Update 7/21/22: Eulji Myeonok has closed permanently.
“I’ve been coming here 30, maybe 40 years because they serve the best and most classic-style of Pyeongyang naengmyeon. Wait, I take that back. The original branch up in Uijeongbu is better but that’s a little too far for me to travel. I remember, back in the day, they were the only branch to provide extra noodles at no cost. Nowadays, you gotta pay extra for the noodles and it’s not cheap. As for the taste, there’s not much of a difference since the three other branches in Seoul are run by siblings who haven’t deviated much from the original recipe. I’ve been coming here a little more often these days after hearing they will close down soon. When that day comes, I won’t mind trekking up to Uijeongbu for the original.”
Previous post (2018): Eulji Myeonok, an iconic restaurant for Pyeongyang-style naengmyeon with 30+ years under its belt. It took me four years to try this place out, but it was well worth the visit during this current heatwave. In my novice and humble opinion, it’s a notch below Eulmildae’s version, which has a slushier, more robust broth with noodles that carry more bite plus better sides to highlight the main dish even more. Highly recommend both places but get there early – the lines can get ridiculously long. Can’t believe it’s been three years since @noodlepie and I broke bread in Jeju and Seoul, dining at old-school establishments that were usually, more like always, tucked away in hidden corners of the city. I remember Graham asking me countless questions about Korean food, ranging from the seemingly easy “what is Korean food to you?” to the more complicated “what’s your fascination with these old restaurants?” I didn’t have a good answer at the time, but, after visiting Euljiro to see firsthand redevelopment of an area I’ve spent so much time the past few years, I finally have an answer. Korean food is a restaurant such as famed Eulji Myeonok, a place of nostalgia and comfort for many people yearning for the good old days. It’s food that transcends time and can’t be replicated by modern advances. It’s honest food made through many years of sacrifice and hardship. It’s food that will never be fully appreciated until it’s gone.