-Cycle 3, Item 65-
10 (Sat) March 2012
* * * *
at Donga Naeng-Myeon (동아냉면)
With Wife and Dominic
In what feels like a time warp--even the decor has an otherwise incongruously faux retro circa 1950s American soda fountain vibe--this noodle joint offers naeng-myeon (냉면) (see generally 1.188 Mul-Naeng-Myeon) at prices unseen this side of the millennium. The menu has but 3 items: the noodles in the broth mul (물) and brothless bibim (비빔) varieties, each 4,000 won for a small order and 5,000 won for a large; and steamed mandu (만두) at 4,000 won for 4 baby-fist-sized dumplings. So cheap that I dare not ponder the wherefore.
Most important, of course, the food was pretty good. We ordered 2 small mul naeng-myeon, 1 non-spicy for the kid and 1 regular for the grownups. The texture taste and taste of the noodles were in the Seoul style (see generally 3.010 Mul-Naeng-Myeon), somewhere between the thick-starchy-bitter Pyeongyang and the thin-rubbery-light Hamheung styles, a compromise that the 3 of us could all accept. Also in the Seoul tradition, the broth was ultra-sweet, which in itself was a bit too much for me, but a dollop of spicy gochujang (고추장)-based sauce, probably the same sauce used for their bibim naeng-myeon, balanced out the sweetness of the broth and made it better as a result. The mandu were okay, certainly good enough for the price. But even regardless of price--a grand total of 12,000 won--we were quite satisfied with the meal.
In addition to the standard naeng-myeon condiments of vinegar and mustard,
sugar and gochujang sauce are on the table, in case it still isn't sweet or spicy enough.
Address: Seoul Yongsan-Gu Hannam-Dong 657-43 (서울시 용산구 한남동 657-43)
Hours: open daily 09:30 - 22:00 (or until supplies last).
The kid knows naeng-myeon:
he refuses to use a spoon for the broth, declaring that this is the way to do it for real.