For some reason or another, I am not a big fan of cold dishes and care even less for cold noodles. This doesn’t mean I shun them entirely, it’s just that I find myself gravitating to the heartier options like Korean BBQ, spicy jjigaes, and my personal favorite, fried chicken. But when you have weather as beautiful and warm as it is here in Jeju right now, slurping down some cold noodles usually hits the spot — especially after a long winter.
One of the best places to get your cold (and warm) noodle fix is in Nohyeong-dong at Bongpyeong Maemil Chon. Open just over a year in a residential area off the main street of Halla University, the place has been satisfying customers with delicious maemil (buckwheat) based noodles and hand-formed mandu (dumplings). My friend and I decided to order three dishes on this late afternoon lunch visit: Maemil Deulkkae Kalguksu (Buckwheat Noodles in Ground Perilla Seed Broth), Maemil Bibim Guksu (Buckwheat Noodles in Spicy Sauce), and an order of Ggweong Mandu (Pheasant Dumplings).
The combination of the three dishes really hit the spot — and I’ll go on the record (again) by calling it the Holy Trinity of Korean food, similar to my visit to Gwakji Guksi a few weeks ago. With this trio, you had the rich, nutty, and creamy texture coming from the Maemil Deulkkae Kalguksu; you had the tangy, sweet, slightly spicy, and refreshing taste from the Maemil Bibim Guksu; and it’s finished off with plump, one-bite-and-it’s-gone hand-formed Ggweong Mandu. The three items were perfect together and left me reconsidering my previous stance on noodles. Oh, another thing this place does right are the two banchan side dishes. Two types of geotjeori (freshly made) kimchi, spicy and non-spicy, were provided to add another palate-pleasing dimension to our dining experience.
Having been only my first visit (but definitely not my last), here is some information I gathered about the restaurant and food:
- Expect a wait during peak lunch and dinner hours. We went for lunch on a weekday and got seated 20 minutes later.
- The kimchi is so popular here that you can buy them for purchase. Regular kimchi (600 grams) @ 4,000 won and non-spicy kimchi (600 grams) @ 3,000 won.
- Maemil (buckwheat) is considered very healthy as it’s a low-calorie, gluten-free alternative to rice and wheat-based dishes. It is believed to boost metabolism and lower cholesterol due to its richness in magnesium. Koreans love it even more for its easy-to-digest properties and high nutritional content.
- Eating pheasant is very low in fat compared to other meats and it’s supposed to increase one’s vitality and virility, especially wild game birds.
- The place was packed with ajumma, ajjushi, and the elderly, reassuring me that the food would be solid and dope!
“We all eat, and it would be a sad waste of opportunity to eat badly.” ~ Anna Thomas
Food ★★★★½ out of 5 stars
Service: ★★★★ out of 5 stars
Ambiance: ★★★½ out of 5 stars
Value: ★★★★½ out of 5 stars
Bongpyeong Maemil Chon (봉평메밀촌)
761-1 Nohyeong-dong, Jeju City
Hours: 10am ~ 8pm
Directions to Nohyeong-dong branch: http://me2.do/5kuzIuZu
Directions to Ido 2-dong location near City Hall: http://me2.do/Fg4ueew