7.130 Makguksu


14 (Sat) May 2016



at Dochon Makguksu

-Yanggu, Gangwon-

with W and IZ (DJ ate with his teammates)

In pun, the sign could be translated loosely as : “Now (Inje) the Excitement (Sinnam) begins…” — puns come easy in the Korean language, which incorporates a lot of Chinese characters, which are often homophonic — e.g., at a supermarket, I once encountered a sign over a crate of wines that read “geumju (금주) sale,” which could mean either (as intended) “sale for this (geum) week (ju)” or (ironically) “sale of prohibited (geum) alcohol (ju)” — even though Koreans don’t seem to recognize the puns when they occur.
Yanggu is reputedly the geographical center of the Korean Peninsula, hence its nickname “Baegop (navel) Maeul (village).”

Children’s Day Holiday + Annual Leave, Day 10 (see previously 7.129 Seafood Platter).

In Seoul.  Arrived last Monday.  On extended leave to take care of various administrative matters in preparation for the family’s move to the Philippines in a couple months.  Going back to Manila, by myself, this coming Monday.

Dochon Makguksu is a Korean restaurant, located in Yanggu — which is near the border — specializing in makgusku and other northern-esque dishes.
For a small joint in the middle of nowhere — literally, the middle of Korea, supposedly — it was quite busy at 1400 on a Saturday.
The wall of fame.

As DJ’s baseball team is participating in a tournament, out of town, overnight, the parents all decided to make a family trip of the occasion.  For me, a rare opportunity to watch my kid play (see also 7.128 Play Ball; 7.081 Kale in Oyster Sauce).

Local makgeolli (rice wine), made with buckwheat (memil).
Dotori Muk (3.25)
Memil Mandu (3.0) : buckwheat skins!
…with meaty/fatty stuffing.
Ggagdugi (3.5) : so good, really sweet, that we asked for more and took it to go (for breakfast) — will learn to make it this way (see for example 7.118 Ggagdugi).

For lunch, we were recommended to a restaurant nearby the accommodations.

The food was great all around.  Northernish in style, as evidenced by the extensive use of buckwheat and simple preparations.

However, pressed for time to see the first pitch, we had to cancel our orders of their signature noodle dishes, following a long delay in the kitchen.


So, we went back for dinner — only the second time in recent memory that I’ve eaten at the same restaurant for both lunch and dinner on the same day (see most recently 5.264 TEITY 6+7…).

The food was, again, great.

Memil Jeonbyeong (3.25) : kinda like crepes, crispy and chewy, made of buckwheat…
…with supercharged kimchi stuffing.
Gamja Jeon (3.0) : potato (gamja) pancakes (jeon).
Pyeonyuk (3.0) : with fixings, like a bossam spread (see for example 4.018 Bossam).

In particular, the restaurant’s namesake Makguksu was excellent.  Chewy noodles, with just the right amount of grit.  Perfectly balanced flavors : sweet + sour + spicy + savory.  Could eat this every day.

Upon personal preference, add additional kimchi broth, vinegar, sugar, and/or sesame oil.

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