Sinseon Seolnongtang stood out for the most unexpected reason, they made the most delicious kimchi. Well, second-best since we discovered Han Wa Dam anyway.
We were picking up our yearly supply of face masks in Myeong-dong, and looking for a place to park our fannies. It was close to our dinner reservations at Two Plus but we thought, a light snack of soup and dumplings couldn't hurt. (famous last words really, we struggled to finish dinner and practically waddled back to the hotel, tummies a-budging and belts unbuckled)
The specialty here is Seolnong-tang, or Seolleongtang, an ox bone soup that's stewed so long the collagen is leeched out those bones. That's what gives the soup its characteristic milky appearance. It's light and delicate, almost plain, and totally unlike the typical robustness of galbi-tang or any of our local beef soups.
We had the Baekse Seolnongtang (11,000KRW) which was like a jacked-up ox bone stew, with ginseng, dates, licorice, chestnuts and antlers which lent a distinctively earthy complement to the broth. This was topped with slivers of brisket, leek, spring onions, and enoki. In part because I love Korean ginseng, I much prefer this to the standard seolleong-tang order.
The Sinseon Jjinmandu (6,000KRW) was a surprisingly scrumptious; the steamed dumplings, fat with mince and chopped spring onions, were juicy and flavoursome, but nuanced.
Ooh but the highlight here, and a gem of a find, was the Kimchi, it's the reason I first fell in love with kimchi. Seriously, my life's marked by this tea break at Shinseon Seolnong-tang: before kimchi, and after this life-changing kimchi. This was the bomb-diggity, the perfect balance of sour, tart, spicy, savoury and tantalising. I confess I had like 6 portions of this.
The restaurant facade for reference.
Korean Restaurant Sinseon Seolnongtang
2-2 Myeongdong 2-Ga, Jung-Gu
Tel: +82 02 777 4531
Open 24 hours