Cycle 4 – Item 273
5 (Sat) October 2013
Mul Naeng Myeon
at Pyongyang Myeonok
-Jangchung, Jung, Seoul, Republic of Korea-
with W and IZ
Flying back to Korea after 11 days in the Philippines and Singapore, on a 4-hour redeye from Manila, landing in Incheon at 0500, taking a bus and then a taxi to get into Seoul, arriving at home and crawling into bed at 0630, just as the sun was rising, sleeping dead all day, I woke up at 1800, just as the sun was setting, exhausted and hungry. I needed comfort food.
For me, that would be mul naeng myeon, specifically contemporary-southern Pyongyang-style. While a chilled noodle soup probably wouldn’t seem very comforting to most, its cool austerity seemed like just the thing to wash away, literally and figuratively, the dirt and grime that had been building up in my system from an extended stay in one of Manila’s poorest parts of town. Anyway, it’s my favorite dish these days, in fact the last thing that I’d eaten before leaving for the trip.
My appreciation for the MNM at Pyongyang Myeonok has been creeping steadily toward the conclusion that it may be the best in town. In my assessment of Pyongyang-style MNM restaurants, it had placed as a close runner-up to Bong Piyang. I’m beginning to feel that Pyongyang Myeonok’s lighter broth may be superior to Bong Piyang’s richer one – I’m reminded of how I started out liking spicy red zinfandels but eventually came to appreciate silky cabernet sauvignons and even subtle pinot noirs (I could draw the same analogy with malt whiskies).
(See also MUL NAENG MYEON)
(See also GLOBAL FOOD GLOSSARY)
(See also RESTAURANTS IN KOREA)