Umeoni Daesung Jip 어머니대성집 (Dongdaemun-gu, Seoul)

There are countless haejang guk “hangover soup” restaurants in Seoul, the most recognized being legendary Cheongjinok, spanning over seven decades in Jongro. While Cheongjinok is great and all, you won’t find a better one than at Umeoni Daesung Jip — serving an impressive all-beef version that’s simply sublime and, personally speaking, breathtakingly beautiful.

For over 50 years, this modest restaurant has remedied countless hangovers with their hearty haejang guk, which is packed with tender shredded beef, woogeoji (outer cabbage leaves), and a few chunks of seonji (coagulated blood). The broth starts off surprisingly light and clean (similar to galbitang) until you mix in the recommended salted/fermented clam and chili peppers, adding more depth and umami flavor bombs. More interestingly, nestled under all that mountain of beef is rice, which is already added to the soup. Whether or not that was intentional I’m not sure, but I think that’s one of the appealing aspects of the dish. There are no bones to deal with and you simply start eating once you get the food. Brilliant in my books.

Although they are most well-known for their hangover soup, an extensive range of suyuk (boiled meat) is served here. So, ironically, the restaurant simultaneously serves food that helps you recover from a hangover and food that, no matter how hard you try, will make you start drinking again. Their strange operating hours reflect this menu lineup. Pictured is their regular haejang guk for a modest 9,000 won, but I recommend getting the larger version for 10,000 won

Food: ★★★★½ out of 5 stars

Service: ★★★★ out of 5 stars

Ambiance: ★★★½ out of 5 stars

Value: 5 out of 5 stars

Umeoni Daesung Jip 어머니대성집

Yongshin-dong 754-9, Dongdaemun-gu (서울 동대문구 용신동 754-9)

Phone: 02-923-1718

Hours: Open 6:30 pm ~ 4:00 pm, closing for two hours every day

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