Bibimbap (돌솥 비빔밥) is a famous traditional Korean dish, that is Korean mixed rice dish, so of course, just hearing it, you can partly imagine how this dish is. The main ingredients of Bibimbap are white rice, side dishes placed on top of the rice can be accompanied by namul (processed vegetables), gochujang (Korean chili paste) and eggs, beef. Koreans are so delicate that they know how to make a first impression on diners by decorating the ingredients of the dish in an extremely eye-catching way.
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In Seoul there are many restaurants and eateries serving Bibimbap, but one specializing in Bibimbap that I have experienced and would recommend here is Gogung (고궁 – 인사동점) (Gogung Bibimbap Insadong, Gogung Bibimbap Seoul) located in Insadong neighbourhood, which specializes in Bibimbap.
Gogung Bibimbap Insadong
Address: Address: South Korea, Seoul, Jung-gu, Chungmuro 2(i)-ga, Myeongdong 8ga-gil, 27 2층
Opening hours: 11 am – 9:30 pm daily.
How to get there: This restaurant is located on Insadong walking street. If you take the subway, you go to the Anguk station, Exit 6, go straight to a large intersection, looking to the left, you will see a beautiful marble pedestrian street with many traditional shops. On the right is the road to the old village of Bukchon. Turn left and go straight about 500m, you will see a small mall called Ssamji-gil on the right, the Gogung shop is located here below the basement.
The menu and enjoy Bibimbap at Gogung Bibimbap Insadong
The menu of the restaurant is quite simple, including set meals or ordering each plate of rice and separate side dishes. There are 3 types of set meals: Set A, C cost 35.000 KRW and Set B costs 36.000 KRW which is quite similar with 2 main dishes: 2 mixed rice bowls for 2 people. We ordered Set C, plus drink, the total price is 37.000 KRW.
Side dishes are always presented first, including kimchi, pickled vegetables such as radish, napa cabbage or seaweed, which are free order.
Then, two bowls of mixed rice are brought out while still hot, the way to place the side dishes on top is also very delicate. Jeonju style bibimbap comes in a golden metal bowl and Dolsot bibimbap comes with a black hot earthenware bowl.
The soft boiled egg yolk, if mixed right away when just brought out, it will be a little more cooked. Comparing a little with the Japanese mixed rice in Singapore that I ate, Bibimbap is not as hot when just brought out, so it does not create a crunchy layer underneath the bowl like Japanese mixed rice. But these two Bibimbap bowls are very big, one person eating this bowl is also quite full.
Sauce is made containing sweet chili and a little sesame oil to create the consistency of the rice when mixed.
My general judgment is that the food has an aesthetic score of 9/10, the deliciousness is about 7/10, not too excellent as expected, if you not used to can only eat half a bowl, you will feel a little greasy. Especially, both Bibimbap bowls have almost no meat, mainly mixed eggs with vegetables. But for Bibimbap fans, I think it’s fine to eat here. This set also includes a cake made from flour and seafood, eaten quite well.
The two of us eating this meal are also quite full, if you go in a group of about 3 people can also order this set to avoid greasy, if you are still hungry, you can order extra side dishes. The service quality of the restaurant is generally quite good, quiet and comfortable space. This Gogung restaurant is also worth putting in your must-eat restaurant list when you come to the capital city of Kimchi.
Also, you can experience Bibimbap Gogung in Myeongdong here.
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