Donga Naengmyeon (동아 냉면) – Some Great Naengmyun

Today’s feature is on a naengmyeon place introduced to me by my mother a few months back. I pass through this neighborhood on my commute fairly often and so find myself taking a layover here every few weeks or so. With the weather being scorching as it is, a chilly bowl of spicy noodles nails the target.

Even though the restaurant is ugly with a gaudy blue and red color palette, the restaurant is huge and very efficient. During a rush hour lunch I counted 12 servers/cooks scurrying around. The menu is simple: Water Naengmyeon (문냉면) or Spicy Naengmyeon (비빔냉면), and Steamed Dumplings (왕만두). My preference is to order the Water Nengmyun and throw in some spicy sauce.

The nengmyun is tasty. Honestly actually, a slight bit sweet for my preference, but overall great. The soup is perfectly salted and the noodles nicely chewy.

How to Eat Here
Dongha Naengmyeon is an order/pay first restaurant. So take a seat, decide what you want, and head up to the counter to order and pay. (Water naengmyeon is pronounced mool-neng-myun. Spicy nengmyun is bee-beem-neng-myun. And dumplings are wang-man-doo.) Then grab some of the spicy meat soup (육수) and water from the station and wait for the naengmyeon. After getting the naengmyeon, cut it in half with the provided scissors, and season it to taste with the spicy sauce, vinegar, mustard, and (I have no idea who puts this in…) sugar.

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The Rundown
Another of my favorite naengmyeon places in Seoul. Definitely check in if you’re in the area.

Donga Naengmyun 동아냉면
Seoul, YongsanGu, HannamDong 657-43
서울특별시 용산구 한남동 657-43


Rabbit Study Cafe (토끼의지혜)

As a student, and the boyfriend of a student, I spend a lot of time in study cafes. There are several really great ones, this is my favorite.

What makes this a great study cafe:

– Large open tables with outlets and lamps galore.
– Free Americano refills regardless of initial drink
– Great drinks. I’ve worked in over five cafes for a total of about 3 years so I have a snotty appreciating for quality espresso. This place does it right.
– Lockers to leave stuff in while you go out to eat
– Ability to bring food in. I’m not sure what their policy on this is, but they’ve yet to reprimand us
– A talking area near the door (still quite quiet), and a very quiet study area. Separated by a glass wall.
– Friendly staff.
– Small snacks – cake, bagels, normal cafe stuff.
– Group study rooms
– Very clean
– Tons of Korean books

Two locations (I only go to the gangnam one):

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The Rundown
My favorite study cafe. Quiet and convenient.

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The Place. A Classy, Casual Dining… Place

The place has a nice blend of classy and casual. The brick walls, wooden floors, and spazzy design offers a warm welcome. Actually, it felt distinctly American – like a well funded Los Angeles diner.

You enter to a large open kitchen and are greeted by the smell of baking bread. Is there a better smell in the world? Then you walk past a small priced-by-weight salad bar. Seats are upstairs and you can order either downstairs or up.

Today we had a little salad, the Hot Bacon and Shrimp Panini, and the Apple Gorgonzola Pizza.

Salad 2,500/100g

Hot Bacon and Shrimp Panini 7,200

The Hot Bacon and Shrimp Panini I’d only give a 6/10. The vegetables had a nice color and flavor and the shrimp was well seasoned and cooked right with a soft layer of coating. My main gripe though is that it was too sweet. There was just an overwhelming amount of honey mustard sauce that robbed the flavor from the shrimp and vegetables. Also, for 7,200 I expected a bit more substance and was left hungry. Thus, we had to order the pizza.

Apple Gorgonzola Pizza 7,900

The Apple Gorgonzola Pizza pretty much tasted exactly how it looks. Looks amazing right? Yeah, it was. I was a bit skeptical of combining cheese and apple, but the combo worked pretty well. The baking sucked a lot of the sweetness from the apple and overall it tasted very clean, with the gorgonzola cheese left to be the star. Well done. It was served with apple sauce, which the girlfriend loved, but like I said… I’m not a big fan of mixing salt and sweet.

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The Place

2 Sinmunno 1(il)-ga, Jongno-gu, Seoul, South Korea

The Rundown
A classy but affordable dining spot that seems transported from Los Angeles. A great casual date spot.
10,000₩ each

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