Saturday, May 18, 2013

Ho Dong Oak

Ho Dong Oak in the Gaedon area of Seoul, Korea is a casual restaurant that serves naengmyun, a traditional cold buckwheat noodle dish served in a large stainless bowl with a tangy iced broth, julienned cucumbers, slices of Korean pear, and either a boiled egg or slices of cold boiled beef or both. Spicy mustard sauce and vinegar are often added before consumption. Traditionally, the long noodles would be eaten without cutting, as they symbolized longevity of life and good health, but servers at restaurants usually ask if the noodles should be cut prior to eating, and use scissors to cut the noodles.

We ate at this restaurant for lunch on our first full day of site-seeing in Seoul.  Shoes must be removed before entering, and you are escorted to a low table with a thin cushion for you to sit on the floor.  We were surprised to find this customary tradition at a more casual restaurant, but it appears to be the norm.  This casual place also had the buzzers on each table!  In addition to the cold noodle dish, Ho Dong Oak is also known for their large steamed mandu (dumplings) made fresh daily.  We ordered the daily offering which was filled with pork and vegetables.  They were giant and super filling.  With it came a large plate full of dark red spicy kimchi - one made from cabbage and the other radish.

I chose the Mul Naengmyeon, a cold soup with the noodles contained in broth made from beef, chicken or dongchimi (pickled white radish).  It was cool and refreshing with crunchy cucumbers and pear.  Keith ate the spicier Bibim Naengmyeon served with a spicy dressing made primarily from gochujang (red chili paste) and eaten all mixed.  Both dishes came with a hard boiled egg and were a great lunch to keep us satisfied throughout the day.

Total Rating: 3.78
Food: 4, Price: 4, Service: 3, Ambience: 3, Accessibility: 3.5

What I ate:
Mandu
filled with pork and vegetables

Mul Naengmyeon
cold soup with the noodles contained in broth made from beef, chicken or dongchimi

Plus Keith ate:
Bibim Naengmyeon
served with a spicy dressing made primarily from gochujang (red chili paste) and eaten all mixed

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