Okay, let’s get something out of the way. Sundae (souns like soon – day) is something any visitor to Korea must try. The most common variety you’ll come across is basically blood sausage noodles packed in a thin casing. But today, no, today we’ll be looking at some ‘real’ sundae. So let’s head south to Namyeong! Which, despite the name… is actually in the north half of Seoul… in the north-east part of the Yongsan district. Hmmm.
Oh right, the restaurant. Today a coworker and I will be visiting Jaeil Oebeoi Sundae (제일 어버이 순대), or roughly translated – The First Ma ‘n Pa’s Sundae!
The notifications here remind you that they make the sundae fresh everyday. Oh, and you can get sundae take-out only during the weekdays after 2pm. Just in case you were going to pick some up to share with all your friends at work! Which… I wasn’t planning on… Really! I swear!
After maybe a five to ten minute wait we get seated. Anticipation! What to order, what to order… I’m thinking something with sundae.
We tried the sundaeguk meal (순대국 정식). Behold!
For the uninitiated Sundae is usually accompanied with meat from the pig’s head and other odds and ends, like the liver. A little to my chagrin, this restaurant did not serve the liver, but it did have the a selection of meat probably sourced from the head or feet. And the sundae. I wish you could hear my Homer drooling sound, but I guess I’ll have to outsource this one to Youtube:
While I like the standard sundae you can find on the street (almost literally), those tend to be a tad firm, almost plastic in texture and not a lot of flavor. Ma ‘n Pa’s Sundae on the other hand is soft and filled with flavours which unfortunately I can’t quite put my finger on. In the good way.
Now since this sundaeguk is itself quite special, I didn’t doctor it the same way I do with other sundaeguks I come across. First off, it already had a fair share of spice inside. Most sundaeguks have fairly clear broth for you to add your own level of spice. You could do that here as well, but not for me. However…
Little tiny shrimp! This is a very common addition for sundaeguk. Why add salt when you can add salty mini-shrimp!
Of course let’s also give some focus to the dish of sundae and ‘head meat’ on the table.
Take some of that meat, dip it in some sauce, add some kimchi and fresh garlic and you’ve got a tasty mouthful!
The gentleman next to us offered us a shot of soju to go with our meal. I couldn’t turn him down so I munch the morsel and…
Don’t forget to add some rice to your soup! While I hear the yangban (the old literati aristocrats) looked down on the practice, their opinions don’t matter any more.
And soon the food just somehow… disappeared.
If you feel like visiting Ma ‘n Pa’s Sundae, you can easily find it at this address:
서울특별시 용산구 남영동 93-2
You can get there by either Namyeong Station exit 1 (Line 1) or Sookdae Station exit 6 (Line 4).
Hope you enjoy! I know I did.