After this summer filled with record-breaking temperatures, my conversion to cold noodles is officially complete. First, it was a daily dose of the quintessential summer dish, naengmyeon
, then came its distant cousin makguksu
, and finally MJ’s favorite summer dish, memil guksu
(buckwheat noodles). All of them are perfect in Korea’s hot and humid summer, but only one is special enough to inspire MJ’s parents to name their very own restaurant with the same title. Welcome to Mijin in Gwanghwamun.
Open since 1954, Mijin has been satisfying loyal patrons and hungry tourists with their signature Memil Guksu (Buckwheat Noodles in Cold Broth) and a slew of other offerings. On the day of our visit, there was a line of people out the doors (which is the norm), so we decided to get the food to-go and took it to nearby Cheonggyecheon, a popular 10 km stream that cuts through downtown Seoul. We thought that getting it carry-out might lessen the experience and quality, but it was just the opposite. The broth remained flavorful and slushy while the all-important noodles were springy and had a nice bite to them. Furthermore, the toppings were fresh and plentiful, including a hefty dose of shredded seaweed, diced scallions, grated onions, and danmuji (pickled yellow radish). These extras made all the difference to pack on more flavor and texture, which was important because eating plain noodles doesn’t usually work for me.
In addition to the delicious food, it was great seeing MJ slurp down the cold noodles with unabashed energy—and for good reason. As the story goes, her mom was early in her pregnancy when she had trouble keeping any food down (i.e. morning sickness). But after one fateful visit to Mijin, she regained her old appetite and eventually went on to deliver a healthy baby named Minjin (aka MJ). It goes without saying that I should be indebted to this restaurant in more ways than one. 🙂
“Food for the body is not enough. There must be food for the Soul.” ~ Dorothy Day
Food: ★★★★ out of 5 stars
Service: ★★★★½ out of 5 stars
Ambiance: ★★★★ out of 5 stars
Value: ★★★★★ out of 5 stars
24 Le Meilleur Jongro Bldg., Jongro 1-ga, Jongro-gu
(종로구 종로1가 24 르메이에르 1층)
Hours: Open every day 10am~10pm
Click here for an interactive map: http://naver.me/FbQWA0XD