Bon Juk, Seoul

Bon Juk is a major household name for porridge, and as ubiquitous a breakfast stop as Ya Kun in Singapore. With dozens of branches spread out all over the city, Bonjuk is insanely popular with Seoulites. The Four Seasons concierge had recommended us the one within strolling distance from the hotel, and so we checked it out one mid-afternoon.

Unfortunately, they'd run out of the crab porridge by breakfast time, which was a real pity, because the juks we ended up having were middling and entirely forgettable. The silver lining, and highlight of the meal, turned out to be the jangjorim banchan. The soy braised pulled beef brisket was superb, its salty and slightly sweet flavour added a much-needed spark to the plain, staid gruel.

The Beef Bone Porridge (8,500KRW), studded with tiny vegetable cubes of carrots, sliced shitakes and spring onions, was so incredibly light I dumped the whole saucer of jang-jorim into the bowl just so it had some taste.

The Mushroom Oyster Porridge (9,000KRW) fared much much better, as the molluscs lent a rich savoury note to the juk. Note to self: wake up early to get the crab porridge. Or else get the Hubs to wake up early and takeaway said porridge back to the hotel for breakfast, aha!!

BonJuk Gwanghwamun-jeom
105 Saemunan-ro, Jongno-gu,
Sejong-ro 204-1, Seoul
Tel: +82 02 733 6288
Open daily from 9am to 10pm

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