When walking around the busy streets of Seoul, you are easily bound to come across a plethora of Korean-Chinese food. Just in my neighborhood alone, it is home to four of them, all a few minutes distance from one another. So, to put it mildly, competition is pretty fierce. However, as common as they are, each restaurant has their own unique twist on a type of cuisine that can only be done the way it is, here in Korea. One important rule of thumb, you must prevent yourself from comparing Chinese food in the U.S. to the way it is made here. So, don’t expect to find General Tso’s Chicken on the menu.
For the amount of time that I have been living in Korea, I’ve had my fair share of various experiences with Korean-Chinese food. In my opinion, the restaurant I am going to introduce is by far, one of the best tasting and affordable in Seoul. The name of this restaurant is called Wang Jjajang (왕짜장), which can be translated to the “King of Jjajang.” I came to know of this place thanks to a co-worker and after my first visit, I’ve become a regular customer. The outside of the building looks rundown, but it is decorated with a large white sign, in black lettering and with a couple of cute cartoon characters.
As you enter inside, you are immediately welcomed in by the sweet voice of a young lady, over the sound of the huge, flat screen TV hanging on the left corner of the restaurant. The place is spacious, so you can sit anywhere you please. On the right hand side, there is a counter that is connected to the kitchen, allowing you to take in the sites, sounds, and smell of whatever dish the cook is concocting. The menu was strategically placed throughout the restaurant, making it easy for you to order. The interior was simple, yet welcoming to customers. The seats were comfy as well.
On this day, it was my second time coming with a fellow co-worker, who ordered Bohk Jjamyun (볶짜면), which is a bowl equally divided into two sections and filled with fried rice covered in black bean paste sauce and an egg made into an omelette, on one side and Jjajangmyun (짜장면, Black Bean Paste Noodles) on the other. I chose Jjamjjamyun (짬짜면), which is similar to the dish above except that it has Jjambbong (짬뽕, Spicy Noodles with Seafood and Vegetables) instead of fried rice. Before our order came out, we were given a big bottle of water with a side dish of kimchi and radish with a few pieces of sliced onions and soy sauce paste. These are typical side dishes given at any Korean-Chinese restaurant.
As we were deliciously eating, we both voiced the same opinion that our food tasted clean. The Jjajangmyun wasn’t greasy, the fried rice didn’t feel oily, and the Jjambbong didn’t taste as though it was full of MSG. This is one major reason why I keep coming to this restaurant, Korean-Chinese food made with the customer’s health in mind and without losing its flavorful taste. In addition, the service was superb. When we asked for extra plates, bowls, or extra side dishes; it was immediately given to us and at the same time, we would be asked if there was anything else that we needed.
Overall, as their slogan states, “Made with the Customer’s Health in Mind,” they definitely practice what they preach. The taste and price isn’t overbearing and you won’t question what you just ate. Don’t just take my word for it, go and experience the wonderfully made and affordable Korean-Chinese food that will make you wanting more. You definitely will leave satisfied and free of any regret.
Other Recommended Dishes: Songi Buh Suht Duhp-bap (송이버섯 덮밥, Matsutake Mushroom with Sauce over Rice), Japchae Duhp-bap (잡채 덮밥, Potato Noodles with Sauce over Rice), and Fried Mandu (군만두, Fried Dumplings).
Location: 뚝섬역 (Tteukseom Station, line 2) exit 3, make a U-turn, first left, three to five minute walk and on your right hand side.
Price Range: 3,000 won ($3) ~ 6,000 won ($6).
Address : Seoul, Sung-dong-gu, Sung-su-dong 1ga 13-443(Sang-won-gil 60)