[SEOUL] Menbosha has been one of my favourite dish on Korean-Chinese restaurant menu.
As seen on Korean variety shows, I have heard many positive raves about celebrity chef Lee Yeon Bok’s Menbosha which gave me the resolution to hunt it down this time.
Without any nearby train station, Mokran is located slightly off main Hongdae area to the north and took me about a good 20 mins stroll, of course you can simply get a taxi for convenience.
Unlike regular restaurant with common dining spaces, it is a stand-alone 3 storied building which has multiple small pockets of private room with only 1 or 2 tables.
Point to note: Some of his more well-known dishes are such as Menbosha, Dong Po Pork & Stuffed Shrimp Paste in Chinese Mushroom and will require advance reservation.
Not knowing its popularity, I walk-in during lunch but it was full-house. Decided to not leave empty-handed and reserved for early dinner instead.
As per all the raves, his signature Menbosha (KRW35000, SGD$38.90) did live up to the expectation.
Each piece of toast was sandwiched with generous amount of shrimp paste filling and deep-fried till golden brown.
On every mouthful, you can first experience the crispy toast exterior, followed by its moist crunchiness from the fresh shrimp which takes up a huge proportion of the toast.
I also liked that its accompanying garlic ketchup dipping sauce provided some tanginess to neutralize its greasiness from deep frying.
There are also the usual “Junghwa Yori” sharing dishes such as Tangsuyuk (Sweet & Sour Pork) (KRW20000, SGD$22.20), Kkanpunggi (Spicy Garlic Fried Chicken) (KRW30000, SGD$33.30) & Cream Saewoo (Prawn Mayonnaise) (KRW40000, SGD$44.40).
Was looking something different and I went with their Yoolingi (Hot & Sour Pepper Fried Chicken) (KRW30000, SGD$33.30), which came with lightly-battered fried chicken on a bed of shredded lettuce in soy sauce dressing.
Further topped with chopped garlic, red and green chilli peppers for the mild spicy kick.
To complete the meal, there are also accompanying mains such as Jjamppong (KRW12000, SGD$13.30), Dan Dan Noodles (KRW10000, SGD$11.10) and Shrimp Fried Rice (KRW9000, SGD$10.00).
Their Jjajangmyeong (KRW8000, SGD$8.90) was definitely worth a mention. Its black bean sauce had a sweet seafood umami-ness to it, probably concocted using seafood broth instead of the usual pork rendition.
For carb lovers, you can try their Crabmeat Fried Rice (KRW12000, SGD$13.30) which came with moist short-grain rice lightly imbued with ”wok hey”, accompanied with a serving of aromatic crab broth which was rich in flavour.
There has been news of Mokran relocating to a new location soon. Hence, it is recommended to call them up to check first, and also make an advance reservation to prevent a wasted trip.
21 Yeonhui-ro 15-gil, Yeonhui-dong, Seodaemun-gu, Seoul, South Korea
Opening Hours: 11.30am – 3.00pm, 5.00pm – 9.20pm (Tue to Sun), Closed Mon
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* Written by Lewis Tan @juicyfingers, a self-proclaimed coffee addict. DFD paid for food reviewed unless otherwise stated.