the other day for one.
For those who don’t know the difference between the two buckwheat noodle varieties, naengmyeon will usually include a starch component (potato or sweet potato) whereas makguksu will include a higher concentration of buckwheat with wheat flour added to the mix. If the noodles are chewy and springy, you’re eating naengmyeon. Soft, nutty, earthy noodles, you’re probably slurping up makguksu noodles. To confuse you even more, there’s original Pyongyang naengmyeon and now Pyongyang-style makguksu, which was recently introduced by local expert, guide, and cooking guru @ome_korean_cooking
Hidden inside the labyrinth that is Gyeongdong Traditional Market 경동시장 is a small shop with over 40 years of experience. The original owner hailed from the North, settled in Chuncheon (home of makguksu), and later opened shop in Seoul. Combining the best of both worlds, he decided to use makguksu noodles with a Pyongyang-style broth, which is made using a unique combination of beef-pork-chicken AND very reminiscent (almost a clone) of the beef-pork broth at Eulji Myeonok, touted as being the most authentic by naengmyeon purists. It’s a simple, clean broth that many, on their first try, will describe as a bit bland. However, after trying out a range of North Korean dishes, I find it more appealing than many dishes from the South, which are over-seasoned and sickly sweet. North Korean fare allows the ingredients to shine and the two varieties of makguksu (7,000 won each) here Chuncheon Memil Makguksu 춘천메밀막국수 prove that.
Food: ★★★★ ½ out of 5 stars
Service: ★★★★ out of 5 stars
Ambiance: ★★★★ out of 5 stars
Value: ★★★★½ out of 5 stars
Chuncheon Memil Makguksu 춘천 메밀 막국수
Jegi-dong 989-13 (제기동 989-13)
Hours: Open every day 3 pm ~ 3 am
Click here for an interactive map: http://naver.me/xrxEQeNc