Myung Dong Kal Gook Soo
103 – 4501 North Road
As the evening air outside begins to descend into a temperature zone that requires more layering of clothing and household duties that require preparations for the coming winter season, it marks the beginning of something that I enjoy a lot – hot food, especially those of the “soupy” category. Beefy stews, hearty vegetable soups, bowls of noodles in flavorful broth and so on. Autumn/winter comfort food at its finest. Plus, with the incoming crop of this season’s vegetables, many of which over the past few years I’ve grown to actually like more of, it makes for fun times in the home kitchen or eating out.
Over the years, I’ve found on my travels abroad that those nations which have a tendency to experience harsher winters – full of freezing temperatures, perhaps suspect household insulation but with a rich food culture – do satisfy my cravings for warm/hot edible delights. I can still remember the first time I visited South Korea over a decade ago, it was March. But with bone chilling temperatures coupled with a heavy weight of dense, moist air which made the prevailing air temperature feel many times colder, it hit me like nothing I’ve ever felt before. My immediate impulse was to warm up and quickly with something to eat. And on that particular occasion, I ended up in a little spot that served up kalguksu. Its an experience I’ve never forgotten and ever since, when I feel the chill in the air and have a craving for comforting Korean food, it reminds me of that time.
Cheontong Son Kalguksu
206-3 Cheongun-dong, Gyeongju City
North Gyeongsang Province, South Korea
Returning to another report on another stop from my August stay in South Korea. I remember this lunch well, as we were racing to leave Gyeongju City as the powerful typhoon ravaging the coast was approaching fast and already the rain was falling horizontally due to the swirling winds. We spotted Cheontong Son Kanguksu from the road as we approaching this area that was populated by a few restaurants. The lights seemed to be on inside but nobody could be seen, so one brave member of our party stepped out into the falling rain and knocked on the door to see if they were indeed ready for customers. Perhaps it was the weather and the lone female proprietor felt sorry for us, as it seems she was still doing her preparation work, but she let us inside and told us to make ourselves at home.
The wet, humid weather made it perfect for something hot to try and warm up our cores. Kalguksu or hand-cut wheat noodles served in a bowl of rich, mainly seafood (shellfish)-based flavorful broth, topped with a mix of thin sliced vegetables. While the ambiance was nothing special, perhaps even on the dilapidated side and I could spot a few flies spinning around in the air, I was just grateful to be indoors and away from the storm. Although being in a fully glass encased building was not something one should probably do when powerful winds are ravaging all around.
Won Jo BBQ and Noodle Restaurant
105-508 Clark Road
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The chill is definitely in the air in the Lower Mainland now after our fantastic summer. Perfect time to switch my focus onto hot stews, soups and hearty, filling meals. Thankfully, Korean cuisine has many choices when it comes to dishes like this…
Meok Ja Gol
4992 Newton Street
May 2010 re-visit post here
December 2009 re-visit post here
Original post here:
On the prowl in my car for new places to eat, I find that strong visibility from the road always plays a strong role in first my ability to spot them, and also my decision to actually check them out. The major artery of Kingsway is probably one of the best examples of this…
Way back in 2005, I can remember dining at Meok Ja Gol and having the barbecue. With those faint memories in my mind, during a weekday out in Burnaby for some meetings, I came across this restaurant once again. As I alluded to earlier, had it not been for the sight lines from the road, I probably would have missed it and not recalled my first visit years ago.