Every year when summer approaches, the documentary Noodle Road comes to mind first. Even though the documentary was produced in 2009, it still feels new even though I have watched it several times. When the weather gets hotter come July and August in Korea, the foods presented on TV boast of splendid colors, and more foods are added to the list of “must-eats” based on food experts’ recommendations. After knowing the secret of civilization hidden in a bowl of noodles, or owing to the influence of the documentary, noodle dish undoubtedly ranks first in the “must-eat” list around this time of the year. Furthermore, after being fascinated by the beautiful buckwheat fields featured in the popularly aired TV drama Guardian: The Lonely and Great God, and following the evaluation of buckwheat noodles in the cartoon Sikgaek, I decided to look for more unique flavors. Let’s find out more.
Appreciate more after knowing this flavor
– Cold buckwheat noodles are served with refreshing meat broth and ice added to it. A bundle of rolled-up cooked noodles are placed in the center of the bowl, topped with garnish of steamed pork and hard-boiled egg. The presentation of the dish resembles a chignon bun hairstyle that used to be popular among ancient women.
-Improve the flavor of noodles by adding mustard and vinegar served on the table.
-Eat with pickled radish.
-Eat boiled meat slices by wrapping them with white kimchi or dipping in salted shrimp.
-The short novel When buckwheat flowers bloom by novelist Lee Hyo-seok describes buckwheat fields very vividly.
“The mountainside is surrounded by buckwheat fields. The blossoming flowers look suffocatingly beautiful under the moonlight.”
-After eating buckwheat noodles, don’t miss out the nearby Cafes.
Odusan Makguksu – The restaurant featured in Huh Young-man’s cartoon Sikgaek
The restaurant was opened in 1993 and is located at the Unification Park. A famous tourist site, “Heyri Art Village,” is located nearby, and “Unification Observatory” is also nearby since Paju is very close to North Korea. The restaurant has the cartoon book Sikgaek for customers to read while waiting for their order. It serves noodles made of 100% buckwheat flour, so it boasts of delicious noodles. It also serves various side dishes such as mung bean pancake, buckwheat pancake, pure buckwheat jelly, boiled meat slices, and house-made buckwheat dumplings. In particular, buckwheat pancake and mung bean pancake, which is moist inside and crispy outside, is very delicious.
Cafe’ de L’ange – Next to Odusan Makguksu are several small cafes in the food alley near Seongdong Sageori. After eating noodles at the restaurant, bring your receipt to Cafe’ de L’ange to get a discount on your beverage. The café is decorated with small, cute interior decorations. It’s a perfect place to chat with your friend while enjoying a cup of coffee leisurely.
Heungwon Makguksu – The restaurant featured in Huh Young Man’s cartoon Sikgaek
The restaurant has been operated with secret recipes handed down for over three generations. It has a wide parking lot and a serving hall. Rich meat broth is served in a copper-colored tea kettle that used to hold makgeolli (rice wine) at pubs in the past, so the appearance of the old kettle seems to give the impression of the traditional flavor of original recipes. The restaurant serves various menus such as spicy buckwheat noodles, buckwheat noodles in cold broth, and boiled meat slices. Even though the servings of meat slices are hardly generous considering the price, enjoying the delicious soft meat texture will help you forget about everything else. After eating cold or spicy buckwheat noodles, you can enjoy nearby Ipobo Reservoir or go to Yangpyeong.
Cafe E4 — E4 Gallery Cafe a meeting of exhibition and coffee. From the outside, this café looks like a regular cafe. Since it has a gallery, it provides good ambience and serves as the perfect place to relax with a cup of coffee. Various paintings decorating the walls seem to transcend time and space. They look like a forest full of blossoming flowers or the night sky embroidered with stars.
Piruje — The café is decorated in the style of a serene country house surrounded by bird sculptures. It is a good place for enjoying tea while sitting at the terrace and looking at a beautiful garden and various artworks. The interior is decorated in vintage style. The old memorable harmonium and grid-patterned windows look impressive. The exhibition of paintings drawn by the owner of the café as well as antiques inspires romance.
Jangwon Makguksu – Restaurant introduced by a gourmet
This restaurant serves various menus such as spicy buckwheat noodles, buckwheat noodles in cold broth, perilla oil-seasoned noodles, boiled pork slices, and mung bean pancake. Unlike other restaurants, it serves crunchy young summer radish as a side dish. What’s more impressive is the visual of buckwheat noodles in cold broth. The rolled-up buckwheat noodles resemble the chignon bun hairstyle of ancient women. The meat broth is very clear, so the noodles look very elegant. Maybe because of that, the aroma of buckwheat feels strong, and the flavor of noodles in the mouth feels very refreshing. Above all, the special recipe of Jangwon Makguksu can be experienced with perilla oil-flavored buckwheat noodles.
Cafe 1819 – This large café is a 2-story building with whole windows. Customers can enjoy a view of the valley next to the café while eating various desserts. The number “1819” is related to the birth date of the owner couple of the café, so this café is famous for offering birthday event services as well. Enjoying refreshing beverage while being surrounded by a cool forest will provide you with unforgettable memories.