Restaurants in Seoul: 작은공간 (Small Space)

작은공간 translates roughly to “small space” which is a pretty accurate description for this hole in the wall. They serve “quick tteokbokki” (즉석떡볶이) like Hoya, but it feels a lot less commercialized. I’m not a big fan of this style of tteokbokki, but my 2nd time here eating the black bean sauce (짜장) flavor made me more open to it. It can get quite busy, so I recommend coming here earlier if you don’t want to wait. It’s located near Yangjae Station (양재역) outside of exit 4. Make a left at the LG Electronics building and it’ll be on the left after a couple of blocks. 작은공간 Map

자근공간 Small Space front entrance
You can already feel how much of a hole in the wall it is from the outside.

Atmosphere자근공간 Small Space Interior 1The interior is pretty much what you can expect for a hole in the wall. It is tiny, cramped, and not terribly comfortable. I hear a lot of kids from a school nearby come here to eat which is why there’s so much graffiti everywhere.

자근공간 Small Space Interior
There’s literally no space left unmarked here.

To be honest, the graffiti on the walls makes me feel like the restaurant is pretty filthy. Being a germaphob makes it even more uncomfortable for me, so I don’t recommend it if you’re like me. The place has its own charms for certain people though. Menu자근공간 Small Space MenuThere are basically two choices between the regular teokbokki flavor and the black bean sauce (짜장)flavor. You can order it in 2 or 3 person servings, but I found the 2 person serving to be good for 3 of us. Original flavor (즉석떡볶이) – 11,000/14,000 won자근공간 Small Space regular flavorI feel the same way about the original flavor as I do with Hoya. It’s a bit too watery, so the rice cakes don’t absorb the flavor very well. Ironically, they don’t give you too many rice cakes either. It’s pretty mediocre in my opinion. Black Bean Sauce Flavor (즉석짜장떡볶이) – 12,000/15,000 자근공간 Small Space jjajang flavorFor 1,000 won more, you can order the black bean sauce flavor which I highly recommend over the original. They basically add some black bean sauce to the original, creating a savory and spicy combination which is way more flavorful. Beware, it is quite salty.자근공간 Small Space jjajang flavor close up We didn’t even order the additional ramen, but they gave us two blocks anyway. We did order chewy noodles (쫄면), but there was very little of that. Perhaps they added the ramen because they ran out? The dumplings (만두) are filled with cellophane noodles as is the 김마리. Make sure to let them cook as they are somewhat cold in the beginning.

자근공간 Small Space 만두
Fried Dumpling (튀김만두)
자근공간 Small Space 쫄면
Chewy Noodle (쫄면)

Stir Fry Rice Addition (비빔밥) – 2000 won a serving자근공간 Small Space Stir Fry A pretty typical addition to basically any stew-like meal in Korea. It has a blend of seaweed and some veggies, but no corn. It tasted really good with the black bean sauce as well. The place has its own charms, but it’s not for the claustrophobic or germaphob. The food is a mixed bag, but go for the black bean sauce if you’re going to give it a chance!


Author: Ryan Mar

Just a guy simply making the most with life abroad. Love travel, photography, food, and just enjoying life. Currently blogging about beautiful places in Seoul, Korea, along with food, culture, and observations at

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