Hong Kong Banjeom 0410+ (Busan)

Chef Baek Jong-won is famous for all the right reasons, but you might be most familiar with Paik’s Coffee and Paik’s Bibim (both of which you can find in Singapore at pretty high prices tbh). However, he actually has a lot more F&B chains than you might have expected, and this Hong Kong Banjeom 0410+ is one of them. I’m not actually sure why there’s ‘Hong Kong’ in it, because this sure isn’t what Hong Kong cuisine is. Maybe he was going for the Chinese vibes without explicitly labelling it so, I don’t know.

Anyway, we didn’t exactly plan to eat here – mere coincidence that we chanced upon this while walking around BIFF in Busan and half of us were craving food (the type of Chinese food in Korea, just to clarify), so we went in. I don’t have a photo of the exterior (I hadn’t exactly planned at that time to write a travel blog so pls blame my lack of foresight), but other travel blogs have been very helpful:

Source

As you can see, the restaurant is really full of customers because it’s cheap! Hella cheap! Jjajangmyeon costs 4000 won – that’s honestly not a price you can get at many places, because Chinese food is apparently pretty expensive in Korea.

If you see the photo above, you’ll find that the banner features a 5000 won naengmyeon set (“chagamyeon”) complete with a full set of side dishes (!!!). I ended up ordering that because I really wanted some cold naengmyeon in the blistering summer heat, while my friends ordered jjajangmeon and jjangbap (basically replacing noodles with rice, which I have to say is also a very delicious combination).

photo_2018-07-14_14-14-44.jpg

Please admire my 5000 won naengmyeon set. JUST LOOK AT IT!! It’s been a year since I ate this but it’s been one of my absolute favourite meals in Korea. 5000 won is about SGD 6, USD 4.50 – I can assure you that you’re definitely not going to be able to get a set like this in Singapore for less than SGD 10, not even if Chef Baek decides to open this in Singapore.

This was absolutely refreshing to eat in summer – you can see that there is ice in the noodles (hence naengmyeon, “cold noodles”). That plate of ingredients included stuff like shredded eggs, kelp, ham strips, cucumber strips, tofu skin to add more flavour to the noodles. However, I think this was a summer special and is not a permanent item on the menu, so you won’t be able to find this item if you visit in other seasons.

I also tried my friends’ jjajang-meals – the rice felt a bit like I was eating Japanese curry rice, which was quite interesting, and the jjajangmyeon was pretty good as well.

I highly recommend eating at this place at least once in Korea, because it’s highly unlikely you can get cheaper Chinese food anywhere else. They have branches in Seoul as well – Myeongdong, Gangnam etc., so you don’t have to specially take a trip down to Busan in order to eat this. But of course if you’re in Busan, go check this out! Your wallet will thank you for this.


DIRECTIONS

7-2, Nampo-dong, Jung-gu, Nampo-gil, Busan, South Korea

The nearest train station is Jagalchi Station – turn into BIFF and walk along the streets with many stores and restaurants (not the street food).

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