Looking to grab a late night snack Korean style? Look no further than 미정국수(Mijeong Guksu)0410. Why the awkward name? Perhaps this place is so popular that there are at least 410 chains? I have no idea, but what I am sure about is that this place serves delicious noodles on the cheap 24 hours a day. This place is the go-to restaurant for everyone, anytime, unless you have a gluten allergy of course. I’ve always wanted to share these type of noodle shops as I’ve been a regular to a similar restaurant 5 years ago. There are TONS of chains, but I’ll be talking particularly about the Hongdae location (홍대점).
Here’s the address: 서울 마포구 서교동 486번지 서교푸르지오상가 141~2호
These types of establishments are the definition of Korean fast casual food. Reminiscent of Japan, it’s quite unique in that you buy your food at a computer terminal and pick up a ticket to redeem your order. It’s surprisingly easy and automated, while providing a high quality product.
The menu is pretty simple. Either hot soup noodles, cold soup noodles, mixed noodles, dumplings, or something in between them all. All the dishes are pretty much focused on what they do best, which is of course noodles.
Once you pick up a ticket, they get the order and find your table. The system is a tad inefficient though as the worker almost gave us another party’s food.
멸치국수 (Noodle Soup) – 3000 wonThe cash cow of this establishment. Thin flour noodles in an anchovy-stock broth topped with fried thin strips of tofu, seaweed, green onions, and red pepper powder served at just the right temperature make for an enjoyable experience at any time of the day. This dish is filled with ample noodles that are thin, but are relatively chewy in that regard. The soup tastes very clean and not fishy at all, and the toppings bring it all together. The red pepper powder might be a bit irritating for those who don’t like spicy foods. I’m a big fan of this. You can order a larger size for an additional 1000 won.
비빔국수 (Mixed Spicy Noodle) – 4000 wonSimilar to the ubiquitous bibimbap, this is a combination of veggies, eggs, and nuts with a reasonably spicy pepper sauce. The noodles are just as chewy as in the basic soup and while good, I found it a bit too spicy to be enjoyable. Perhaps not mixing in all the sauce would be ideal if you can’t take spicy dishes.
The idea behind these kind of establishments is simple. An in-and-out approach to a relatively high-quality meal. It proves a lifesaver for those on a budget and/or those in need of a good meal when most places are closed. Of course, those looking for something with a bit more complexity may be a little disappointed, but the few things that this restaurant does; they do very well.