Tag Archives: restaurants

Downtown Food & drink restaurants tips for tourists

Restaurant Review #23: Pyeongyang Naengmyeon (평양냉면)

Pyeongyang Naengmyeon Restaurant, Downtown Gyeongju

Pyeongyang Naengmyeon Restaurant, Downtown Gyeongju

I’ve probably use the phrase “hidden gem” on this blog way more often than any decent writer should.  However with Pyeongyang Naengmyeon (평양냉면) the phrase doesn’t fit any better, as I’ve literally walked by the place for years without realizing it was even there. The restaurant sits at the end of long, narrow corridor leading into the courtyard of a traditional “Hanuk” style traditional house; a hidden oasis in the middle of one of downtown Gyeongju’s busiest blocks.  But just because it’s is hard to find doesn’t mean that Pyeongyang Naengmyeon isn’t popular.  In fact the restaurant’s been open for over 65 years, which is probably a record in these parts, and is actually quite famous among locals and Korean tourists alike. read more »

Share
Chunghyo-dong Food & drink Gyeongju restaurants Temples & shrines tips for tourists

Restaurant Review #22: Handmade Kalguksu (손칼국수) at Kim Yu-shin’s Shrine

Son Kalguksu Restaurant Kim Yu-sin's Tomb, Gyeongju

Son Kalguksu Restaurant Kim Yu-sin's Tomb, Gyeongju

The kalguksu (칼국수) restaurant at General Kim Yu-shin’s memorial shrine is one of those hidden gems of Gyeongju; the operative word here being hidden.  It’s actually located in one of the side buildings of Sungmujeon (숭무전), the Confucian Shrine venerating the spirit tablet of the famed Silla general Kim Yu-shin (595~673 C.E.). The shrine itself is a bit hard to find as it’s tucked in a little horseshoe valley down from Kim Yu-sin’s Tomb hidden by the train tracks.  The restaurant is in a nondescript farm house to the side with just a small placard advertising 손칼국수,  or  ”hand-cut wheat noodles.”  If you didn’t know where it was, you’d probably never find it.  For as hidden as it is, it’s usually busy, which is a good sign. read more »

Share
Events Festivals Gyeongju Hotels and housing Korean culture Music & dance News tips for tourists

2012 Spring Events: Cherry Blossoms, Miso II, Concerts and More

Cherry Blossoms at Night, Gyeongju

Cherry Blossoms at Night, Gyeongju

I’ll skip my usually apologies to my regular readers for not posting in over almost month.  Suffice to say, I’ve been swept up in the usual start-of-semester whirlwind lately.  Thankfully things are finally settling into a routine and with spring at our door step, there are a few things to catch up on. For starters, cherry blossom season is close upon us again. If you’re planning to frolic among the flowers this year, the Korean Tourism Organization has recently released its predictions for the blossoming dates and peak times for 2012. It looks like the cherries here in Gyeongju will begin blooming around April 2nd and will be at their peak between April 11th and the 20th, so mark your calendars.  And if you’re looking tips on places in town to check out the cherry blossoms,  I’ve posted suggestions in years past on the best spots for the blossoms. read more »

Share
Gyeongju restaurants Seonggeon-dong tips for tourists

Restaurant Review # 21: Fine Dining at 11 Chesterfield Way

11 Chesterfield Way, Fine Dining in Gyeongju

11 Chesterfield Way, Fine Dining in Gyeongju

This is perhaps my first ever official retraction here on Gyeongjublog.  In my last post I was complaining about the terrible selection of western restaurants here in Gyeongju.  Although my criticisms regarding “craptapulous fast-food joints” and “so-called Italian restaurants downtown” still stand, I made these comments before being introduced to the fine dining of 11 Chesterfield Way.  We had the pleasure of joining friends at 11 Chesterfield Way for dinner on New Year’s Eve and I dare say that it was the best western food I’ve had in Gyeongju, if not the whole of Korea.  read more »

Share
Bomun Resort Gyeongju holidays restaurants tips for tourists

Restaurant Review #20: Hyundai Hotel Christmas Lunch Buffet

Christmas at the Hyundai Hotel, Gyeongju

Christmas at the Hyundai Hotel, Gyeongju

“Christmas” and “Gyeongju” are probably mentioned in the same sentence about as often as “Nascar” and “feta cheese.”  However, like any tourist destination with a thriving resort industry, Christmas does indeed come to Gyeongju, and it does so with its own unique style.    Over the last decade Christmas in Korea has gone from being observed only by devout Christians to a holiday much heralded by shop keepers and romantic couples alike.  The resulting Christmas festivities I’ve heard one sour Scrooge describe as being “just not quite right.”  Indeed, the florescent cross-cultural fusion with which Koreans celebrate Christmas probably has both Christmas and Korean traditionalists spinning in their graves.  However, as an aficionado of international kitsch, I can only applaud in glee.  For what two things on earth are kitschier than Christmas and Korea?  It’s truly a match made in Heaven, or Hell depending who you ask. read more »

Share
Arts & crafts Buddhist culture Gyeongju hiking Korean culture Namsan-dong photography restaurants Ruins & remains shopping Statues & carvings Temples & shrines tips for tourists

Slideshow: Autumn in Namsan-dong (남산동) Village

Muryangsa Temple, Namsan-dong, Gyeognju

Muryangsa Temple, Namsan-dong, Gyeognju

To be honest the Korean urban lifestyle doesn’t really do much for me.  Sure, I sometimes miss the art and culture, the night clubs and the convenience.  But after living in London, Berlin and Barcelona, there’s really not anything new that I get out of big cities in Korea.  All it takes is a walk through one of the many quaint and quiet farm villages near Gyeongju to remind me why I like living with the Korean countryside so close at hand.   One of my favorite places to visit is Namsan-dong (남산동);  a string of farming villages just 15 minutes outside of town tucked in the shadow of Gyeongju’s historic Mt. Namsan (남산). read more »

Share
Bulguk-dong Food & drink Gyeongju restaurants tips for tourists

Restaurant Review #19: Bomun Does Vegetarian Part 2- Ssukbu Jaengi (쑥부쟁이) Restaurant

Ssukbu Jaengi Vegetarian Restaurant, Gyeongju

Ssukbu Jaengi Vegetarian Restaurant, Gyeongju

If you’ve read any of my restaurant reviews on here on the blog, you’ve probably noticed  I don’t bother ratings restaurants with crap like forks, stars, or hearts.  I’m a busy guy.  I figure if a restaurant’s blasé or bad (and Gyeongju ‘s got its share of those) then it’s not worth writing about.  Also, everyone has different tastes, especially when it comes to cuisine as unique, flavorful (and sometimes challenging)  as Korean.   Giving a sundae (순대)restaurant four out of five stars (or toothpicks or whatever) doesn’t mean much if thought of blood sausage turns your stomache. All that said, for its combination of quality food, reasonable prices and tasteful traditional décor, I’d about give Ssukbu Jaengi (쑥부쟁이) five out of five stars.  It’s just that good, and it happens to be vegetarian. read more »

Share
Bomun Resort Food & drink Gyeongju restaurants tips for tourists

Restaurant Review #18: Bomun Does Vegetarian Part 1- Dayoo (다유) Restaurant

Da-yoo Vegetarian Restaurant, Bomun Resort

Da-yoo Vegetarian Restaurant, Bomun Resort

Although it’s not quite enough to call a trend, a couple vegetarian restaurants have sprung up around Bomun Resort (보문단지) in the last few years which, for a country that generally considers eating meat equal with common sense, is a pretty big deal.  Perhaps the frequent media scares over livestock-borne diseases, like mad cow, foot and mouth and avian flu, are beginning to turn some Koreans off from their gleefully carnivorous diets.  Whatever the case, it certainly helps the vegetarian cause that both Dayoo (다유) and Ssookboo Jaengi (쑥부쟁이) restaurants near Bomun serve excellent traditional Korean vegetarian food.  And, contrary to the popular belief among Korean school kids, this is not a contradiction in terms. read more »

Share
Bomun Resort Events Gyeongju Hotels and housing Hwangseong-dong links restaurants tips for tourists

More Spring News: Traditional Korean Opera, Free Taekwondo Tickets, New Gyeongju Website and More

Bomun Opera Performance Poster (click to enlarge)

Bomun Opera Performance Poster (click to enlarge)

Spring is a busy time in Gyeongju, so there are few more things happening around town that I thought I’d mention.   May 5th – 7th (Thursday through Saturday) the Gyeongju City Government is hosting a free opera performance out at Bomun Lake titled “The River Flows to the Sea.”  The opera is a drama based on the relationship between two legendary figures from the Shilla Dynasty; Queen Seondeok and General Kim Yu-shin.  The opera will be accompanied by a Korean classical symphony and features some pretty heavy hitters from the world of Korean theater and classical music, like conductor Park Sang-jin.  The opera will run from 7:00 to 9:30 pm and will be held at the out-door theater on the north shore of Bomun Lake.  If you’re in town that weekend, definitely check it out as it sounds pretty cool.  I mentioned it was free, right? read more »

Share
Food & drink Gyeongju Hwangnam-dong restaurants tips for tourists

Restaurant Review #17: Hwangnam Maetdol Sundubu Restaurant (황남 맷돌 순두부)

Hwangnam Maetdol Sundubu Restaurant, Gyeongju

Hwangnam Maetdol Sundubu Restaurant, Gyeongju

Growing up I never cared much for mushrooms. Like a lot of kids I guess, I found them bland and boring. Then again, this was back in the culinary dark ages of the 80’s when the supermarkets only stocked button mushrooms and nobody had yet uttered the word “foodie.”  In the 90’s my tastes changed drastically (in more ways than one) and I learned to love the grilled portobello mushroom sandwiches at the local vegetarian café.  Still, I wasn’t going to blow several hours pay from my (then) minimum wage job to buy a pack of expensive mushrooms at the neighborhood grocery store. read more »

Share
Content Protected Using Blog Protector By: PcDrome.