Osam Bulgogi Jeonmun 오삼불고기전문 (Jeonnong-dong, Seoul)

To those who have purchased sets of oil and/or donated to help these underappreciated mom and pop shops, let it be known that your selfless generosity means the world to the elderly like this halmoni near Cheongnyangri. I visited her a few times this past week and, not surprisingly, she was hesitant to receive such gifts without wanting to give something in return. But after telling her how they came about, she was extremely grateful (almost relieved?) at the kind gesture because I learned her small shop isn’t registered as a licensed business—which means she isn’t eligible for any Covid relief funds. I didn’t ask why her small shop wasn’t registered, but I assume it has something to do with the shop being her home residence as well. Despite this, she remains optimistic that better times are ahead and wanted to thank everyone for their support. As a return gift, she’s gonna show me how to make her signature dish so that people from abroad can replicate it at home.

Previous post, August 2020:

“There’s nothing I can do except wait. I don’t know anything about advertising or promoting through SNS channels. I don’t know even how to register for a credit card machine, which is why we only accept cash. I don’t know how to do many things, but I do know how to cook. I’ve been doing it for over 30 years without fail. Without customers though, it means nothing. Even my regular customers have stopped coming due to the Coronavirus. And just when things start to return to ‘normal,’ one mobile alert notifying nearby residents of a positive infection repeats the cycle all over again. Honestly, this is the best time to come and eat out because there are no customers.”

Osam bulgogi for 7,000 won. O for ojingeo (squid) and Sam for samgyeopsal (pork belly), it’s a brilliant mashup of Korea’s favorite proteins and veggies in a sweet, spicy, sesame oil-laden sauce. Not many places serve this overlooked dish, so it was quite exciting to randomly find this unassuming restaurant with Becker on our many walks near Cheongryangri — a neighborhood I consider the best for traditional eats. The kind emo (auntie) has been in business for over 30 years, a true testament to the comfort food she serves daily for her regular customers.

Food: ★★★★ out of 5 stars

Service: ★★★★ out of 5 stars

Ambiance: ★★★★ out of 5 stars

Value5 out of 5 stars


Osam Bulgogi Jeonmun 오삼불고기전문

Address: 127-71 Jeonnong-dong Dongdaemun-gu (동대문구 전농동127-71)

Hours: Open every day 10:00 am ~ 9:00 pm except Sundays

Click here for an interactive map:  http://naver.me/5qRs0TfM

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