Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Hadongkwan (하동관) - Myeongdong - Seoul, South Korea.

Hadongkwan (하동관)

It's been 5 months since we went overseas to Seoul, Korea and I can't believe how fast time has gone by this year. I do miss the country but I definitely don't miss the cold weather. This is the final post of what we ate in Korea prior to hopping on the plane and departing for good old Sydney.

On our last day in Seoul we had the chance to have breakfast before heading off to the airport for an afternoon flight. One place that stood out was a traditional restaurant called Hadongkwan. It's been mentioned and recommended in a number of guide books and if you type it in Google there will be pages of results. It's that popular. Most eateries are closed in the early morning but this restaurant opens at 7:30am, catering for those wanting to have breakfast early.

Hadongkwan is located on one of the busy streets in Myeongdong, so it's relatively easy to find and navigate to. They have been in operation for over 70 years with a long history behind their success, making them well known among the locals. They are famous for their 'Beef Stew (Gomtang)', made with natural ingredients and no artificial flavours. You can choose to have the regular Gomtang or the special Gomtang which comes with tripe.

They've kept to their roots and it's simple looking inside.  It let's off that homey feel, though the room is dimly lit.

We have the 'Gomtang (10,000 KRW)' without the addition of tripe, served in a brass bowl. Very odd but hey it's different. The dish is actually dull looking without the addition of the condiments but it packs a whole lot of flavour. There are essentially three components which make up this dish including the soup, rice and beef slices. It's basically a beef soup with rice and reminds me of the Teochew congee.

The homemade broth is thin and watery, but indeed rich in flavour and clear of any unpleasant fattiness and odours. I found it to be quite bland but adding a bit of salt to season solved that problem. The beef slices were amazingly tender. I quite enjoyed the dish.

On each table there is big bowl of chopped spring onions and salt which is self-serve. You can add to your heart's content.

Then the mandatory kimchi is served.

Barely tea is also served to cleanse the palate.

Gomtang is great for those who want to have a light meal as it's not very filling.  I do recommend going early before the lunch time rush as it gets extremely busy but the turnover is very fast as diners usually eat and leave straight after. They usually sell out before their closing time of 4:30pm.

Annyong Hee Kye Seyo Korea! Till next time :)

10-4 Myeong-dong 1-ga, 
Jung-gu, 100-021

Phone no: +82 2 776 5656

Opening Hours
7:00am - 4:30pm
Closed 1st and 3rd Sundays


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