Tangsuyuk 탕수육 and Jjajjangmyun 짜장면 are my favourite Korean fast food fix. They don’t cost a bomb and are very filling. I think they are the perfect comfort food if you love Korean cuisine. Speaking of Jjajjangmyun, I believe many visitors to Seoul or even Busan are familiar with the Hong Kong Banjum 홍콩반점, one of the most popular Jjajjangmyun chains in Korea. Well, Hong Kong Banjum is certainly the biggest player in the market. However, I have recently concluded that this small little restaurant in Daegwallyeong, a county located northeastern part of Gangwon-do Province maybe even better than Hong Kong Banjum. They serve the best Tangsuyuk. If you are wondering where to eat in Gangwon-do, this is the place you should go.
So we were checking out Daegwallyeong sheep farms, and our guesthouse host recommended this place for lunch. Though it was summer, it was a rainy day and the temperature dropped to 18 degrees Celcius, perfect weather for Jjajjangmyun and Tangsuyuk!
Upon entering Jintaewon Restaurant, we were greeted by the friendly Korean ajumma. Some Chinese paintings adorned the dated wallpapers, and we were led to the very traditional Korean seating where everyone has to sit on the floor. The restaurant has only 6 tables, and the premise is rather old and unassuming, but no one seemed to care. Now when I think about it, it was the food that draws attention.
A quick background for those who’re interested: Jjajjangmyun, according to Wikipedia is a Chinese Korean noodle dish topped with a savoury and sweet, black gravy made of a Korean condiment Chunjang, diced pork and veggies. It is often consumed with Tangsuyuk, a Korean Chinese version of Sweet & Sour Pork.
We were taken aback by the boss’s generosity when they served us fried dumplings before serving the rest of the dishes. It was fried pork dumplings (퇴김만두). It is common that most Korean restaurants offer free items (often called as “Service”서비스), BUT I have never encountered any Korean Chinese restaurants that offer fried dumplings, not one but 12 dumplings all together.
These dumplings are in the most luscious golden brown colour, and is juicy and crispy that keep us wanting for more.
Next up was the Tangsuyuk. Jintaewon’s tangsuyuk was lightly coated with a layer of extra crispy skin, then coated with sweet and sour sauce, with fresh veggies to add that extra crunch. The light, fluffy yet robustly crispy Tangsuyuk was one of the best I had in my entire life. The pork was fresh and very tender, no funky smell at all. You’ll hear the crackling sound of the skin echoes as you chew, and the sweet and sour flavour kicks in… definitely one of the best tangsuyuk in South Korea.
The homemade noodles were springy. Give it a good stir and slurp it up — the chewy texture, together with the salty gravy, with bits of potato cubes and green beans in it, it was so good. Especially so when you eat it with the sliced radish. The slight sweetness emits from the radish balanced the palate and the crunchy texture compliment the chewy noodles so well. I figured this is the reason why I enjoy eating jjajjangmyun and tangsuyuk. They are so simple yet highly addictive, nothing fancy but true luxury.
325-18 Hoenggye-ri, Daegwalnyeong-myeon, Pyeongchang-gun, Gangwon-do, South Korea
Opening Hours: Mon-Sat 11am-730pm| Sun: 12:30pm-7:30pm
강원도 평창군 대관령면 횡계길 19
Note: It is an extremely popular restaurant at Pyeongchang, you’ll be prompt to leave your mobile number with them. If you do not have a local number, it is best to stay around and wait.
If you are currently located in South Korea, you may use the below map to navigate: