Enjoying traditional Korean “Samgyeopsal” (grilled pork belly) with friends from GSM Language Exchange

My first recommendation if you’re intending to stay in South Korea for more than 2 weeks is to download NAVER Map on your phone. Note that the application is separate to the main NAVER app. For context, NAVER is like South Korea’s version of Google.

NAVER Map can be used in English, and has a user-friendly interface. Google Maps in South Korea works, but not as accurately.

Screenshots from the NAVER Map application

I stayed in Seocho, a quiet and peaceful neighbourhood in the bigger district of Gangnam. Seocho is 2 stations away from downtown Gangnam, so I regularly caught the metro train and became familiar with a few lovely casual restaurants.

If you’d like to know which Airbnb I stayed in, or if you’d like more recommendations for Seoul, message me on Instagram. Alternatively, we can book a meeting.

Muwol Table

23 Gangnam-daero 102-gil, Gangnam District, Seoul

A surprisingly affordable restaurant despite it looking trendy and stylish. Muwol Table specialises in set menus, serving them in a home-cooked style. I love the presentation, where meals come out on simple wooden trays! The interior makes you feel like you’re in a well-kept, comfortable space.

On the bottom right, you’ll see the Soy Sauce Raw Shrimp set. Breaking open the egg yolk and smearing it over the rice was immensely satisfying, and enhanced the flavour. In the top right, you’ll see the Octopus Bulgogi set. On the bottom left, this is the Beef Tartare – absolutely delicious.

See the Google Map link to “Muwol Table” here.

류센소 강남점

Seoul, Gangnam District, Gangnam-daero 102-gil, 31 1층

Tonkotsu, Spicy Tonkotsu and Shoyu ramen is served here, along with a selection of nibbles like Karaage fried chicken and Gyoza dumplings. The texture of the noodles was firm and to my liking – I had already developed a solid expectation from seeing the chefs at work in the open kitchen.

See the Google Map link to “류센소 강남점” here. It’s a friendly Japanese restaurant focussed on making ramen.

Seocho Noodles

1557-7 Seocho-dong, Seocho-gu, Seoul

When I came here the first time, I was pleasantly surprised by the jolly mix of demographics. Grandmas and grandpas sat chatting while enjoying cold buckwheat noodles, younger couples shared steaming bowls of Galbi-tang (Beef Short Ribs Soup), and familes were having their meals.

I’ve been to Seocho Noodles twice, both times appreciating the community-friendly, local vibe. In one of the pictures, you’ll see that we ordered Mandu (Korean dumplings) and 
Bibim-naengmyeon (spicy, cold buckwheet noodles that are supremely refreshing!).

See the NAVER Map link to “Seocho Noodles” here.

Mrs Han’s Soy Marinated Crab

Seoul, Seocho District, Seocho-daero 46-gil, 9 1층

A 5-minute walk from Seocho metro station, Mrs Han’s Soy Marinated Crab was popular with foreign tourists both times I went. I noticed travellers from Hong Kong and Taiwan.

I ordered a signature dish – Ganjang Gejang, raw soy marinated crab. It tasted fresh and salty! If you’re not picky with texture, you should be ok with the crab’s gooey mouth-feel. You literally hold up a leg and bite into it like an ice-cream cone. I thought it went perfectly with rice and the seaweed (included in the banchan side dishes). Also, the orange crab roe is delicious especially if you have the palate for stronger-tasting seafood like sea urchin.

You can also order Yangnyeom Gejang.

See the Google Map link to here. Mrs Han’s Soy Marinated Crab is two subway stops away from Gangnam Station. Check-out my video experience here.

Nongolhouse Yeongdong Branch

166-1 Nonhyeon-dong, Gangnam District, Seoul

It was fitting that I visited this Korean BBQ restaurant with friends. Nongolhouse has several restaurants, its branch in the neighbourhood of Nonhyeon-dong has a convivial, cozy vibe. I particularly liked the wooden round table where you can communally grill cuts of pork and beef while sipping soju.

Nongolhouse is a great place to try “Samgyupsal”, which is grilled pork belly. As I was taught by an endearingly straightforward auntie waiter, the best way to enjoy Samgyupsal is to first put the grilled pork into a perilla leaf (you can ask for more if you’ve finished) and Ssamjang (a red, salty paste). Follow this mouthful with a sip of soju and you’re in heaven.

See the NAVER Map link here. Nongolhouse is around a 10-minute walk from Sinnonhyeon station or Nonhyeon station.

하남돼지집 논현직영점 (Hanam Pig House Nonhyeon)

182-26 논현1동 Gangnam District, Seoul, South Korea

Less than a few minutes’ walk away from Nongolhouse (featured above) is this restaurant. I was impressed by the waiters’ hospitality at our table. They provided us bibs to shield the smoke and oil, and prepared the meat.

Hanam Pig House perfectly describes the way I wanted to devour its cuisine: like a pig (yes, I have no shame). From glistening cuts of raw pork, a waiter perfectly cuts it into prisms and grills it for you. My mouth was watering while waiting for the pork and kimchi (Korean people love to grill kimchi) to cook. 

See the Google Map link here. The area around Hanam Pig House is vibrant and full of post-dinner activities. We went to a noraebang karaoke room afterwards and sang our hearts out.


620 Sinsa-dong, Gangnam District, Seoul

A short walk from Abgujeong station, 시래밥상 is the healthiest restaurant I visited during my stay in Seoul. I am so glad that I chanced upon it after a long work session at Tom N Toms Coffee (Google Map link).

The food and service is sincere and traditional. I had never tried Perilla Soup (bottom right corner) before coming here, and I’m very glad I did. I ordered the Mackerel Stew as the main. It tasted wonderful, although it would have been better with less bones and more soup (yes I know, petty complaint).

See the Google Map link to here. The kind owner offered to refill the side dishes, to which I was very happy to agree.


619 Yeoksam-dong, Gangnam District, Seoul

Set at the start of a slope leading up to Gangnam Pub Elah (featured below), 스시스토리 has a simple, university-student vibe. Its menu and seating is perfect for a solo meal.

I’d recommend ordering stir-fried pork and telling the waiter what your preferred spice level is. It comes out in a very hot pan, from which you can spoon the meat into perilla leaves and enjoy.

One day, I was very hungry and ordered a naengmyeon too. The icy noodle was so refreshing!  Language practice: exclaim “Shiwonhada!” if you find the taste refreshing.

See the Google Map link here.

Cheongdam Chinese Restaurant Dosan Park Branch

643 Sinsa-dong, Gangnam District, Seoul

This restaurant is in Cheongdam, an affluent part of Gangnam-gu that is known for entertainment and fashion. I had one of the best soups of my trip here. The white oyster noodle soup was sprinkled with chilli, it added a kick that wasn’t overpowering and enhanced the flavour. The side dishes included eggplant, which was a welcome surprise.

I’d also recommend trying Jjamppong (spicy seafood soup with noodles) and Jjajangmyeon (noodle mixed with black bean sauce).

See the NAVER Map link here. This restaurant is where you can try Chinese-Korean cuisine.

Kkanbu Chicken 깐부치킨 교대점

66 Seocho-daero 50-gil, Seocho District, Seoul

Chimaek is the Korean phrase to describe a popular style of cuisine – pairing beer with fried chicken. Kkanbu Chicken is located near Seoul National University of Education. As such, it’s a popular spot for younger people.

The chicken is traditional Korean style, with different flavours and boneless options available. Unlike the fried chicken at certain fast food restaurants I’ve tried, the flavour seeped into the meat – making each bite particularly succulent. For the full Chimaek experience, order a draft beer and say “jjan” (meaning cheers in Korean).

See the Google Map link here. Kkanbu Chicken has multiple branches around Gangnam.

Chogye Guksu

Inside Starfield Coex Mall

I didn’t have much expectation about a restaurant that is located inside a shopping centre, so I was happy to taste the chicken noodles of Chogye Guksu.

I ordered the Chicken Kalguksu. “Kalguksu” in Korean means knife-cut noodles. I thoroughly enjoyed the milky broth and the clean, soulful flavour. I would also recommend the Dak Gomtang, which has chicken and noodles served in a hearty broth, and rice on the side. 

See the Google Map link here. Cold Chicken Noodles will be on my list the next time I visit.

Gangnam Pub Elah

Seoul, Gangnam District, Teheran-ro 5-gil, 36번지

I visited Pub Elah twice and I’m glad to note it down for future catch-ups with friends. It’s the perfect space for a quieter, upper-market pub experience. They are a full beer house – I loved the European variety I ordered (tasted delicious with cinammon on its rim).

Pub Elah is at the top of a hill in downtown Gangnam. It serves western style food and drinks in a spacious, comfortable setting. If you’re going with a big group, do make a booking first.

See the NAVER Map link to Gangnam Pub Elah here.

Samsam Ppyeoguk Univ. of Education

1557-11 Seocho-dong, Seocho-gu, Seoul

I’m not sure about the accuracy of the restaurant name I’ve written, it was the name on their NAVER profile (see below). For this restaurant’s Instagram, see here.

The Pork Backbone Soup was amazing here! The broth isn’t watery and isn’t thick, the pork bones have imparted a beautiful amount of flavour. Roll up your sleeves and enjoy all the meat of the pork bone with your hands. Don’t forget to use the special dipping sauce they provide.

See the NAVER Map link here. Samsam is a 12-minute walk from Seocho station.

Gildong Udon Seocho Station Branch

1502-12 Seocho-dong, Seocho-gu, Seoul

Part of a chain of restaurants, Gildong Udon is one of those reliable places where you can expect quality at a very affordable price. The noodle bowls were Japanese-inspired, simple, and satisfying.

See the NAVER Map link here. Gildong Udon is a 5-minute walk from Seocho Station.

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It takes just a minute 🙏

My name is Garry Ho, I’m the founder.
If you have enjoyed our content and found it helpful, please consider supporting us.
All major cards are accepted.

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