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[Experience Korea ①] Finest Home-Style Kimchi Stew for Only $5 in Gangnam?

[by Cho Suyoun] Anyone interested in Korea even a bit probably has heard of ‘KIMCHI’ at least once before. Kimchi is a traditional fermented Korean dish made of vegetables with various seasonings and is picked as one of the world’s super foods. The taste of this side-dish is quite spicy, but it is eaten by Koreans at almost every meal.

As Kimchi is Koreans’ most favorite food, it is often used in a variety type of dishes and ‘Kimchi Stew’ is one of those cuisines. Koreans consider the cooking recipe of ‘Kimchi Stew’ very simple, but easy foods are harder to result in good taste. There are so many restaurants selling ‘Kimchi Stew’ just around a corner, but not many bring out the taste of home.

Especially in Gangnam, the hip place in Seoul as many have heard from PSY’s ‘Gangnam Style,’ streets are packed with fancy Italian style restaurants. Also, the price range of this town is higher than any others that it is difficult to eat with just 10,000 won (about $9). Considering that the average price range for office workers’ lunch is about 7,000 won (about $6), yes, this town is expensive.

However, there is one small restaurant that makes home-style Korean foods in Apgujeong, Gangnam. The restaurant ‘Yang-Poon-Yi Ma-Eul’ is located in the backstreet of Dosan Road, the ten-lane avenue linking Cheongdam-dong and Nonhyeon-dong. Many office buildings are lined up on this road so small yet fine restaurants are hidden in the backstreets. It’s hard to believe, but people can find great foods with less than 10,000 won even if this street belongs to Gangnam. 

The restaurant’s name ‘Yang-Poon-Yi’ is a large bowl that many Koreans use to cook ramen or stew. The bowl is made of brass and it looks very tacky somehow. Yet, a lot of people like to cook in this bowl because they believe that foods taste better. On the other hand, ‘Ma-Eul’ means ‘Town’ in Korea. So ‘Yang-Poon-Yi-Ma-Eul’ signifies a place where there are foods made in large brass bowls.

Just around a small corner, there is a colorful sign that tells menu of the day. There are various fixed dishes, but ‘menu of the day’ is comprised of rice, soup of the day, some side dishes and a main dish. This menu changes every day so many office people that are tired of same foods prefer it over regular dishes.

The most popular menu in this restaurant is ‘Kimchi Stew.’ Many restaurants avoid putting standard amount of pork inside the stew, but ‘Yang-Poon-Yi’ is not one of those corrupted restaurants. In this place, 200g of pork is included for one portion so the amount is a lot more than what other stew restaurants provide. Pork pieces come out very big so scissors are prepared for customers on each table. 

The taste of ‘Kimchi Stew’ depends on how well-aged the Kimchi is. The best ‘Kimchi Stew’ tastes a bit sour and the owner of ‘Yang-Poon-Yi-Ma-Eul’ obviously knows how to cook it right. The combination of mature Kimchi, well-done Pork and other ingredients brings exact home-style taste that customers expected, and this is why they never find it boring.

Lunch menu (including Kimchi Stew) varies in 6,000 won and dinner menu is from 12,000 won and up.

Yes, stars like to come here as well. 2PM's Jun.K was here this week!

The restaurant can be reached from Exit 3 of Apgujeong Station (Line 3), Exit 8 of Sinsa Station (Line 3) or Exit 8 of Hakdong Station (Line 7). 

Path A is from Apgujeong Station. From Exit 3, walk all the way up until you see convenience store Mini Stop. Make a left from Mini Stop and walk again until you see a car repair shop on your left. Before passing the shop, there is an alley again where the restaurant’s sign is located. Turn left and the restaurant will be there on your right.

Path B is from Sinsa or Hakdong Station. From Exit 8 of Sinsa or Hakdong Station, walk until you find Eulji Hospital Intersection. From Sinsa Station, walk straight toward Volkswagen Exhibition Center. Make a left before you pass the center and walk until you see convenience store CU. Then make a left again and turn right when you see a car repair shop. From Hakdong Station, turn right at the Intersection. Then walk the same as from Sinsa Station. 

Address: 589-22 Sinsa-dong, Gangnam-Gu, Seoul 
Tel: 82-2-515-2892  
(photo by bntnews DB, captured from NAVER Map)

contact: news@bntnews.co.uk

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Write: 2013-10-25 13:24:38 / Update: 2013-10-25 15:29:52

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