I first knew of this place thanks to a friend who did her homework on where to eat in the area. I wasn’t particularly excited by the prospect of eating dumplings, but I was in Korea to try new stuff, so why not? ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
I’m sure glad we went ahead with this, because I liked the food in the original Insadong branch so much that I ate this again in their Myeongdong branch.
The branch you find in Insadong is the original one, so you’ll find lots of people queueing early and squeezing in here. Don’t say I didn’t warn you. We came at around 5pm and there was already a crowd inside the store.
You know what keeps tourists and locals alike coming, even if it means long queues, squeezy seats, and definitely not the best customer service? THESE:
My favourites are the fried and kimchi dumplings. The fried ones look a bit like our curry puffs (haha) but no, they’re leaner, crispier, and stuffed with delicious dumpling filling. It’s a great mix of flavours and textures that will make you think: “Wow, I’m glad I came for this.”
The kimchi dumpling is, obviously, filled with kimchi, which makes for an interesting and spicy chewing experience. If you love eating kimchi, you’ll love this.
We also ordered a serving of naengmyeon (cold noodles) to share – perfect for cooling off in the hot summer weather. The noodles are superrrr chewy though – you may struggle a little to finish this.
On my fourth trip, I finally realized why the mandu shop near my hotel was always packed with people: It was the Myeongdong branch of Bukchon Son Mandu!
This time we ate this in winter, so we ordered piping hot chopped noodles instead.
If you ask me, I’ll say that the dumplings in the Myeongdong branch taste exactly like the ones in Insadong.
The main difference between these two are the dining space and staff: Insadong’s is a small, packed space with staff who are always so, so busy; Myeongdong’s is slightly more spacious, with staff who are more polite and patient, even when it gets busy.
If you really want to try these mandu out, I’ll recommend going to the Myeongdong branch instead, but for those who want a taste of the original store – it would do best to go early, and be less mindful about the staff attitude.
Insadong: 153-1 Insa-dong, Jongno-gu, Seoul, South Korea
Myeongdong: 10, Myeongdong 9-gil, Jung-gu 1f, Seoul 04538 South Korea