2020. 09. 20 (일)

[고고가게 Eng. ver] Gogo Eateries ② Incheon & Gyeonggi Story

기사입력 2019-12-09 11:26:44기사수정 2019-12-09 11:26
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Let's go, Historic eateries by subway!

※ 본 기획 취재는 (사)한국잡지협회의 지원을 받아 작성되었습니다. 그동안 '브라보 마이 라이프' 매거진과 온라인 기사를 통해 만났던 '고고가게' 시리즈를 해외 독자 분들을 위해 영문 버전으로도 준비했습니다.

‘Gogo' has several meanings such as old, elegant and outstanding. Let's take a visit to a famous restaurant that perfectly fits this expression, 'Gogo Eateroes'. It's easy to select and find just near the subway, let's shout 'go-go'.

●Incheon & Gyeonggi Story●

#1 Since 1946, Gyeongin Noodle House(경인면옥)

▲Third owner of Gyeongin Noodle House, Ham Jong-uk and representative menus.(오병돈 프리랜서 obdlife@gmail.com)
▲Third owner of Gyeongin Noodle House, Ham Jong-uk and representative menus.(오병돈 프리랜서 obdlife@gmail.com)

Ham Yong-bok, the first generation owner from Pyeongan-do Province, opened Gyeongin Noodle House after inheriting Pyeongyang Cold Buckwheat Noodle recipe from his eldest brother who had run a cold buckwheat noodle house. The business was inherited to his son, Ham Won-bong, and subsequently to his grandson, Ham Jong-uk who is the third owner. In fact, Gyeongin Noodle House was born even before Ham Jong-uk was born.

"Originally, it was a rice soup restaurant called 'Gyeongin Restaurant', and my grandfather acquired it to open a cold noodle house. Because many customers came for rice soup, he began business by adding cold noodle to the existing menu. Menus of the time remained even in my father's generation, but as I took over the restaurant, I gradually reduced the menu because I wanted to concentrate more on the taste of cold noodle."

Over three generations, menus were reduced, but the quality of food upgraded. They use bay salt that has been matured more than three years, and only the Korean beef with higher than grade 1 (1, 1+, 1++) for noodle toppings and soup base. The ingredients cost two to three times more expensive than before but this does not mean a rise in the price. Also, the quality of ingredients changed, but the recipe is still the same as 70 years ago. Gyeongin Noodle House is keeping the site and taste, but the public awareness to Pyeongyang Cold Buckwheat Noodle changed a lot over time, of course, in a positive way.

"Even during my father's time, most people preferred Hamheung Cold Buckwheat Noodles. Sometimes we had customers who were unfamiliar with the clean taste of Pyeongyang Cold Buckwheat Noodle and complained about the soup base. It has been not long since Pyeongyang Cold Buckwheat Noodle gained popularity thanks to gourmets who introduced it on TV program. Now even those who have never tasted it before enjoy its 'charming taste'.

Because of the unique clean taste of Pyeongyang Cold Buckwheat Noodle, sensitive customers respond to even the slightest changes. Even though they strive to make the same taste each day, it's not easy to maintain uniform taste. Family of Gyeongin Noodle House eat cold noodles for lunch to check the taste of the day.

"Noodle taste can vary by weather and sometimes by my daily condition. But we try to make the same taste as 70 years ago by keeping to the basics. It is our long wish and goal to serve consistent and honest cold noodles even after decades."

Address 38, 46 beon-gil, Sinpo-ro, Jung-gu, Incheon (8 minutes’ walk from Dongincheon Station)

Opening Hours 11am - 9pm (Until 3pm on Tuesday) Break Time: 3pm - 4:30pm, Weekend & National Holiday: 4pm - 5pm

Representative Menu Pyeongyang Cold Buckwheat Noodles, Pyeongyang Spicy Buckwheat Noodles, Mung Bean Pancake, etc.

#2 Since 1963, Jidonggwan(지동관)

▲Father and two sons who run Jidonggwan today. Jidonggwan has a long history, but they seek to catch two rabbits so called tradition and trend by considering the appetite of new customers.(오병돈 프리랜서 obdlife@gmail.com)
▲Father and two sons who run Jidonggwan today. Jidonggwan has a long history, but they seek to catch two rabbits so called tradition and trend by considering the appetite of new customers.(오병돈 프리랜서 obdlife@gmail.com)

'Jidonggwan' is a representative Chinese restaurant in Uijeongbu city that has continued by three generations of Chinese chefs in Korea. 'Jidong' was named after the wish to reunite with family of Kim Seong-jeong, the first owner who was originally from Shandong, China. Especially, Kim received the Order of National Security Merit from former President Park Jung-hee for his participation in military service during the Korean War. Afterward, people called him 'Master Sergeant Kim' and visited Jidonggwan often in reward of his participation in the war. Kim Yuk-an (60), the second owner said, "Jidonggwan settled down well thanks to citizens of Uijeongbu."

"Those who thanked my father at the time even visit today. This means that we have many middle-aged regulars. Since we run the business in the same place for a long time, we went through remodeling and changes, and a few years ago, we installed an elevator for the convenience of customers. The restaurant is two stories, and it was not easy for some people with uneasy movement to climb up and down the stairs. We thought we could make this change for elderlies who visited for a long time."

Kim Yuk-an is still in the business, but he entrusted much about the business to two sons in preparation for full inheritance of the family business. The elder Kim Ji-seong (30) is in charge of customer and staff management in the hall while the younger Kim Ji-ryang (28) is responsible for cooking and menu development. Customers who saw them from kids say that they are delighted to see the two inheriting the business. Kim Ji-seong said, "The business continued for three generations, and customers also come throughout the time", and spoke of his aspiration to maintain the reputation to reward long regulars.

"I never thought that I must continue the family business, but if I retrospect it, I felt sorry if the history of Jidonggwan vanishes inevitably. Because two of us helped father from our young ages, we are not unfamiliar with the work, but the responsibility itself is heavy on my shoulder. Recently, we were designated as a '100-year Restaurant' by the Ministry of SMEs and Startups, and I think it's worthwhile to reach 100th anniversary to deserve the title!"

Jidonggwan serves excellent general Chinese menus such as Noodles in Black Bean Paste, Spicy Noodles with Vegetables and Seafood, and Sweet and Sour Pork, but it's also fun to discover various handmade dim sum and delicacies. They are continuously offering new menus preferred by the young generation such as Adductor Muscles or Beef in Mala Sauce and Guobarou.

"We have over 50 dishes in our menu but people usually order what they are accustomed to. We try to keep the basic taste of long-run menus and also serve trendy dishes. As a result, we plan to lead pleasant changes that satisfy the family of three generations."

Address 78, 1298 beon-gil, Hoguk-ro, Uijeongbu, Gyeonggi-do (5 minutes’ walk from Uijeongbu Station)

Opening Hours Everyday 11am - 9:30pm, Break Time: 3pm - 5pm

Representative Menu Noodles Mixed with Seafood in Black Soybean Sauce, Sweet and Sour Pork, Handmade Dim Sum, etc.

#3 Since 1960, Odeng Restaurant(오뎅식당)

▲Third owner of Odeng Restaurant, Kim Min-woo and representative menu, Dining Table of Sausage Stew.(오병돈 프리랜서 obdlife@gmail.com)
▲Third owner of Odeng Restaurant, Kim Min-woo and representative menu, Dining Table of Sausage Stew.(오병돈 프리랜서 obdlife@gmail.com)

We cannot forget to mention about 'Sausage Stew' when it comes to gourmet restaurant in Uijeongbu. There are old restaurants that serve Sausage Stew Street near the Uijeongbu Jung-ang Station, and 'Odeng Restaurant' boasts of the longest history. How did Huh Gi-sook, the founder of the restaurant, start making sausage stew around 50 years ago? Her grandson and today's owner Kim Min-woo (37) told us the untold stories about the birth of sausage stew.

"In the beginning, she started a fish cake street vendor. One day, customers who worked at the U.S army near the vendor brought ham, sausage and bacon and asked my grandmother to make snack for their drinks. At first, she simply stir-fried whatever they brought to her, and regulars asked her to make a stew to be served with rice. So she cooked a stew by adding Kimchi and seasoning, which became the origin of today's sausage stew."

Although the restaurant specializes in sausage stew, they kept the title 'Odeng Restaurant' as their original customers used to call it during the time of street vendor. In fact, this place gained popularity when it was introduced in 'Le Grand Chef', a cartoon by Huh Young-man. Unique clean sweet taste is the sole charming point of sausage stew as described in the cartoon. Ordinary sausage stew uses ham, sausage, tofu, minced beef, glass noodles and Kimchi. On top of that, you can add toppings for your preference, and the most popular topping is 'Ramen'. The owner explained about the special secret hidden in Ramen topping.

"We made Ramen topping exclusive for Odeng Restaurant after 6 months of study. These noodles are specialized for sausage stew because collagen makes them more chewy and elastic. They don't puff up easily compared to ordinary Ramen. As for basic ingredients and side Kimchi, we prepar and mature them in a factory at Yeoju. Many regulars feel attractive to our matured Kimchi and come to dine."

They kept the old ways for sausage stew, but changed menus by reflecting trends in each time. The taste of sausage stew is especially changed by the type of topping, which made it possible to keep a long run menu enjoyed by all people regardless of age and gender. Recently, Odeng Restaurant is planning to attract more customers by opening direct stores in other regions. Of course, the owner is confident about the same taste of sausage stew whichever restaurant you visit.

"Our philosophy is consistent taste, so that we run only direct stores and we don't have any plan to start franchising. New stores have modern interior design, but because I wanted to leave vestiges of my grandmother who inherited the family business, I decorated her photos in every store. Like my grandmother, I want to tell my two sons to continue the family business."

Address 15, 1309 beon-gil, Hoguk-ro, Uijeongbu, Gyeonggi-do (2 minutes’ walk from Uijeongbu Jungang Station)

Opening Hours Everyday 8:30am - 8:30pm

Representative Menu Sausage Stew, Assorted Toppings, Ramen Topping, etc.

저작권자 ⓒ 브라보마이라이프 무단전재 및 재배포 금지