Really Good Thoughts. That’s the name of this place. Believe me it sounds better in Korean: 참좋은생각.
There are two spectacular bits to this restaurant: atmosphere and food. It’s located about an hour out of Seoul by car, and yet every month or so my family makes the trip out for lunch, and every time I go it’s packed full of bored-looking middle aged women (아주마들). The name, as corny as it is, is fitting. Located next to a beautiful lake and in a remote location, the atmosphere is peaceful, tranquil even. The restaurant itself is a mix of old fashion decorations and new furniture. The best words to describe it are ‘pleasant’ and ‘homely’. Inside the restaurant the restaurant is littered with well maintained flowers and other flora. And outside there are many garden sitting areas and even a pond with a fountain.
This place is simple traditional Korean food at its best. Most traditional Korean restaurants don’t offer any options, or few. This place offers the choice of duck (오리), pork (돼지), or none (왤빙). Served along with these items are an array of wonderfully crafted other common Korean items. The special part about this place is that everything is just amazing. I’ve had many Korean teas, many japchaes, many of all these things, but this place just does it right. For example, traditionally japchae it typically flavored with soy sauce and an array of other vegetables that produce the bulk of the flavor. Here it is only made with bean sprouts and no soy sauce and yet they’ve woven their dark magic somehow and produced an incredible dish.
Unfortunately I failed to get a picture of the 동동주, which is absolutely stellar here. 동동주 (dongdongju) is very similar to 막걸리 (makgeolli) but is typically made in the restaurant or nearby and so is fresher.
When given a choice most Koreans I know opt for dongdongju. I’ve listed the dishes in the order they’re presented and labeled them with their Korean names. Enjoy.
죽 & 동치미
오리 & 돼지
Wrap it up!
Seriously all middle aged women.
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경기도 양평군 강하면 전수리 1078-1
(this place is so Korean they write their URL in Korean and it only works in Internet Explorer)
Some caveats: It’s almost impossible to get here without a car. And it’s very difficult to order without a beginners level of Korean. But you can of course use the point and grunt method.