Dear readers, I have a food nemesis. His name is Chris, and I mentioned him briefly here. He and I have such opposing views on food, food prep, everything… well, almost everything… that it’s amusing to talk to him about food. We don’t argue (not quite) because it’s all personal opinion. But it makes taking his recommendations for food very, very interesting sometimes…
On that note, he’d strongly recommended Guh Song for jjajjungmyun a few times to me, but I’d kind of ignored him because it’s in Bayside. Then one day it dawned on me: I go to school in Bayside. A quick Google search showed me that I’m an idiot; Guh Song is literally a few blocks from the western part of my campus. Duh!!! So between classes one day, I took a quick stroll (ok, I drove) over… The above was placed in front of me after I sat down; kimchi, sweet sauce, pickled daikon and onion slices that turn magically sweet like candy if you drizzle white vinegar over them (and I do).
But here is the main event: jjajjungmyun! Black bean paste over noodles, there’s meat and onions in there… Whatever. The point here, for me, is the noodles. Honestly, when he said this place had good jjajjungmyun, I thought, well, it’s jjajjungmyun. I’ve had it a small number of places over the years, and of course have had Chapaghetti (the instant kind you make at home). But I never really thought one place was better than another… until I came here. The noodles were – excuse my use of this word – toothsome, with such a nice heft to the chew, making each bite just delightfully awesome, in such a… delicious way. The sauce was yummy too, with plenty of beef, not so much veggie matter as at Assi Plaza, and just right in terms of taste: savory, but not overly salty, hitting that just right note of umami…
So good I ate it all, leaving only the onions. I even ate the kimchi (this is for those of us who know how sensitive I can be to spicy foods… I forced myself to eat it all; it tasted good, though I was a bit uncomfortable for a bit while eating it… really good mixing bites of kimchi with bites of jjajjungmyun though!).
And a week later, so enthralled with the food, I dragged BlindBaker with me… the above, our munchies.
The kimchi which I forgot to eat this time 🙂
BlindBaker encourages my overeating.
She suggested getting mandoo, and I quickly agreed.
Unfortunately, these were not that good – too much vegetable matter, which normally I wouldn’t mind, but it was bland in taste; not enough salt. Dipping liberally in soy sauce mixed with white vinegar made it taste much better, but I would have liked if these were juicy and flavorful on their own. I’ll pass on these next time.
I decided to go with the lunch special, which came with soup – a strange, sort of Chinese-borscht-like-concoction (Chinese borscht has no beets; it’s more of a tomato-vegetable soup. This was fine, not particular interesting nor offensive.
The huge bowl of rice that came with my lunch special. Again, nothing amazing, but it’s meant as a vehicle for the main course, right?
In the meantime, BlindBaker ordered the jjajjungmyun, and marveled at how awesome it was. I was pretty jealous of her big bowl of awesome, actually, even as my main course arrived…
Sweet and sour pork! I’d looked for sweet and sour shrimp on the menu, but to no avail – after I’d eaten Korean sweet/sour/spicy at Hyo Dong Gak, I was curious to try it at other places… this one looked very different.
Crisply fried pieces of pork tossed with a sweetish glaze. The pork was good, and the sauce was alright, but I don’t think I’d order this again. Not really my style or taste… though for a lunch special, about $6, the overall cost is ridiculously cheap. Come on – soup, rice, main, plus the kimchi/pickled daikon/onions on the table? Not bad at all…
Yvo says: I will definitely be back for more jjajjungmyun, it was awesome – the best I’ve ever had in my life, easily – and will probably (hopefully) get around to trying other dishes and lunch specials there, it’s so cheap. You can’t really regret trying something new when it’s only $5-6 … Perfect for those of us on student budgets (yeah, both BlindBaker and I!). NOM.