[Seoul] Myeongdong Sundubu 명동순두부 is known for its homemade pure tofu, made twice a day using a special machine.
It offers a variety of comforting Sundubu (sometimes spelt as “Soondubu”) Jjigae – soft silky tofu cooked in a spicy stew served in a sizzling pot.
While Korea is known for its Korean BBQ and Korean Fried Chicken, sometimes I just want to find food suitable for the individual. The lonesome traveller cannot be having big meals all the time, right?
The nutritious Sundubu comes to the rescue.
This restaurant opened in March 2014, and has been serving home-style Korean dishes using quality ingredients since then.
You may need some form of navigation looking for this restaurant, especially when it is located at the basement. It is a few shops away from Geumgang Bogeul Bogeul, a 40-year old Squid Stew eatery.
With a capacity for 30 persons, the interior is a simple rectangular space with plain white walls and light coloured wooden tables and chairs.
As I walked in, an elderly couple welcomed me to the eatery, and seated around were a couple of salaried men and tourists slurping their lunches.
Before the meal proper, you can help yourself to a container with all-you-can-eat homemade side dishes, from cabbage kimchi, radish kimchi, young radish leaves, to cucumber pickles.
Food wastage will be charged though, so take as you require.
There are 7 types of Sundubu offered, from the basic Kimchi (8,000 Won), Seafood (8,000 Won), Sesame (10,000 Won), Beef Brisket (12,000 Won), Beef (15,000 Won) to the Assorted Soft Tofu Bowl with Beef Brisket, Abalone and Seafood (20,000 Won).
Prices range from SGD$9.70 to SGD$24.25.
Serving nutritious food is important, so the restaurant do not use chemical seasonings for all their soups. Instead, they use natural ingredients like vegetables and seafood to create the stock.
The spiciness of the stew pairs well with the rice, cooked in a stone pot.
As I just had BCD Tofu House recently and fondly remembered the robustness, I thought Myeongdong Sundubu’s was towards the plainer, healthy side.
You can request the staff to adjust the level of spiciness according to your preference.
Aside from the jjigae, they have other dishes made from soybeans. You can order the Tofu Set Meal (10,000 Won, SGD$ 12.00) or the Tofu Hot Pot (Medium 20,000 Won, SGD$ 24.00 / Large 30,000 Won, SGD$ 36.01).
I think Myeongdong Sundubu is decent, but not a must-must go if I only have a couple of days touring around Seoul. If I am in the vicinity and the weather calls for it, the Sundubu could be a suitable belly-warmer.
Take the Seoul Subway Line 2 (The Circle Line) and exit from Station No. 202 (Eulchiro 1-ga) at Exit 6. Walk straight down along Namdaemun-ro and turn left at Kookmin Bank. Walk along Myeongdong 7ga-gil until you see a small alley. The restaurant is at the basement.
The restaurant is closed on the day before the Chinese New Year and during Chuseok.
Myeongdong Sundubu (명동순두부)
199-50 Euljiro 2(i)-ga, Jung-gu, Seoul, South Korea (Near Eulchiro 1-ga Station)
Jung-gu Euljiro 2-ga 199-50
Tel: +82 2 755 1878
Opening Hours: 11:00am – 3:30pm, 4:30pm – 9:30pm (Mon-Sat) Last orders 9:00pm
Google Maps – Myeongdong Sundubu