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Namdo Bunsik (ddeokboki: spicy rice cake)
- Restaurant: Namdo Bunsik (남도분식)
- Address: 52-1, Nusang-dong, Jongno-gu, Seoul, Korea
- Phone: 02 723 7775
- Transportation: Take the bus#09 at exit #3 of Gyeingbokgung station and get off at Woori Pharmacy station.
My boyfriend and I went out lask weekend to look around Seochon villiage. Seochon Village is one of the oldest neighborhoods of Jongno-gu, Seoul, traditionally associated with Joseon era (1392 ~ 1910) and Korean literature. Seochon stretches out from the western gate of Gyeongbokgung Palace to the feet of Mt. Inwangsan. In Seochon, there are huddles of traditional Korean houses in small alleyways that still remain the same since 500 years ago. Here and there, travelers could find beautiful cafes, galleries, boutique shops, and restaurants hidden in these alleys. Take a stroll around the old, narrow alleyways of Seochon Village where past meets present.
I've heard of a ddeokboki place named 'Namdo Bunsik:남도분식' which is famous for spicy rice cake with a stuffed squid and fried lettuce. Even though I've been living in Seoul for 25 years, It was my first time to try this kind of food. Because the fried lettuce is a local specialty that you could see only in Gwangju region in Korea.
We got off at Gyeingbokgung Palace station which is subway line number 3. Actually there is a bus from the station to near Nando bunsik but we wanted to have a walk and looked around the cherry blossom and traditional houses. We just went there by walk and it took about 20-30 minutes to find the place.
It was little after the lunch time but there were still long line up. You have to write your name and phone number on the waiting list on the wall right after you arrive there. Luckily, we were the final customer of the lunch time. All ingredients are sold out. They didn't accept any other customers next of us!(There is preparing time for dinner shift from 3:00pm to 5:00pm).
During the waiting time we were browsing the stores and small galleries around. And Finally, I got a call from 'Namdo bunsik' and we started fill our empty stomach with amazing food ;) Unlike its folksy name, the interior is like a cafe, where you can enjoy food in clean atmosphere. Also, the kitchen is open, and so you can watch the cooking process.
We started up with fried lettuce. It is not actually "fried lettuce" . Some fried squid and fried vegetable came out with lettuce and pickled onion. You should eat the fried squid and pickled onion warped with lettuce. People call this food fried lettuce in short name. It was much greater than my expectation! You should try! It is only KRW 5000 won for one serve. I think it's enough for appetizer for two people. (KRW 5000)
The next one we ordered was our main dish 'squid ddoekboki' named Oh soon ddeok(KRW 11000). It is not just normal ddeokboki because there is a whole squid stuffed with penne pasta and Mozzarella cheese. It was little spicy and fishy. It was okay for me and my boy friend really liked it because many Korean people enjoy eating squid. But I know many western people don't usually eat squid and they don't like the texture and smell. If you don't like spicy food or seafood, I don't recommend this menu :( Just try regular ddeokboki!! It's good enough.
During the squid ddeokboki was boiling, our last menu came out. It called 'kimbab Ssam' which severed with steamed rice warped with dried seaweed, thin sliced pork bbq and lettuce again. As same as the fried lettuce, you should eat this steamed rice with seaweed (kimbab) and thin sliced bbq warped with lettuce. (KRW 6000)
When we ordered three dishes for us, we were kind of worried that we couldn't finish all dishes. So we asked to the waitress if we take out leftover or not. However, we cleared all the dishes in a very short time and it was kind of shameful XD haha..
Visit 'Namdo Bunsik' and Walk around Seochon village! It reminds me of the time when I was little. Old but still beautiful like the way it is. Everything was really satisfied except the long line up ;p