There are only a handful of places I visit where the owners, not the food, make a lasting impression on me. Whether it be through impeccable service or charismatic charm (or a combination of both), there is something that draws me to these types of places again and again. Byukdam Pocha in Jongro
is one such place.
Run by a tag-team duo of friendly ajummas
with infectious smiles to make your day (or evening) a little better, they’ve been serving up a wide variety of fresh, spicy, braised seafood dishes in their small container-like restaurant for over 20 years. According to one of the ajummas
, much of their seafood is bought fresh every morning at a nearby fish market, ensuring freshness and deliciousness unlike other places that use frozen seafood. With that assurance, some friends and I stuffed ourselves with their recommended jjukkumi bokkeum
쭈꾸미 볶음 (spicy stir-fried webfoot octopus) along with a few bottles of green bottled drinks (i.e. soju), mandatory for a true pocha
Everything was great from start to finish: the starter side dishes were light yet filling, being balanced with fresh greens like seaweed (kelp), lightly blanched vegetables, steamed tofu, ubiquitous kimchi varieties, and a main spicy dish of tender baby octopus that paired perfectly with our drinks. Throw in perfect weather with good conversation among friends, it was a true pojangmacha
포장마차 (makeshift tent street vendors) experience with great food and even better service. Highly recommended for people who like old-school places such as this!
Food: ★★★★ out of 5 stars
Service: ★★★★½ out of 5 stars
Ambiance: ★★★½ out of 5 stars
Value: ★★★★ out of 5 stars
Byukdam Pocha 벽담 포차
Address: 서울종로구 188.8.131.52 가동
Hours: early afternoon to late night (specific hours pending)