[Seoul, Korea] Jeonju Joongang Hweguan 全州中央會館

Address: Jung-gu Chungmuro-1-ga 24-11 (중구 충무로 1가 24-11); +82 776 5889

Hours:  8:30am — 10:30pm

Directions:  Line 4 to Myeongdong station, Exit 6. Turn left and make a left at the first street you come to.  Keep walking, for about 3 minutes and you’ll see a Uniqlo store.  The restaurant is in an alley next to Uniqlo.  Usually there’s also an old man (dressed in a white robe with a straw cone hat) standing in front of the alley, holding a large banner for restaurant.

 

Review from CNN Travel: http://travel.cnn.com/seoul/eat/seouls-5-best-bibimbap-880232

 

This restaurant was mentioned in all of my travel books, not to mention countless food blogs and even CNN Travel, so I knew I had to make a stop here for the bibimbap.  This place calls itself the origin of the dolsot bibimbap (bibimbap in a hot stone pot), have been around for 50 years, and offers a large menu including samgyetang and various barbecue dishes.  Great place to stop for lunch or dinner (or even breakfast!) when you are tired from shopping in Myeongdong.  🙂

 

Entrance to the restaurant

 

The side dishes are simple but really good (from top left going clockwise): there’s the usual kimchi, pickled radish, spicy squid, seasoned mushroom sprouts.  I loved the spicy squid!

 

Complementary soup also came with the meal:  it was a spicy bean sprout miso soup.  Mmmm!

 

Every review I read about recommended the original dolsot bibimbap, so that’s what I ordered.  It comes with an assortment of veggies and a bit of galbi (barbecued beef).  Add the spicy red sauce, then mix everything!  For those of you who like a little pan-crust to your bimbimbap, wait a few minutes before you start eating.  Be careful, the pot is very hot!  Portions are pretty generous.  W10K (around USD $10)

This bibimbap gives off such a great aroma when it arrives at the table – I think it’s because they add sesame oil to the bibimbap.  The texture and flavors are both great. Like CNN Travel mentions, it is a little sweeter, at least compared to the ones I’ve had in LA.

Enjoy!

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