Hongreunggak 홍릉각 (Jegi-dong, Seoul)

Korean-Chinese restaurants are a dime a dozen in Korea with just as many bad to good ones. After my fair share of sub-par ones, here’s a special one that you won’t find elsewhere in all of Korea. The place is called Hongreunggak 홍릉각, an institution spanning 50 years of business – and they serve arguably the best jjajangmyeon variety ever called yookmi-gan-jjajang 육미간짜장. What sets this beauty apart from others is what I call their “crack” sauce. It’s a heavenly concoction of minced onions and ground meat stir-fried in a sweet, smoky, non-salty (yes, you heard that right!) black bean sauce. When mixed with the perfectly cooked, slightly al dente noodles, it’s quite the culinary experience that will make you rethink what jjajangmyeon can and should be. Also worth noting is the made-to-order tangsuyuk, meaning the nuggets of pork aren’t pre-fried and taste “fresher” than most places. Just an incredible combination that’s worth the trek and short wait time.

Caveat: minimum two-person order for the yookmi-gan-jjajang, reasonably but strangely priced at 8,800 won per person (17,600) while the tangsuyuk goes for 18,000 won. They close extremely early, oftentimes closing shop around 4:30 pm or when they run out of ingredients.

Food: ★★★★ ½ out of 5 stars

Service: ★★★★ out of 5 stars

Ambiance: ★★★★ out of 5 stars

Value: ★★★★ out of 5 stars

Hongreunggak 홍릉각

Address:  838 Jegi-dong, Dongdaemun-gu (동대문구 제기동 838)

Hours: Open every day 11:30 am – 4:30 pm except Tuesdays |

Phone: 02-969-7787

Click here for an interactive map:  http://naver.me/xay7F2gV


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