Namdaemun Halmae Wangjokbal, “Dieting, go away!”

At one time, Jajangmyeon (Black-bean-sauce Noodles) and Tangsuyuk (Sweet and Sour Pork) were the best dishes for dining out. 
After that, Samgyepsal (Roasted Pork) and Roasted Beef landed the position. Then, Jokbal (Pigs’ Feet Cooked with Soy Sauce and Spices) has come into the spotlight as the menu for eating out or a capital accompaniment of drinks. 
Actually, Jokbal can be cooked at home, but generally it is hardly thinkable.  

The additional ingredients added when boiling Jokbal differ from restaurant to restaurant, and Jokbal in each restaurant brings out a distinctive flavor. 
Jokbal’s own chewy texture, mild taste, and aroma are hard for us to resist even if we go on a diet. 
Today, we are heading for the well-known Jokbal restaurant near Sindorim Station. 

One of the gourmet restaurants’ characters is that a place name is added to the restaurant’s name. 
For example, so is Myung-dong Kalguksu, and so are Hongcheon Ttukbaegi and Naju Gomtang. 
In addition, it is a good strategy that the words, ‘wonjo(original)’ and ‘halmae(grandma)’, are added to the restaurant’s name; it may offer nostalgic value. 

The name of today’s restaurant is ‘Namdaemun Halmae Wangjokbal’. 
In the name, there are even three euphuistic phrases. 
They are Namdaemun, Halmae (Grandma), and Wang (King). 
‘Namdaemun Jokbal’ sounds like a famous restaurant, Halmae Jokbal looks delicious, and Wangjokbal seems to have generous servings. This restaurant focuses all these three things. 

At first sight, Jokbal seems to have very little (lean) meat to eat because it contains lots of fat and it is high in the amount of bones. However, contrary to our expectations, it has tasty meat all over the bones. 

Also, when boiling Jokbal, soy sauce and all kinds of medical hurbs are added in order to remove the smell of the pork. Due to the medical hurbs, Jokbal can be said to be healthy food. 
Another way to remove the smell is adding coffee (to it). 
Everyone must know that Jokbal’s unique smell can be removed by adding just a small amount of coffee. 

The restaurant was easily found and made good use of the available space. 
Actually, there were only five to six tables. However, the restaurant utilized more than triples the space, including the aisle and the tables of open-air cafe. The reason why the restaurant utilized a large space might be many customers visited the restaurant. 
Also, the restaurant used a small room beside the restaurant as an annex. On that day, my family occupied the room.

We understood most of the menus, except Banbani; Ban means ‘a half’ in Korean. 
We asked it to the waiter; he said “A half of the dish is spicy and the other is mild.” Therefore, the name was created.
Like Jjam Jja Myun(a half of Jajangmyeon and a half of Jjamppong) as well as a half of seasoned chicken and a half of fried chicken, this dish is for both, the people who prefer spicy food and the other. 
For that reason, we ordered the dish. 

Banbani consists of the small ankle-to-toes cuts and the lean meat. Usually, the small ankle-to-toes cuts called as ‘mini Jokbal’ are the spicy ones, and the lean meat is mild. 
The neutral brown color showed that Jokbal is well-done. 
Besides the sesame seeds slightly distributed sharpened our appetites. 

The refreshing Bean Sprouts Soup on the side was so tasty even though it was the side dish. We were almost out of our mind. 
The refreshment of the soup physically like the temperature close to 0 C and bean sprouts’ own refreshment were harmonized; the soup was so refreshing. 
It may get rid of the heat. 

Seasoned Leeks, Shredded Daikon, and the lettuces were also good. 
The difference of the famous restaurants can be decided by things like this. 
Restaurants should be competitive by mastering the secret, like Ssamjang(a mix of doenjang and gochujang) and Salted Shrimps.

When the competitors see the texture and the color of this Jokbal, they would realize that the owner was concerned about the salted fish and Ssamjang. 

Additionally, we also added steamed eggs to that order. 
You will just get your money’s worth if the steamed eggs you ordered do not fail. 

In some restaurants, the bottom may be burnt or the egg may be half-cooked, but the steamed eggs in this restaurant can be said to be the best. 

You can enjoy Jokbal more when dipping it into salted shrimp rather than when wrapping it in lettuce. 
However, if you want less grease and a less salty taste, you can wrap it in lettuce. 
Of course, you can enjoy it with putting a shrimp or a piece of garlic. 

For the family with children, adding rice or extra noodles is recommendable in order to fill their stomachs. 
Noodles in cool beef broth with leeks can be the good dessert, and a half bowl of rice is enough for an adult.  
Besides, if you get into steamed eggs a few times, you must give up going on a diet on that night. 

It is not difficult to find the restaurant. 
It is just 200~300 meters from Sindorim Station, so taking subway is to be recommended by weighing the volume of traffic. 

(1) Take exit 2 of Sindorim Station. 
(2) Then, you can see Techno Mart on the right and POSVille that has the Jokbal restaurant in the direction of one o’clock.
(3) Cross the street, and you can see the names of the shops in the arcade. The restaurant occupies Room 153 and 154. 
(4) Go round along the left part of POSVille’s front square, and then you can see the gate to the restaurant on the corner of the building. 

Address: (Saemalro 102) 26 Guro-dong Guro-gu, Seoul

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