Gwangyang city (in Jeon Nam Province) where I live is definitely not a popular tourist destination to foreigners, though we do have some festivals in spring when the plum and cherry blossoms start to appear. They look awesome, but if you want to see them you will be surrounded by thousands of other people looking at them too. 🙂
The part of Gwangyang I live in now is a very industrialized area. I am only 5 minutes away from POSCO, one of the largest steel works companies in the world, and their subsidiary companies. So if you happen to come to Gwangyang that would be for business trip in most cases, since a 5 day tour package doesn’t include this city anyway.
So just in case you might stop by this small but very industrialized city one day, I am going to introduce one fine restaurant that I like. The restaurant is called Neutinamu (zelkova tree in English) and it is famous for Pyongyang style steamed dumplings (Mandu) and knife cut noodles with seafood (Haemul Kalguksu). They do have other menus of course like Shabu-shabu, and other hot pot dishes, but it seemed to me that 90% of the customers eat knife cut noodles and dumplings.
I ordered knife cut noodles for 4 people and a dish of steamed dumplings.
They served this bowl of barley as an appetizer with some steamed vegetables and sauce. The sauce was soy bean paste, but it was a bit thiner than normal soy bean paste. They probably dilute it with some other ingredients. (My husband really liked the bowl of barley, though it used be the symbol of poverty in Korea, up to 20-30 years ago, now it has become popular again because it is known as good healthy food)
They served noodles and dumplings at the same time. While we were waiting for the noodles to cook, we had dumplings. There were 7 of them for a dish. It was really delicious. The best steamed dumplings I ever ate. It just melts in your mouth and very morish too. I wish I could make dumplings like they do.
Finally the noodles are cooked, we started to dig in. It was really good. The broth was refreshing but hot, I nearly burnt my tongue. Unfortunately it only had 4 medium size prawns, and lots of shell fish instead. I am a prawn killer, so having 1 prawn doesn’t satisfy me. 🙂
Oh oo, I forgot to mention this. My husband thinks that their Kimchi tastes the best in KOREA. I am sure there are lots of good restaurants that serve nice Kimchi, but this restaurant’s one is quite nice, I say best in the local area at least. (They serve freshly made Kimchi, so called Geotjeori, in a big jar, I think we ate 1/4 of a cabbage worth of kimchi)
Total cost = 25,000 won for 4 people (US $26.30)
- Steamed dumplings: 5,000 won (US $5.30) – Must try item (5 points out of 5)
- Knife cut noodles with seafood: 20,000 won for 4 people (4 points out of 5) – they need to learn more about the beauty of giving away more prawns 🙂
1647-5, Jungdong, Gwangyang, JeonNam, South Korea (next to Kookmin Bank)