25 (Thu) April 2013
Seonji Guk Bab
at Sigol Jib
-Insa, Jongro, Seoul, Republic of Korea-
Sigol Jib (시골집) is a Korean restaurant. According to the woman behind the cash register, the restaurant was founded over 30 years ago, while the building itself – a home with the traditional rectangular floor plan that consists of rooms along the perimeter enclosing a central/communal courtyard – is believed to be over 100 years old, a landmark if there ever was one. It’s located in the heart of the city, in a back alley off Jongro 1-ga, the starting point of Seoul’s oldest paved street. Ironically, the name of the establishment means “country (sigol) house (jib).” The menu consists of typical/traditional Korean fare. Most individual portion meals are priced below 10,000 won, anju plates between 10,000 to 20,000 won, and set meals for larger parties 60,000/80,000/90,000 won. Mostly at lunch but sometimes at dinner, groups of coworkers will often reserve a room and a spread at the many places like this in the area, one of the city’s busiest office districts.
The seonji guk bab was excellent. As with most soups featuring seonji, the doenjang-based broth was extremely pungent and dense, strong enough to match the intense flavor of the blood, supremely rich in beef flavor, perfectly seasoned with just the right amount of heat. Even the seonji was okay, even though I’m still not entirely a fan and didn’t really eat much of it. If I liked seonji, the dish could’ve earned a 4.0.
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