28 (Sat) October 2017
Mul Naeng Myeon
at Jinmi Pyeongyang Naengmyeon
-Nonhyeon, Gangnam, Seoul, Korea-
with the boyz
Mission to Korea + Fall Vacation, Day 7.
- Day 1 (8.290 Pleurogrammus Aonus)
- Day 2 (8.291 Ojingeo Sundae)
- Day 3 (8.292 Grilled Lamb)
- Day 4 (8.293 Grilled Fish)
- Day 5 (8.294 Raclette)
- Day 6 (8.295 Osam Bul)
In Seoul. Here, initially, to coordinate the Asia-Pacific Regional Meeting for National Ethics/Bioethics Committees (AP-NEC), which WHO co-organized in collaboration with the National Bioethics Committee of Korea (KNBC), from Tuesday to Wednesday. Then, the rest of this week and all of the next on an extended holiday with the family.
When I am now in Seoul, I must stay in a hotel. Due to a bitter argument with my mother during my last trip (see 8.258 Hobak Jjigae), I was banished from my parents’ home. The wife and kids are at my in-laws, who drive me to the brink of homicidal insanity. So hotel, it is.
This time, I started out at the Imperial Palace Hotel. Turned out to be total fleabag dump – never again. But, by dumb luck, it led me to a fortuitous discovery.
Late last night, I went across the street to a convenience store to get some refreshments, when I saw a sign for a restaurant, tucked away in a back alley, specializing in Pyeongyang-style mul naeng myeon .
The next morning, as soon as the doors opened at 1100, the boys and I were there to assess.
The menu was legit: just the bare essentials of a northern-style Korean noodle shop.
The initial kimchi was legit: simple kimchi in the northern style.
The boiled mandu was legit: thick, luxuriously decadent hand-made skins; pork and tofu filling, light in texture, rich in flavor. Upon initial impression, perhaps the best mandu of its kind that I’ve ever experienced.
Most important, the mul naeng myeon was legit. The broth was crisp, clean, delicately yet distinctively beefy. The noodles were simultaneously mealy and chewy, with deep buckwheat flavor. Simple toppings. Upon initial impression, perhaps the best mul naeng myeon of its kind that I’ve ever experienced (see for comparison 4.184 The Eulmildae MNM).
From the menu to the preparation, I strongly suspect that the chef or the owner or some combination thereof have some extensive experience at Pyeongyang Myeonok (see most recently 8.157 The Best MNM in the World, Still), and busted out to start their own business.
In my opinion, subject to further confirmation, they may have succeeded in outdoing the original.