Seoul is a really big city.
And there are so many restaurants serving outstanding South Korean food that it can be difficult to choose which one to eat at – kind of the psychology of having too many choices to the point where it’s hard to make a decision until you just go for it.
While I was browsing through sites and searching for a good place to eat Korean barbecue, I stumbled into the New Village (새마을식당) recommendation by Seoul Eats. I located one of their branches in the Hongdae area of Seoul and went in for lunch.
I was glad I did!
The food was spectacular and the prices were decent for Seoul.
The menu is quite simple, just a few choices of meat and a number of side dishes. When you travel to Seoul, it can be challenging to order, but luckily their menu is written in both Korean and English making it pretty straightforward.
It’s important to note that at Korean barbecue restaurants you have to order 2 portions of the same kind of meat – not sure why, but I had to at every barbecue restaurant I visited in Seoul. In other words, one plate of pork is 8,000 Won, and you have to order 2 plates (or more or the same kind of meat).
I went with 2 plates of their signature and most popular pork bulgogi (Daeji Bulgogi 불고기), thin strips of pork splashed in a thick red barbecue sauce.
Price: 8,000 Won per plate
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The meat sizzled up in front of my nose as my mouth watered with anticipation.
Though they are both awesome meat grilling meals, eating Korean barbecue is quite a different experience from eating Kenyan nyama choma; Both are delicious!
After just a few moments that seemed like an eternity, I was fashioning my Korean tacos beginning with lettuce, onions, garlic, peppers, chili paste and the delicious meat on top.
Along with the Korean barbecued pork at New Village Restaurant, they also make a killer kimchi jiggae (Kimchi Jjigae 김치찌개), one of my favorite South Korean dishes when I was in Seoul.
Though it’s most often served in a scorching earthenware dish, this was just served in a pot, but boasted intensely delicious flavor.
Price: 4,000 Won
Another dish I was happy to sample at New Village was the noodles in cold kimchi mixed soup known as Bibim Naengmyeon (비빔 냉면).
The soup was like a popsicle of kimchi. The contrast of the icy cold soup and the chewy noodles made this dish very enjoyable!
Price: 3,000 Won
New Village Restaurant in Seoul is set up as a nice new facility with state of the art barbecue stations and vents that suck up all the smoke.
How to Get to New Village (새마을식당)
Though there are a number of locations throughout Seoul, here’s the one in Hongdae that I ate at:
- Take the subway to Hongik University (on the green line).
- Exit #8.
- Walk straight down the road and make your second left.
- Walk for a minute and the restaurant will be on your right hand side.
Here’s the map:
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