Lunch @ Myeongdong Jjolmyeon 명동쫄면 (Gyeongju, Korea)

October 19, 2017 in Korean

My crossfitters and I did a day trip to Gyeongju from Busan during our Korea trip in July 2017. So while we had our breakfast at 시골의맛, we settled our lunch at 명동쫄면 (Myeongdong Jjolmyeon) after visiting Bulguksa Temple and Seokguram Grotto.

And I must say, it was a proud moment for me as a ‘food lover’ when our Busan guide gushed over the selection of our eateries. He was very amazed at how we know about their local popular restaurants. =) But it was no easy feat for me too. With no English information of these restaurants, I prowled through many Korean blogs on Naver and depended a lot on ‘Google translate’.

Featured on episode 46 of my favourite Korean food show ‘Baek Jong Won’s Top 3 Chef King’ (백종원의 3대 천왕), 명동쫄면 (Myeongdong Jjolmyeon) specialises in jjolmyeon (쫄면) and has been operating for more than 30 years.

My crossfitters and I arrived at the restaurant on a weekday at 11.45am. Our guide was worried about long queue as a famous (Korean) writer wrote about the restaurant just 2 weeks prior to our lunch. But we were lucky to be the 3rd group in line and were seated within 20 minutes.

And from the menu, we ordered:-

1) 오뎅쫄면, ‎₩6000 (above) – Fried fish noodle soup.

2) 냉쫄면, ‎₩6000 (above) – Cold noodle soup (oden jjolmyeon). We welcomed this dish very much as it cooled us down from the summer heat. Keke.

3) 비빔쫄면, ‎₩6000 (above) – Spicy dry noodle (bibim jjolmyeon). This was served with lots of crown daisy, a signature of jjolmyeon in Gyeongju. And because we don’t get to eat this often in Singapore, I am quoting Mr Baek’s words from the show to allow one to better appreciate the dish; “This dish is more like bibim guksu, but has the texture of jjolmyeon. Bibim guksu with savoury sesame oil instead of the usual sweet and sour taste. And the secret behind their lack of sour taste is because the owner used lemon juice instead of vinegar in the sauce.” I also learnt from the show that the sauce made with ground onion, ground garlic, sugar, salt and ground chili pepper powder was also matured for 4 days before used.

4) 유부쫄면, ‎₩6000 (above) – Fried tofu noodle soup (yubu jjolmyeon). Our guide shared with us that this dish was unique because it’s not normally served hot. Again (keke), it’s from the show that I learnt the owner of 명동쫄면 came up with this idea because she had no dish to sell in winter. Haha. With egg stirred in, the broth contained radish, onion, anchovies, kelp and shittake mushroom. Noodle remained chewy although it’s in hot soup because these noodles were handmade with a ratio of 3:7 of potato flour to wheat flour. Owner also intentionally made the noodles thinner with the thought of making it easier for customers to swallow since thick noodles can become too tough. Who would have know so much thought was put into the food. Appreciative much!

Would I recommend 명동쫄면? A definite yes! Our guide kept thanking us for choosing 명동쫄면 (Myeongdong Jjolmyeon) because he had been wanting to try the restaurant too and we gave him the opportunity to. Hahaha.

But if one isn’t able to come in a group as big as us (we came in a group of 6. Or 7, including our guide), their bibim jjolmyeon and yubu jjolmyeon are their best sellers. Must try!

80-8 Nodong-dong, Gyeongju, Gyeongsangbuk-do, South Korea
경북 경주시 계림로93번길 3. [지번] 노동동 80-8
+82 54 743 5310, Naver
Overall: 7
Opening hours:-
Food/Beverage: 7
Mon – Sun : 11:30 – 20:30
Ambience: 7
Value: 7
Service: 6
* Closed on 1st & 3rd Tues