Sunday, 12 August 2012

19 April 2012 - Breakfast at Namdaemun Kalguksu Alley

Woke up early this morning with a heavy heart.  It was my last day or rather my last 9 hours in Korea.  My flight will depart at 4pm, so I decided to make good use of my time by going to Namdaemun Kalguksu Alley for breakfast. It was a place where I wanted to visit in my last trip but I didn't managed to. 
I passed by this advertisement almost every day and night but didn't have a chance to take a picture of it for Kim Kim. At last, I managed to snap a picture on my last day. It was taken at Euljiro 1(il)-ga station. 

LED screens were used in the subway cabins to display the current and next station, as well as which side to exit. However during this trip, I encountered blank screens very often. Its not any big issue for me but as a foreigner, I will be more sensitive to it since I tend to rely on it more than the locals.  

I took the subway to Hoehyeon Station, exit 5. Ya..I took the stairs cos I was starting to miss Korea a lot.

I reached Namdaemun at 7.45am. There wasn't any 포장마차 Pojangmacha yet unlike the previous trip, where I reached here almost noon and all the tents had been set up ready for business. From exit 5, turn to your 2 0'clock direction and you will see a plastic see through sheet which acts as the entrance of the Kalguksu Alley.

I walked in.

Wow..there were so many stalls. I didn't check out the individual stalls becos the minute I stepped in, I was stopped by the 아줌마 ajumma at the first and second stall. I settled on the first stall because their calling was louder. They should be selling the same thing. Afterall, this is a Kalguksu Alley. flow of banchan?  

I ordered 보리밥 Boribap(Barley Rice). The 아줌마 smiled and replied," 비빔밥 Bibimbap". I repeated,"보리밥 Boribap" according to the menu. Again, she repeated "비빔밥 Bibimbap". This went on for three times. Hmm...I was puzzled. I didn't want bibimbap. There are 6 dishes on this menu. Dish no.3 is 수제비 Sujebi, which is something like our Ban Mian 板麵/面粉粿 aka Mee Hoon Kueh in Hokkien. I don't like Ban Mian becos I don't like big pieces of noodles. I haven't try Sujebi but I will try Sujebi one day.

I don't know what type of Kalguksu is dish no. 2 and 4. I looked up the internet and realised that dish no.4 - 잔치국수 Janchi Guksu is a warm dish cooked with noodles using either beef or anchovy as the soup base. I couldn't find the answer for dish no.2 though. I am also curious what is dish no.6 ie 찰밥 chalbap. I think chalbap is glutinous rice but I don't think they served glutinous rice with nothing else. With banchan perhaps??

The lady seated beside me is a foreigner.  I think she must be shocked with my appetite..

This was the 아줌마 who replied me, " 비빔밥 Bibimbap".  She was a very nice lady ^^ Perhaps I should call her 이모 which sounds better. In this trip, I heard youngsters addressing the older ladies as 이모 rather than 아줌마. 

Tadaa! Yes. This is my boribap cums bibimbap!  All veggies and it tasted really good!  I love it!  Hahaha. I knew I ordered the right dish becos it looked like the one that I saw online. No wonder 이모 kept on saying bibimbap cos I have to mix everything in the bowl. I think Jae told me it should be 보리 비빔밥 Bori Bibimbap ^^  


The boribap came with a small bowl of kalguksu but I do not know what kalguksu was this! Hahahaa..The whole set cost only KRW5000!!  So cheap! 

Before I could finish my bori bibimbap and kalguksu, 이모 passed me a bigger bowl of KALGUKSU!!! OMG! That's so nice of her. I thought the small bowl of kalguksu was already a bonus from her. I didn't expect to have another bowl with a bigger serving! Was it becos I looked hunger????  Nahhhh...!!
Yes, I finished everything becos I am used to heavy breakfast every morning even in Singapore. Remember the lady beside me? She was staring hard at my food. Probably she was shocked by my hugh appetite!  Hahahaaa..

I asked 이모 if I could take pictures of them. She smiled and nodded her head. Her partner posed for me, gave me a big smile and said "KIMCHI".  Well, I can see that the other 이모 wasn't keen to take pictures. Hence, I quickly snapped a few pictures, thanked them and moved on to walk around Namdaemun.

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