2.248 Mandu Jeongol


10 (Sat) September 2011

Mandu Jeongol


at Seolmaene

-Oksu, Seongdong, Seoul, Republic of Korea-

with W and DJ, the In-Laws

Seolmaene (설매네) is a Korean restaurant.  Specializes in traditional cuisine, just a handful of dishes.  Though not ostensibly North Korean, the simple style of preparation suggests northern influence.  On weekdays, it’s packed with old Korean men.

Located in the basement of nondescript building one block from Exit 3 of Apgujeong Station.

I’ve come to observe that old Korean men are the most reliable bellwethers of good old-school Korean restaurants.  It’s a cultural phenomenon that I attribute to 3 factors.  First, working Koreans regularly eat dinner right after work with their colleagues and/or clients, as opposed to going home for dinner.  Second, a work-related dinner is often a drawn out affair that involves food and booze in copious amounts, both in terms of volume and variety, best served one plate and one bottle at a time so as to facilitate conversation and bonding.  And finally, up until recently, men constituted the majority of the workforce.  Thus, old Korean men, with decades of experience, know where to go for good eats and drinks at reasonable prices in a relaxed atmosphere.  Any Korean restaurant packed exclusively with old men on a weeknight has a strong likelihood of being good.  I’m calling this the “Ajeossi Bellwether Standard” (“ajeossi” = “old man”).

Only 4 banchan and 2 condiments, all done very well.

I hadn’t been here in years, but I was happy to discover tonight that the food was as excellent as I’d remembered.  The broth of the jeongol was perfectly clear and yet rich in beef flavor.  Definitely worth 25,000 won.  My only regret was that we weren’t all that hungry at 6:00 PM, so we didn’t order more.

Nokdu Bindae Jeon (3.0): was gorgeous and crispy and tasty – definitely worth 18,000 won.

(See also FOODS.)

(See also PLACES.)

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2 thoughts on “2.248 Mandu Jeongol

  1. Hi, just discovered your blog today, and I am absolutely blown away. I have never seen a more meticulous collection of dinners. The food looks absolutely gorgeous! I would love to try some of these dishes, either at home, or coming to visit South Korea. Looking forward to all subsequent posts 🙂

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