Having lived and worked in Yoido,
I had an opportunity to get to know the area well. Also, having lived
in Seoul for 6 years, I have tried pretty much all the different types
of Korean foods available, and eaten in the many "specialty"
I have a great love for the taste of "Han-ow gogi" (Korean beef)
and have tried everything from the country "Shik dangs" (Restaurants)
to the famous (and very expensive!) beef shops around "Ye-sol-lae-jun-dang"
(Seoul Arts Centre). Nowhere have I found a place that both equals the
taste and service as that of "(Ju) Shin Jong"
"(Ju) Shin Jong"
is a huge Korean restaurant (about 20 Western style tables, and over 60
sit on the floor types) that specializes in fresh, "off the hook"
Korean beef that is butchered and cut right there by it's artisan butcher
"(Ju) Shin Jong"
prepares all the cuts of beef to suit and please anyone's taste (There
are over 27 different menu items, total). I recommend the an-shim (tenderloin) or the kal-bi sal (prime rib cut). Plus, if you want to
try something new (for beef anyway) I recommend the cha-dul-bae ki (thinly
sliced medallions of beef). Cha-dul bae-ki is very interesting. I've never
had anything quite like it before; it's juicy, chewy and tender all at
the same time, really different. All of this is cooked on a stone/iron
pan, over an open flame in the middle of the table, and comes with a variety
of side dishes.
Besides all the various meat cuts that are available, they also have a lot
of unique Korean dishes as well. The kay (crab) is
really yummy; its served raw, in the shell after having been marinated
for several days. Also, there is a sauce there that I recommend to use
when eating the beef (rather than the standard sesame seed oil and salt),
I call it "Yang" sauce. The "yang" sauce is what I
think makes the meat even extra special. It's a jam-looking sauce made
from Korean pepper paste, crushed apples and pears, along with some other
secret that just makes the meat taste fantastic! You have to ask for it,
it doesn't come automatically with all the other side dishes (it's free).
"(Ju) Shin Jong"
definitely isn't a quiet wine and candle place. As it's located in the
heart of Yoido, most of it's customers are business professionals or TV
talents; its always busy, usually the waiting time to get in is around
10-15 minutes, just tell the greeting staff your name and how many people.
But, trust me its worth it.
For such a busy place, it's amazing how great the service is. About 20+
well-organized "Augimas" look after all the needs of the 350+
customers. They even help cook the stuff for you from time to time. Although
I prefer doing it myself because its fun and I think these ladies have
enough to do with all the people in there. They are very friendly. One
thing though, they don't speak English. So just read or point off the
menu (in fact, there may be an English menu available there now). Considering
the volume of people, the amount of work to be done, and how clean everything
stays, these service people are magicians if you ask me! If you really
need English assistance just ask for the owner, Mr. Kim, he speaks English
and is a really nice guy (a famous, still working, Korean actor. How he
handles both jobs is beyond me!).
Along with your meal, you will also be served some free stuff; meats of
various kinds served as a sample portion. These meats run into the exotic,
but are really good! Also, you get a free dessert and soup (Nur-lyun ji - Korean scorched rice in broth, ice cream and ice coffee.)
All of this with soju will run you about 45,000 won for two people. This
is fair considering the quality and taste of the food, and the great service.
A great place to date or eat with foreign or Korean friends.
To get to (Ju) Shin Jong
is easy. The easiest way is to go to Taebang station on the red line and
catch a 2000 won taxi to the Mi-won Building (start from the "Ara"
coffee shop corner of the Mi-won BLDG). From there walk about 70 meters
into the "Junkwon" (securities) area on the left side of the
road. (Ju) Shin Jong
is in the basement of the "Hanvit Bank" building across from
the "Shin young" securities building. Their telephone number
is 02) 784-6662. They are open from 11 A.M. to 11 P.M., the peak hours
are 6 P.M. to 10 P.M..
I hope you enjoy it as I know you will. Once you go there, I'm sure you'll
become a regular!