Ever find yourself searching for a small neighborhood restaurant? Nowadays in the main streets there are posh restaurants that offer lavish plate settings and expensive dishes as well as fast-food or family-setting chain/franchised restaurants. However, when in Insadong you must make the time to walk in the small hidden roads because there you may discover a small traditional restaurant.
Insadong is a neighborhood in Korea that offers a hint of past traditional culture. Instead of makeup stores there are hanbok stores. Hanbok is traditional Korean dress. Interestingly, you can also see fellow tourists wearing those hanbok as they fully embrace Korean history. As I was walking in the hot hot hot summer weather I was looking for shade, which led me to enter an unknown small road.
During that time I was also starving as it was reaching lunch time and as I continued to walk I found a small shop that looked promising as it claimed that it was aired on television. I am a huge fan of Seujebi (Korean traditional soup consisting of dough flakes); therefore, I decided to enter the shop.
The inside of the shop gave off a traditional and cozy atmosphere. The menu was shown in the wooden planks around the restaurant. The highlight of the restaurant was that it was not spacious or lavish. Instead it was small and the dishes were served in traditional ceramic plates and pots rather than glass or plastic!
We ordered one serving of Sujebi and one Jeon (Korean pancake). Fun fact, Jeon used to be called Jeonyuhwa in Korean royal court cuisine! Kimchi came out first in the ceramic pot and you have to serve the Kimchi yourself. This allows one from choosing the right amount without having to waste the restaurant’s kimchi. Although, the highlight of the restaurant was the interior, the main point of this specific restaurant was the food. Jeon was great as it was crispy but not burnt. It is easy to burn jeon, which then ruins the taste but I tasted no charcoal at all. The inside of the jeon was filled with little seafood and scallions. The best way to eat the jeon is to dip it in sauce or to eat it with kimchi, giving it a spicy twist!
Now, on to the sujebi! I am a huge fan of sujebi and in fact my mom used to make this dish every weekend! After taking one sip of the soup I immediately fell in love! It had a strong scent of anchovy soup base, which is exactly how my mom would always make the soup! The dough flakes were also cut in to the right size, not to thin or thick and not to big or small. Although, it was summer and hot outside the soup was refreshing and energizing! Tip: The right way to eat sujebi is to eat it with kimchi!
I wholeheartedly approve of the food served in this restaurant and in fact it made me feel as if I went time traveling to the past! If you are in Insadong and looking for traditional Korean food, check out Insadong Sujebi!
Address: 14-1, Insadong 8-gil, Jongno-gu, Seoul, South Korea