Monday, June 28, 2010

The Best North Korean Cold Noodle Restaurant

Naengmyeon at Pyeongga Oak (평가옥)
So how deep does Korean nationalism go? Since the South Korean Navy Boat, sinking, I haven't had trouble getting at seat at my favorite cold noodle house.  Maybe this is a coincidence, but even on the hottest day of summer during peak lunchtime (12-1:30pm). I'm not worried, it's all about taste and this place has amazing food. The name of the restaurant is Pyeongga Oak (평가옥) which is unpronounceable because of the Chinese characters.

North Korean Naengmyeon is different from its saltier, chewier, robustier South Korean counterpart; and on a hot humid summer day it tastes so much better. Mountainous North Korea doesn't have the taste for sweet or spicy. The flavors are more subtle with a bit of sour. The vegetables aren't as fermented so they have a fresher crunch and the noodles give when you bite them instead of stretching like taffy (requiring the help of scissors to cut them.

These noodles have give and slurping them are exquisite. It's probably because the noodles are made in house instead of at some factory than packaged and shipped. They are gossamer buckwheat threads that dance like a water spider on the chilled soup.

Oh, the soup is evidence of their attention to quality. There are no chunks of ice to waterdown the flavor of the beef broth and the cucumber pickles in the soup are wonderful- a bit of crunch.

I recommend you get the baby's fist sized dumpling (mandoo) with your cold noodles. They are a perfect combination.
Delicious Homemade Noodles
Pyeongga Oak (평가옥)
Directions:  Go out Seolleong Station Exit 10 and make a right at Ilsan Yakguk (일산약국). Go down to the street and make a right at the end of the hill. It's across from Seolleong Park.