Traditional, this restaurant has been recommended by the locals as being the place to visit. Heokdonga means 'black pig'. With suction tubes over every table, you prepare your own meal. Lunchtime, and the restaurant was already full.
Sit on a table or choose the traditional way on low tables, local style. A simple menu, but you'll need help choosing.
Pork was the recommendation, so lunch starts with a selection of plates which land as you order. Kimchi, garlic, eggs omelet, noodles and greens. Fresh textures, lots of spices, a load of garlic all over, red sauce and a plate of sliced onions. The same metallic chopsticks every restaurant has and we were ready to start.
What an experience! Feeling that we weren't understanding the concept, a lady approached to help. She cut the pork with scissors followed by the meat. She asked to wait for the meat to cook before eating while she started mixing the bibimbap. Complicated food is the least that can be said and despite all its colors, spices and intense ingredients I loved it!
Soybean paste stew with beef brisket served in a boiling pot with crab legs and tofu. A soup or ratatouille of many ingredients cooked to perfection. Vegetarian bibimbap is everything vegetarian with a fried egg. The plates are emptied in a bowl and mixed together. The mix is tasty, not a salad but warm and crunchy ingredients mixed with rice. Grilled black pork belly is the specialty, a light sweetness and tender meat. Marinated pork ribs are worth coming here for. Fat at its utmost level with a tender and juicy meat but who cares, I was happy.
This lunch experience has broken all rules. Fat, onions, garlic, smells, spices... Korean food is a journey the brain should get acquainted to. The spices tickle your tongue, the garlic hits late and the smell will haunt your clothes for a day.
Seoul here I come and I'm ready to discover it all and eat everything!