[SEOUL] Koreans sure do love their dumplings.
There are no lack of delicious dumplings of various origin in Seoul – from Gaeseong Mandu Koong, Myeongdong Kyoja, Sandong Gyojakwan, to Mandujip.
Here’s another hearty variation to satisfy your Mandu cravings… Bongsanok 봉산옥.
A small casual eatery located in the neighbourhood of Seocho-dong 서초, Bongsanok 봉산옥 can be easily reached from a few minutes’ walk from Seoul Nambu Terminal station exit 5.
Over here, they serve Hwanghaedo-style dumplings which the owner picked up from his mother-in-law, who’s hometown is the city of Bongsan, located in Hwanghae province of North Korea.
Their style of preparation is said to retain the true flavours of ingredients used without excessive addition of seasoning.
That has won them praises and being awarded with Michelin Bib Gourmand for a few consecutive years.
Their signature Dumpling Soup (Mandukuk) (KRW13000, SGD13.20) came with pieces of plump crescent-shaped dumplings.
They are wrapped with tons of fillings made from minced pork and cabbage, and further simmered in soup broth.
While the flavours of dumplings were subtle with hints of meat and cabbage sweetness, it was well complimented with the light broth which was tasty.
Plus points for topping off with shredded meat which made it fuller in flavour.
However, those who have heavy taste buds will probably find this slightly underwhelming.
An interesting find on their menu is the Stuffed Squid Sundae (Ojingeo Sundae) (KRW26000, SGD26.30).
While Sundae in Korean cuisine generally refers to pig’s blood sausage stuffed with rice or glass noodles, Ojingeo Sundae essentially has glutinous rice and vegetable mixture stuffed in boiled squid as the ‘casing’.
When eaten on its own, it was savoury and has a unique bite texture that was both soft and chewy on the inside, while slightly pan-seared on the outside for the delicious browning crust.
It was also served with gochujang marinated cuttlefish as a pairing side dish to add a touch of spiciness which further enhance the flavour.
Even though the menu is rather lean, you can still find other familiar dishes such as Dumpling Hotpot (KRW40000, SGD40.40), Yangpoon Bibimbap (KRW9000, SGD9.10) and Kuksu Noodles (KRW11000, SGD11.10)
I also spotted my favourite Mung Bean Pancake (Nokdu Bindaetteok) (KRW20000, SGD20.20) which came with patties made using ground mung bean and vegetables, pan-fried till golden brown for the crispy exterior.
Accompanied with dipping condiment sauce concocted from soy sauce, vinegar and chopped scallions for a tangy twist of flavour to cut though the greasiness.
Generally, I found their dishes lighter in flavour which could be mediocre to some, but it is the kind of easy comfort food that will do well on a cold rainy day.
1451-9 Seocho-dong, Seocho-gu, Seoul, South Korea
서울특별시 서초구 반포대로 8길 5-6
Opening Hours: 11am – 2:30pm, 5pm – 9pm (Mon – Fri), 11am – 2:30pm, 5pm – 8pm (Sat), Closed Sun
Other Related Entries
Gaeseong Mandu Koong (Gwanhun-dong, Jongno-gu, Seoul)
Myeongdong Kyoja (Myeongdong, Seoul)
Sandong Gyojakwan 산동교자관 (Apgujeong-ro, Gangnam-gu, Seoul)
Myeong Hwa Dang 명화당 (Myeongdong, Seoul)
Mandujip 만두집 (Gangnam-gu, Seoul)
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* Written by Lewis Tan @juicyfingers, a self-proclaimed coffee addict. DFD paid for food reviewed unless otherwise stated.