Myeongdong 56th: Army Stew in Seoul

It seems that most people know about army stew when you talk about Korean cuisine, and so we knew we couldn’t go without at least having one meal of army stew on any of our trips to Korea.

For the unacquainted,

Budae-jjigae (부대찌개; literally “army base stew”) or sausage stew is a type of jjigae (stew), made with ham, sausage, spam, baked beans, kimchi and gochujang.[ The dish was created shortly after the armistice that ended the Korean War, using the scrounged or smuggled surplus foods from the U. S. army bases.

Wikipedia

Isn’t it amazing (and a lil sad) that food scrapped together from what the US army left behind is now a staple in Korean cuisine?

We first found this restaurant on our way from Myeongdong station, after our trip to Nami Island. It’s a rather small & unassuming shop front, but our eyes lit up when the ahjumma handed us the menu and we saw BUDAE JJIGAE!! Just imagine the prospect of eating piping hot army stew on a cold winter night: absolute bliss.

Shop front
Myeongdong 56th menu

We all aren’t fans of seafood, so we went ahead and ordered army stew for 3 people (36,000 won). It is SUPER worth the money: 12 000 won per person, which is about SGD15, including free-flow banchan and water!

The service here is really good: the ahjumma will help you to cook this thoroughly, gently remind you not to start eating before the soup is boiling, and even scoop a few bowls for you. I will always remember how she always loaded the ham and sausages in my bowl: how did she know I like processed food HAHA 😂

We also ordered steamed egg to share (10 000 won). This is possibly the best steamed egg I’ve eaten – soft, fluffy, and steamed to perfection.

We enjoyed our meal here so much, we made it a point to visit again on our trip last December, and even ordered the same dishes again.

The ahjumma and other staff here are still as kind and warm as before, although what’s changed is the number of customers.

I think it’s gaining in popularity these days: the year before, we were the only customers in the restaurant; last year, there were a number of tourists from Japan and Hong Kong. Not that I’m unhappy about it – I definitely think this restaurant deserves a lot more love for its delicious food, affordable prices, and of course fantastic customer service!

Unfortunately I haven’t had the chance to try their other dishes, let me know if they are worth ordering if you do check this out!


DIRECTIONS

Address: Myeongdong 2-gil, Seoul, South Korea

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“I dream. Sometimes I think that's the only right thing to do.” ― Haruki Murakami, Sputnik Sweetheart

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