epicure · seoul life



I have a few strange quirks I’m going to admit today. The first thing is, I always have to sleep on the side of the bed closest to the door. Doesn’t matter if it’s left or right, it just has to be closest to the door. The other thing is, I have this weird thing about combining wet and dry foods. I prefer not to. I don’t eat my cereal with milk, just munch on it as a snack. Even growing up, I never allowed my mother to put my rice in the soup accompanying every home cooked meal throwing mini temper tantrums and refusing to eat when it came to the table that way. (I promise, I am not that much of a brat anymore.)

The only place that I will allow this (also because it’s the default) is Ha Dong Kwan, the most famous gomtang place in Seoul. Gomtang is made by simmering the bones, ribs, brisket and everything else you can think of over a low heat creating this amazingly hearty broth that warms you to the bones on cold days like today. (Feels like -20 degrees celcius y’all!)

You are offered two options: the original (W13,000) which comes with just beef brisket and the special (W15,000) which comes with all the good stuff like the innards, intestines and cartilage… YUM!

My gal pal Jihyun and I headed over today for lunch and by noon it was brimming with people. We were haphazardly seated in between two sets of businessmen (not a lot of women here!) and were presented with a piping hot bowl of gomtang and a small plate of ggakdugi (radish kimchi). There are bowls of salt, pepper and spring onions on the table and you can add the condiments of your choosing to suit your taste.

We killed it in ten minutes flat.

I suggest consuming half of the soup with a dash of salt and a heaping of spring onions and then finishing it off with some ggakdugi gookmul (liquid that forms when you make kimchi.) No spoon required.

Ha Dong Kwan
891-44 Daechi-dong
Gangnam-gu, Seoul
T: +82 2 565 0003


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