CONTRIBUTED BY SIBO LUNGU
While riding the bus near Songtan Station a few weeks ago, I noticed a restaurant on the main Tanhyeon-ro (road) that had a picture of Korean steamed buns on the side. These steamed buns are my husband’s favorite so I decided to make a stop there the next time I was in the area (which is daily) and surprise him because we don’t see them that often. I went back to the restaurant and I was not disappointed. In fact, I go there at least three times a week since I found it!
I have three comfort foods in Korea: Kimbap, tteokbokki (rice cakes in spicy red sauce), and steamed buns (ho-bbang). This restaurant has them all. The food here is delicious, the service is great, and the price is right.
The outside looks as though you have to order outside at the window, but there is seating inside. When you go in, you will find that it is a small restaurant with a couple of tables. The décor is bright and clean and there is a TV. I have gone there in the afternoon and also at about 8pm on weekdays and it always has a steady flow of people. In addition to the inside diners, many people walk in and to pick up food that they called in for as well.
Their menu/order sheet is in Korean and without pictures and the ladies don’t speak much English so I would say that is the only challenge. However, with a Korean app on your phone, you can easily order. The prices are great. Items range from Won 3,000 to Won 7,000.
(click to enlarge menu photos)
As I mentioned, one of my favorite foods is kimbap – 김밥. They have an extensive kimbap list. I only know how to order my favorite kimbap of veggie or tuna so that’s as creative as I have gotten so far. It’s only Won 3,000 a roll and these are the big 8-10 piece rolls!
The wait for an order can be about 10 minutes because they make it fresh. I think the wait is worth it because I don’t want yesterday’s kimbap. You can also see the cooks put the kimbap together.
Another dish my husband and I enjoy is the rice cake in spicy red sauce a.k.a. Tteokbokki (떡볶이). For us, the spicier the better. Their version is spicy and delicious. The dish costs only Won 3,000 for a good portion for two if you have it as a side. Another deal!
And lastly, the steamed buns – Ho-bbang (호빵). I read that this is a winter food which explains why I never saw a lot of it in summer time, but is now available in some CU’s (convenience stores) and some grocery stores. It can be stuffed with a variety of goodies. The red bean is common, but there are also meat stuffed ones. I order the red bean buns from here. The menu item here is listed as jinnppang and not ho-bbang (호빵) though. I order five red bean ones for only Won 3000!
I have tried another menu item which was ramen noodle soup with mandu (dumplings). It was so yummy, my husband and I gobbled it up before I remembered to take a picture! So needless to say, it was delicious.
Their menu has a good variety of some of my favorite Korean foods so I welcome the addition of another place in Songtan to eat. The food takes 10-15 minutes to prepare, but again, I do appreciate fresh food so I don’t mind the wait. Also the prices are great. Five large steamed buns, a plate of tteokbokki and a roll of kimbap is a great meal for two at only Won 10,000! The only difficulty is the menu items being in Korean, but with all the mobile apps available, it isn’t that so bad. Another option is to learn what foods you are looking for in Korean then you always know what to order.
- Kimbap: 김밥
- Tuna Kimbap: Chamchi 참치 kimbap 김밥:
- Soups: guk 국
- Rice cake: tteok 떡 (red rice cake is tteokbokki 떡볶이)
- Rice cake soup: tteok guk – 떡국
- Dumplings: mandu 만두
- Dumpling in soup: mandu guk 만두 국
- “Pojang” means take-out. This helps if you are on the go like I usually am when I stop by.
- Steamed buns: Jinnppang or ho-bbang 찐빵 or 호빵
Hours: They close at 9 pm so it isn’t a late night place. I think it’s a great lunch stop before heading to the train to explore more of Korea.
Phone: 031-666-3351. (I haven’t tried to call for take-out yet.)
Address: 239-3 Sinjang-dong, Pyeongtaek, Gyeonggi-do
Directions: Tanheyon-ro around the corner from Songtan Station. The cupcake in the map marks the spot.