I'm sure one of the first few Korean dishes you're likely to get in Korea will be the usual Korean BBQ, Chicken Ginseng Soup and Army Stew so it's time for someone (me!) to tell you that there is something else you should put on your restaurant list when visiting Seoul - KongBul! My sister was on exchange in Seoul and introduced this restaurant to our family so I think this recommendation is quite legit.
KongBul (콩불) (Hongdae Branch)
345-1, Seogyo-dong, Mapo-gu, Seoul
South Korea +82 2-322-3545
There are a couple of branches across Seoul which are MyeongDong and Hongdae that are both super convenient. The restaurant's name pretty much sums up the main dish they sell, "Kong" refers to "Kong-na-mul" which means bean sprouts and "Bul" refers to "Bulgogi" which is marinated meat, put "Kong" and "Bul" together and you get KongBul which is marinated meat with bean sprouts!
We ordered the most simple item on the menu, mild spicy KongBul with fried rice and cheese to come at the end, don't get too ambitious with the level of spiciness as it can get pretty spicy (advice from my sister)! The dish was served with a few rice cakes and some spring onions and gochujang as well.
The dish was amazing to eat and watch as it cooks in front of you. Watching the bean sprouts soak up all the juice from the pork and gochujang was very hard to resist. The bean sprouts were fresh and crispy whilst the pork was, thin, tender and juicy. If you want to cool down your palette, get the cold refreshing Calpis drink (photo above), you'll notice almost every table having it.
The grand finale of the meal was the fried rice (you can't go wrong with this)! Once we were ready, we asked the waiter to start cooking the fried rice. I would suggest leaving some sprouts and meat left to mix it with the fried rice.
The waiter will cook the fried rice in front of you, they will finely cut up your remaining meat and bean sprouts and mix it with the juice left on the pan with rice, seaweed and cheese.
I like my rice a little crispy so we left it sitting on the pan for a little while before ate. The fried rice didn't require any additional seasoning since there were already enough flavors from the left over meat, sprouts and juice on the pan.
The whole meal costed approximately KRW7,000 per person which is pretty cheap in my opinion and totally worth the money. Be sure to visit this place to enjoy something a little different from your usual touristy meals.
Until next time foodies! xoxoxo