Knight Restaurant Road
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My father was the hardest thing for me when I slept a lot in the morning as a child. âPeople have to get up early in the morning.â He woke the children up early in the morning and threw them a newspaper. It was unmistakably repeated on weekdays and weekends, and I was able to prepare for school or go back to sleep only after reading one newspaper in a half-dazed spirit. Meanwhile, they didn't ask me anything about the newspaper's content, whether it was good or bad; because of that, I put something to read in front of me and learned âhow to sleep well.â
Still, as I got used to that life a bit, I gradually enjoyed reading newspapers. If I was reading a newspaper while passing through a thin sheet of paper, I would carefully iron old money by my side. I couldn't feel so happy when I received a thousand won as pocket money, which was as sharp as new money. When I think about it now, I just feel grateful for how much my father's small act changed me.
As the times changed, people like my father were evaluated as âhighly knowledgeable,â and it seemed that they were gradually becoming extinct in society. Then I came across this place. The owner of the knight restaurant in Yonggang-dong, who visited today, defines himself as a âhighly knowledgeable person.â A house that âmakesâ chicken gomguk soup. It's Mapo chicken gomguk soup.
Mapo Dakgomtang, which opened in 2004, is a restaurant located slightly on the outskirts of Gangbyeonbuk-ro and Yonggang-dong. It's the opposite of traditional restaurants that huddled together to form a âknight restaurant village.â I was curious and asked why, and the boss himself said that he had been a taxi driver for over 30 years. Having lived as a chauffeur for a long time, I had a good sense of geography, and I guessed that this neighborhood would be a hub for taxis to come and go frequently even though it was a time when not a single road was properly paved.
Every day, after receiving the chicken from the farm and cleaning it once more, the process of boiling it once more is repeated, removing the bones from the chicken meat and skin one by one, and boiling it again. Recently, it was selected as one of the best restaurants in the Food X File and became famous once. (Unfortunately, I couldn't make a name for a good restaurant because of the MSG side dish) The phrase âYou can't sell or bring in alcoholâ is clear in front of the store.
The exterior of Mapo Chicken Gomtang
| Notice written on the side of the entrance door
Kitchen with a full view
| Trim the ingredients frequently at the corner.
| Side dishes on the table
It's a small restaurant with about 7 tables, but the ladies in fine uniforms are always busy. There was not enough space inside the kitchen, so after the customer was out, the ingredients were trimmed at a table in one corner, and then put away again when the customer came.
The menu consists of chicken gomguk soup, chicken white rice, and chicken skin and chicken skin sauce, where all the chicken is served gently. Chicken gomguk soup and chicken white rice are ordered one by one, and hot chicken gomguk soup is served soon after. It's a stainless steel bowl that's thick and doesn't get too hot even when you touch the sides. However, when I ate it, I felt that the soup had cooled down a bit, which is a pity. I wonder if I can keep the earthenware pot warm until the end even if I put my hands a little longer.
After all, if you look at the outside of the chicken gomguk soup, it was a little more immaculate when eaten elsewhere, but the chicken gomguk soup here looks very clear and light. As expected, when you take a bite, the flavor is rather weak. However, at the end of the soup, a slightly sweet and spicy flavor unique to chicken meat comes up. At that time, I felt similar to when I ate Pyongyang cold noodles. It's similar to when you properly feel the flavor of the meat hidden behind the bland broth, which makes you think âis it water that has been soaked and removed from the meat.â
| Chicken gomguk soup (6,000 won)
| There are quite a few ingredients in it. I wish you could add some more vermicelli.
After eating about 2/3, remove the sauce.
Unchanged, refreshing taste
The chicken gomguk soup here uses roji. It is said that in order to cook soup, it is better to use rogye rather than young gye. However, in the case of No-gye, the key is to catch that unique smell, and it is said that all chicken fat and skin are removed by hand here, and herbal ingredients are added and simmered in a cauldron for at least 3 hours. The boss explains that it takes that much cooking to make it soft enough to eat.
If you make chicken gomguk soup, put chicken meat in the broth and cook it once to make it soft, but if you make chicken white rice, the flavor is more original. Chicken white rice, whose name is unfamiliar, is served separately from gomguk soup and lean meat once eaten. The lean meat is as firm as the chicken that you used to eat at Samgyetang. The flavor served together If you dip a little bit of soy sauce and eat it, you can feel the taste of cold chicken meat as it is. The youngest (?) To the inside of the inn, I'd like to explain that it's like eating the electrically grilled chicken that was left the day before the next day. (As an excuse for fans of this place who may feel bad, I'll let you know that the taste is domesticated by MSG and bad food ^^;)
The explanation is a bit ridiculous (?) Although I was disappointed, I can guess that the food was prepared with a lot of care. The reason I chose this place as the 13th restaurant I would like to introduce is the same.
The owner of this place is said to have lived a life as a taxi driver for over 30 years and then started a small franchise called Chicken Gomdang Restaurant. It is said that since he was unfamiliar with food, at first he just worked hard to learn, and as time went by, he gradually became greedy when he saw a way to create the âoriginal flavor.â Therefore, they abandoned the franchise method and reopened a restaurant that makes food in their own way. They say they are providing meals that are not embarrassing to serve to customers even if they go the extra mile.
âEven now, many people recognize and love our store, but I don't think it was difficult or discouraged to come this far. If I had made food honestly, I guarded the front of the cauldron every day thinking, âSometime someone would notice,â and I lived my life with so much poison that I would pierce the store's bathroom with my bare hands if it got stuck.â The boss, who said bluntly, seemed to be able to feel the hardships of many years.
Chicken white rice (7,000 won). Half a chicken comes out separately.
| Only lean meat that is easy to eat
Firm meat quality
Dip a little bit of flavored soy sauce and eat.
| A good combination of lean meat and garlic on top of rice slightly soaked in broth
When I left the store after a very relaxing meal, there was someone outside who bathed in the blazing sun and helped park the cars that came in without a break, and that was the boss's son. âMy son starts cleaning cigarette butts outside the restaurant. I have many things to teach you, from one to ten, until the day comes when I hand over my carefully made store.â The boss's smiling faintly passes by.
Tips for eating
â¢Address: 494-131 Yonggang-dong, Mapo-gu, Seoul
â¢ Menu: Chicken gomguk soup 6,000 won, chicken white rice 7,000 won
â¢ Opening hours: 24 hours (closed every Saturday night from 11:00 p.m. to Sunday 7:00 p.m.)
â¢Add rice: free
â¢Vending machine coffee: free
â¢Parking space: 10 cars or more (valet)