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4.053 Mul Naeng Myeon


-Cycle 4, Item 53-
27 (Wed) February 2013

-Korean-
Mul Naeng Myeon

3.0

at Samwon Garden

-Sinsa, Seoul-

with Wife and Dominic

As something of a belated birthday bash for the wife, we had dinner at Samwon Garden.  It's one of our favorite restaurants, especially for their galbi (갈비) (see most recently 2.142 Grilled Galbi), Dominic's all-time favorite, but their high prices prevent us from visiting as often as we'd like, so we tend to go only on special occasions.

Though located in one of the choicest neighborhoods in Gangnam, half the real estate is open space, such as an expansive car/bus waiting area and a courtyard with a towering waterfall. 

The establishment features 5 additional dining areas as large as this one, plus dozens of private rooms.

Indeed, we sometimes go there just for galbi tang (갈비탕) or get some as takeout (see most recently 4.038 Galbi Tang), because the dish is both relatively cheap and so good.



Same with their mul naeng myeon (MNM)Whereas most barbecue establishments offer as a perfunctory accompaniment to the meat, but Samwon Garden makes it a dish respectable in its own right.  It's a good example of the emergent "Seoul style," which I'll describe in greater detail someday soon.  A bit too sweet for my tastes, as I'm partial to the more austere Pyongyang style, but very well-balanced, an excellent mainstream MNM.  11,000 won, pricy but worth it.  I now prefer my MNM up front, a practice that I started for health reasons (see 3.048 Mul Naeng-Myeon) but it also helps with the budget, filling me up so that I don't eat too much meat.  This time, the chill perfectly suited my somber mood, the special occasion notwithstanding.

The side dishes aren't that impressive, however.

Happy birthday, I guess.

Address: Seoul Gangnam-Gu Sinsa-Dong 623-5 (서울시 강남구 신사동 623-5)
Additional Locations: Daechi-Dong 
Phone: (02) 548-3030
Website: www.samwongarden.com/e_default.asp (English)
Hours: open 12:00 - 20:00; open every day
Parking: valet
Menu: Korean, English


Factoid: the owner's daughter is former LPGA star Grace Park, whose autobiography is on sale throughout the premises.

4 comments:

  1. Ah mul naengmyun, the less interesting cousin of bibim naengmyun....

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  2. i like to think of it as the quieter, more dignified cousin of the loud and obnoxious bibim.

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  3. If I recall correctly; you've written earlier on this blog that North Korean food traditionally have been less spicy than its southern counterpart. Then how come bibim naengmyun is both

    a) really spicy
    b) of North Korean origin?

    Is the bibim naengmyun I've enjoyed in the South a "southernized" version of the original?

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  4. my understanding is that bibim naengmyeon is also from the north. specifically, from the hamheung/hamgyeong region on the west coast, middle of the peninsula. the noodles are traditionally thin and chewy, containing more potato starch, which is common to the region. some online sources that i read claim that it originally started out as hwe naeng myeon, because fishing is also a big part of the region's economy. the gochujang would make sense as a way to balance/mask the odors of the fermented fish.

    what i meant was that, for any given dish, say, kimchi, the northern style would tend to be less spicy and salted than a southern version. but i guess some northern dishes, like bibim naeng myeon, are spicy per se.

    ReplyDelete