I probably sound like a broken record, but gisa sikdangs are truly magical. In general, they serve quality food at modest prices, their portions are on the larger side, and the best ones specialize in a few select dishes–maybe even one–that will eventually spread like wildfire until it becomes a must-visit destination. Only a handful of gisa sikdangs have that distinction in Seoul, which makes Songlim Sikdang near Konkuk University one of my favorite gisa sikdangs.
Housed in a strange-looking 4-story building with ample parking, the restaurant uses two spacious floors to satisfy hungry clientele, mostly consisting of taxi drivers, locals, and nearby college students. Although the menu reads four items, there’s only one dish that takes center stage: dweji bulbaek (bbq pork set meal). But this isn’t your usual pork bbq where the marinated pork is grilled table-side and eaten with lettuce wraps and banchan. Over time, regular customers have tweaked and improved the recipe by creating the ultimate bokkeumbap (fried rice) that’s eaten as a main, not a post-meal dessert. Pure genius.
Obviously, bbq pork is pretty darn good by itself, but this decadent mash-up of fried rice with pork, lettuce, garlic, and anything your heart desires is perfect. Not only easy on the wallet at 7,000 won a pop, you get complimentary haejangguk that’s refillable at no extra charge. At no extra charge! If you like Korean pork bbq or bokkeumbap or bibimbap, you’ll surely have no problems being delighted and probably amazed at this one-of-a-kind gisa sikdang.
Food: ★★★★½ out of 5 stars
Service: ★★★★ out of 5 stars
Ambiance: ★★★½ out of 5 stars
Value: ★★★★★ out of 5 stars
Songlim Sikdang 송림식당
Jayang-dong 227-36, Gwangjin-gu (서울 광진구 자양동 227-136)
Hours: Open every day 6:00 am ~ 11:00 pm
Click here for an interactive map: http://naver.me/IIF8NQ9b