Sanbool Deungshim 산불등심 (City Hall, Seoul)

Introducing the best doenjang jjigae ever near City Hall. It’s an absolute beast compared to your normal, bland varieties because the genius owner goes against convention by adding high-quality beef and sigol doenjang (“countryside” fermented soybean paste), giving the soup unbelievable depth and heft. The broth is so condensed that a mountainous bowl of rice (which is REFILLABLE!) and meticulously prepared banchan are served to create a quasi DIY doenjang bibimbap of sorts. Chunky, slightly funky, and umami-packed, it’s well worth the 10,000 won price tag.

The place is a true hole-in-the-wall restaurant that’s small (more like cramped) with suspect service (more like curt) and only serves two menu items (a very solid sign). I’ve always been a big fan of specialized restaurants, but to devote your entire business livelihood on a few dishes is pretty crazy – which shows you just how good this ubiquitous soup can be when done right. The only caveat: The restaurant is always packed during peak hours, so you may want to avoid unless you’re comfortable sitting with complete strangers (which I was fine with). For claustrophobes, probably best to visit during off-hours.

Food: ★★★★ ½ out of 5 stars

Service: ★★★★ out of 5 stars

Ambiance: ★★★ out of 5 stars

Value: ★★★★ out of 5 stars



Sanbool Deungshim 산불등심

Address:  Da-dong 127 Jung-gu (중구 다동 127)

Phone:  02-754-7584

Hours: Open every day 11:00 am – 10:00 pm except Sundays

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

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