12.292 Wanja + Pyeonyuk

Cycle 12 – Item 292

24 (Sun) October 2021

Wanja + Pyeonyuk


at Okcheon Naeng Myeon Hwanghae Sikdang

-Okcheon, Yangpyeong, Gyeonggi, Republic of Korea-


Okcheon KPWM Challenge (2) (see also OKPWMC)

This project aims to confirm that Okcheon Goeup Naeng Myeon – the OG – which has always been GMTD’s favorite restaurant for Okcheon-style MNM and other dishes, is still the best joint in town.

The right side is the older building, currently not in use.

This restaurant was previously covered during the Old Korean Restaurants that Koreans Love (OKRKL) project (see 4.204 Mul Naeng Myeon) – that review had been distinctly negative.

8 years later, the food remains subpar.

Kimchi (3.0): balanced in flavor, the right amounts of spicy + sweet + sour, but not much depth.

Whereas customers in restaurants generally leave leftover banchan on the table, Okcheon-style kimchi is unique and pairs so well with the wanja and pyeonyuk that customers like to pack some to go along with leftover meats.

However, this restaurant will not pack leftover kimchi.  Customers must buy kimchi at 3,000 won for a 250-gram serving.  How uncouth.

Pyeonyuk (1.0): cold, dry, flavorless.

The menu explains that the pyeonyuk is pork belly that has been boiled, cooled, and sliced, which reads to me like a disclaimer that they’re aware the meat is cold, dry, flavorless, take it or leave it.

Wanja (2.5): okay flavor, but greasy.

The restaurant used to have a policy of refusing to accept orders for sari (additional MNM noodles) unless everyone at the table had already ordered a bowl, so as to prevent customers from sharing and saving a bit of money.  Decades ago, I had come here with my parents; after finishing my noodles, I wanted some more, but they wouldn’t give me sari because my father hadn’t ordered a bowl (he doesn’t eat pork).

Anyway, sari is no longer on the menu, presumably to avoid the hassle.

Mul Naeng Myeon (1.5): garlicky broth, a tad bitter; mushy noodles; limp stringy cucumbers.

Total score: 3.0 (kimchi) + 1.0 (pyeonyuk) + 2.5 (wanja) + 1.5 (MNM) = 8.0 out of 16 (50%).  Fail.

Despite the lousy food and cynical business practices, the restaurant is the most popular, always packed, simply because of its visibility from the highway and immediate access (other places require driving a ways into town).

I am placing an eternal ban on Okcheon Naeng Myeon Hwanghae Sikdang.




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