Sunday, December 5, 2010

On a cold winter's night - Cheongjinok

It's cold, you need something hot, and if it's nourishing to boot? You go for soup.

Cheongjinok is a 70+ year old eatery, famous for its haejangguk. The old place was demolished due to city renovation in 2008 and the new place is in a modern building. Although the old charm is somewhat lost, the taste is the same.

It's not one of those fancy-schmancy restaurants, it's one of those I-came-here-to-eat-a-hearty-and-tasty-meal shikdangs. I love those places, feels like you are at your aunt's place; plop down in a seat, eat and enjoy.

What's on the menu: the aforementioned haejangguk (hangover soup), anjuguk (soup to be eaten with alcoholic beverages), suyuk (boiled beef slices), bindaetteok (mung bean pancake), various jeon, donggeurang-ttaeng (small beef and veggie patty, pan-fried) and the regular Korean alcohol selection of soju, beer, rice wine, baekseju, and bokbunjaju (black raspberry wine). They also provide take-out packages.

Water, cups, napkins and eating utensils are set and ready on the table. Seasonings of pepper, sea salt, red pepper paste and a soy based tasting sauce are also there.

The sole reason I go to Cheongjinok is for their haejang-guk. It arrives steaming hot.

The hot soup contains a variety of innards, congealed ox blood, bean sprouts, and Napa cabbage leaves in a deep flavored, doenjang based beef broth. Although the official name is haejangguk, i.e. hangover soup, I rarely eat it when I actually have a hangover. I just like the taste. Plus, the ingredients of the soup are full of iron, which is good for anemics like me.
The soup is served with rice and kimchi and is available in two sizes - regular and special (=big). I might be skinny as heck but I can down a special with no problem.

Cheongjinok (청진옥)
Situated at Le Meilleur Jongrotown (르메이에르 종로타운) building, on the far left side (facing it)
Subway : Line 1, Jonggak station exit #1, walk straight towards Gwanghwamun direction or Line 5, Gwanghwamun station exit #4, walk towards Jongro direction
Tel: 02-735-1690 (No reservations needed)


Ophelia said...

That actually looks pretty good! One of my best friends is teaching in S. Korea right now, so she tells me all about the food, culture, music, etc. As a vegetarian, she never has anything to say about the meet dishes - it's always kimchi this and kimchi that LOL

seoulsuzy said...

@ Ophelia : The soup is very hearty and filling, and yes, good. ^_^ And we have amazing veggie dishes here besides kimchi, so I'm sure your friend is also enjoying the food. Cheers.