-Cycle 2, Item 268-
30 (Fri) September 2011
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from Halmeoni Kimbap (할머니 김밥)
To live or to have lived in Oksu-Dong is to be an eternal votary of this hole-in-the-wall establishment that sells one item: kimbap (김밥), the basics of which I've covered previously (see 1.200 Kimbap). While the ingredients per se aren't particularly amazing in terms of taste, they're generously over-stuffed into each roll that costs a mere 1,300 won. In fact, the low cost does cast a bit of suspicion on the quality. For over 10 years, the price remained steady at 1,000 won, when other places were charging 1,500-2,000 won, even before the "1,000-won kimbap" craze had briefly become the standard at most cheap restaurants during the mid-2000s, but the old woman who owns the place finally poked her head out the door and discovered that it's a new decade/century/millennium.
That old woman--"halmeoni" means "grandmother" or "old woman"--sits behind a table from 7:00AM to 9:00PM every day doing absolutely nothing but making kimbap. She never even looks up when a customer enters. The kimbap are wrapped in foil and ready to go next to an open box filled with money. Customers take as many as they want, do the math, and throw their money in the box and take their own change as necessary. Every morning, usually around 8:00AM, customers line up at the entrance, some eventually making off with dozens of rolls; I've done so myself to feed students during a lunch-time class.
Eggs are cooked into thick omelets, each of which is then cut length-wise into strips;
I managed to get this photo before the old woman looked up and yelled at me.
I arrived home late to find a couple leftover rolls from a lunch gathering that the wife had organized. Normally a 4, maybe even a 5, the kimbap's rating unavoidably dropped down to a 3 after sitting around on the counter for half a day.