Having heard a lot about this famous traditional porridge restaurant in Korea, it’s on my “restaurant-to-eat-at” list as well for this Winter trip. If you had watched the hit Korean drama Boys Over Flowers (“꽃보다남자”, the Korean version of 流星花园) starring Ku Hyesun (구혜선), Lee Min Ho (이민호), Kim Hyun Joong (김현중), Kim Bum (김붐), Kim Joon (김준) & Kim So Eun (김소은), you would have remembered this porridge restaurant because Kim So Eun who acted as Jandi’s good friend Gaeul 가을, worked part-time at this porridge restaurant. 😉
Anyway there is one Bonjuk restaurant at Myeongdong & we decided to have it as our brunch on Monday. 🙂 We had a bit of difficulty locating the shop as there were many small lanes in Myeongdong & had to ask around. Fortunately, given that it’s a famous porridge restaurant, most locals would know. Here’s the location map of this shop I downloaded from the Bonjuk website. (Address: 서울 중구 충무로2가 2층/ Chungmuro 2-ga level 2, Jung-gu, Seoul. Open daily from 8.30 am to 10.00 pm.)
My friend was telling me that whenever she fell sick in Korea last time, she would buy a bowl of the Pumpkin Porridge as her meal. This is also 1 of the highly recommended porridge on the menu. Thus I decided to try it out for myself since I like food with pumpkin flavour anyway. Cost = KRW 7,000 (approx. S$8.10) ^^
My Pumpkin Porridge was very smooth but not too sweet. The pumpkin taste was just right. But it was a really big bowl & after eating half a bowl, I couldn’t stuff myself anymore & I felt like “vomitting” out the porridge into the bowl haha. It’s just the overfed feeling plus probably I am not used to eating such a big bowl of “sweet” porridge, since usually porridge is “salty”. Haha
There are a lot more choices for those who can take seafood. So my friend ordered this Mushroom Oyster Porridge (KRW 8,500, approx. S$9.80).
I tried a little bit and it was very delicious! The rice grains were very fine, not the Cantonese Porridge style, but closer to the Teochew Porridge style hee. My friend managed to finish the whole bowl. 🙂
Did you notice the side dishes that came with the porridge? They were kimchi, beef slices & some special chili, a little bit like our sambal chilli in Singapore (refer to Pumpkin Porridge picture above for the order of the side dishes). All were great accompaniment to the porridge, especially if you order the salty type. 🙂 There was also a small bowl of cold sour soup, which I couldn’t appreciate though haha. You could ask to refill the side dishes if you can’t get enough of them. 😉
Looking at the furniture & fittings of the restaurant as well as the cutlery etc, I guess the price you pay is also for the ambience & presentation? I also like the table top with the restaurant name engraved on it:
Remember I said I could only finish half a bowl of my Pumpkin Porridge? I asked to take away the remainder & got a nice paper bag with the porridge packed in a microwavable container in it:
Next time if I get a chance to eat at Bonjuk again, I will try the “salty” porridge versions! Hehe for more details of this famous porridge restaurant, you may refer to its official website at http://www.bonjuk.co.kr/main/juk_main3.asp (Korean only).