Tuesday, 13 May 2014

Bonjuk 본죽 - Myeongdong - Seoul, South Korea

Bonjuk 본죽

As we visited South Korea during the winter season, it was very cold. In this weather, a bowl of steaming, hot rice porridge is the perfect dish to warm up. Porridge, also known as juk or congee is not only healthy but also nutritious for the body.

Bonjuk is a leading franchise restaurant in Korea, serving a range of traditional Korean rice porridge dishes at affordable prices. There are a number of locations throughout Seoul so do you don't have to specifically travel to Myeongdong just to have their porridge.

Given that it was located in Myeongdong and close to where we were staying, it should have been very easy to find but no, that was not the case. It was all because of the sign that was taken off! So we second guessed ourselves and went around in circles trying to locate this porridge restaurant. Then we noticed this little sign in front of the building with pictures of porridge and yes, we found it! It is located on level 2 of the building near the huge Uniqlo outlet in Myeongdong. There were no English words outside so do take note of the location and its surroundings.

The interior is modern, cosy and clean. We went for breakfast and the dining area filled up quickly with locals after their fix of porridge.

The menu is in a number of languages including Korean, English and Japanese with photos. Several porridge options are available depending on what you feel like eating and your budget of course. For those who want to splurge, there is the rice porridge with lots of abalone at KRW 20,000. Alternatively, there is the odd combination such as pumpkin porridge or the safe option of mushroom or chicken porridge.

Service is prompt and efficient. The lady takes the order and within a span of 5 minutes or so, the porridge is brought out. Ordering is easy cause if you don't speak Korean you can point to the pictures.

The 'Shrimp Porridge (KRW 8,000)' is my preferred choice as I like shrimps. The portion is large and is filled with an abundance of shrimps, finely diced carrots and shallots. I love shrimps as they are sweet and have a crunchy texture. The rice grains are fine making the porridge very smooth to eat and reminds me of the Cantonese congee. Delicious!

Some have noted that the porridge at Bonjuk lacks flavour and is bland for their palate but I found it to be just right. You can always add salt and pepper for extra taste.

Abalone porridge varies in price depending on how much abalone you want in the bowl. From the regular choice to the ultra.  We opt for the regular 'Abalone Porridge (KRW 9,500)'. To be honest, the abalone looked like mushrooms and there wasn't much of it. I guess you get what you pay for so if you pay more you'll probably get more abalone as it's a delicacy.

With ever porridge comes a set of sides as per the norm. The banchan includes kimchi, chilli paste and shredded pork. Also, there is a cup of tea and cold soup which I didn't fancy very much. The banchan selection was delicious and I really enjoyed the chilli and shredded pork which tasted really good when eaten with the porridge.

A hearty, comforting and satisfying meal in a nicely heated room to escape the chilly cold and a great start to a jam packed day. If you had too much junk and fried foods, like myself, porridge is an excellent way to counteract and balance out the consumption of unhealthy foods. If you're not very hungry or are not big eaters in general, then it can be shared between two as the serving size is generous.

65-2 Chungmuro 2(i)ga,
South Korea

Phone no: 02 755 3562

Opening Hours
10:00 am - 10:00pm



  1. Bonjuk- Myeongdong - Seoul, South Korea is a great place to visit. I want to dine there,, Hope it is visa free to travel there.

  2. Interesting. I'm guessing it's only mostly served in the winter then but I don't think I'll try it since I'm not a fan of porridge much.

    Maybe we can do a collab post sometime? Just email me: nyasha@nynyonline.co.uk

  3. Just had breakfast at this outlet at myeongdong. I suggest to avoid the abalone porridge. The abalone porridge now costs 10000 won. And the amount of abalone was so little I got angry thinking about it. Not sure about the 20000 won version. But dont get the 10000won one.

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