The idea of cold soup seems oxymoronic to me. Gazpachos aren’t my preferred dish. But sometimes, a cold soup can be the perfect remedy to a hot day.
My sister has no problem with cold soup. One of her favorite Korean dishes is Naengmyeon, a cold noodle soup originally from North Korea, but with a large presence in the South. On our recent trip to Seoul, she was insistent that we get some.
I found this place off of Daniel Gray’s Discovering Korea and it was a huge hit. We went after a long tour at Gyeongbukgong Palace. The restaurant was across from the palace wall, but a bit hard to find considering how long the palace wall is. I asked three different policemen to point us in the right direction. Each time, they knew exactly where I was talking about. I took this to be a good sign. My sister and her friend Cleaves were both impressed by my find. The restaurant was extremely authentic and the Naengmyeon was the best I’ve ever had. This Naengmyeon has made me a cold soup convert.
To give you a sense for the authenticity, we walked in to find a small room filled with six tables of Koreans. A pile of shoes greets you at the front door. When we walked in the door, every person in the room stared at us.
This Naengmyeon was exactly the right temperature. Cold, but not cold enough to give you a brain freeze. To provide the right temperature, the soup has large chunks of ice in it. The buckwheat Naengmyeon noodles are not apparent in this photo (they are underneath the broth), but were deliciously light. The broth was extremely flavorful.
Maemil Ggotpilmuryeop (메밀꽃필무렵) – say it ten times fast
Seoul Jongno-gu Tongui-dong 7-23
Gyeongbokgung Station (#327) on Line 3, Exit 4