Upon reuniting with my dearest friend at Dalian on the night of the 6th of September after she left Singapore for 2.5 months, she brought me to an eatery near her middle school for lunch the very next day.
Sui Qian used to eat at this eatery during her middle school days when she was still studying at Dalian so the eatery is quite old school. Since the middle school is usually located close to the students’ homes, we could walk to this eatery from her crib. The server at the restaurant seems to be new according to Sui Qian but she did what the average serve would do. After Sui Qian placed the order, we just sat down and caught up while waiting for the server to put the different ingredients on the table. I thought that this was Dalian dish but it ended up being a Yunnan dish called Crossing The Bridge Noodles / 过桥米线.
Legend has it that a scholar in Mengzi County / 蒙自县 used to do his revisions and concentrate on his studies at South Lake / 南湖 for the imperial examinations during the Qing Dynasty when Qianlong was the emperor. Since he was so busy with his studies, his lovely wife would cross the bridge and deliver her homemade food to him by foot on a daily basis. However, the food will either turn cold after the long journey or when he is too focused on studying that he neglected the food. This also caused the noodles to be very soggy. So the genius wife decided to separate all the ingredients such as the meat, vegetables and noodles into different bowls and let the chicken soup be on its own since the layer of oil will be able to keep the soup warm. The scholar managed to have his warm noodles everyday and eventually passed his imperial examination due to his diligence in studying and his wife’s perseverance to find a way to keep her husband warm and full. This brought about the name of the dish, Crossing The Bridge Noodles / 过桥米线.
As it is easier to illustrate through actions, the process of assembling and consumption of the dish can be viewed via the above video. Although it would be nice to consume this in the winter, the food tastes just as mouthwatering in the summer and I am even craving for it as I typed this. Sui Qian knows that I never like soda so she requested for almond milk for the both of us and damn, it was orgasmic! At the end of the meal, she was so sweet to treat me and paid the bill via scanning the QR code shown at the cashier area and indicated the respective amount. Aren’t you amazed that China is so developed that you can make payment via your phone in even a small eatery like this?
Opens daily from 10:00am to 10:00pm
Payment can be made via Cash, Wechat & AliPay
Totally in love with what this restaurant has to offer but looking forward to trying crossing the bridge noodles at Yunnan as well!
#479 Ojang-dong Heungnamjip / 오장동흥남집 @ Ojang-dong’s Hamheung Naengmyeon Alley / 오장동함흥냉면골목, Seoul / 서울시
Since the weather was very unforgiving and I was on my very own solo trip to Seoul two Sundays ago, I decided to try a new dish that I have never tried at Seoul previously and the type of food that will be able to cool me down. This dish is none other than Bibim Naengmyeon! It is known that all the good restaurants that serve naengmyeon dishes can be found at the Ojang-dong Hamheung Naengmyeon Alley / 오장동함흥냉면골목.
Ojang-dong Heungnamjip / 오장동흥남집
Seoul, Jung-gu, Ojang-dong 101-7 / 서울특별시 중구 오장동 101-7
Naengmyeon is actually a North Korean dish and apparently, there are two types of naengmyeon. I have actually tried Mul Naengmyeon / 물냉면 twice. The first time was at one of the Korean restaurants at International Plaza in Singapore but as I was wearing braces at that time, it was so difficult for me to consume such chewy and never-ending long buckwheat noodles from the beef broth that was icy cold. The other time was just a small portion of it that we had at a BBQ joint in Gangnam during spring this year. The reason why I only took a couple of bites of this dish was because the weather was quite cold in April and the chunks of ice will only make you colder. Thus, I did not have a complete experience eating Mul Naengmyeon, which is the cold noodles that originates from the capital of North Korea, Pyeongyang.
I have no idea why people are telling me that Seoul was so cold back in early September but it ended being so hot and humid. I was contemplating on the dishes to try on my own and naengmyeon came to mind due to the weather. When I arrived at Seoul on Sunday afternoon, I did some research at night on the restaurant that serves the best naengmyeon. I wanted to try the mul naengmyeon once again but I did not know that there are two types of naengmyeon and ended up heading to Ojang-dong Heungnamjip / 오장동흥남집, which serves the best bibim naengmyeon / 비빔냉면, also known as hamheung naengmyeon / 함흥냉면 since it originates from the second largest city in North Korea, Hamheung.
Ojang-dong Heungnamjip / 오장동흥남집 opened when the Korean War ended in 1953. I believe naengmyeon was introduced when North Korea invaded South Korea during the Korean War. So if you look at the restaurant closely, you will see that it is quite old school with one area having proper tables and chairs and another area, whereby you have to remove your shoes and sit on the floor and consume the food in Korean and Japanese style. I was expecting to see many tourists since this restaurant is highly raved in blogs but 99.99% of the customers are local and all the servers are unable to speak English. I was so glad to be in this scenario since I love it when I head to an authentic restaurant. Knowing that I am unable to speak Korean, the lady who was serving me provided me with the menu that have pictures and descriptions of each dish. I just showed her the picture in the website recommended by a food blogger. She then pointed out that the dish is Hoe Bibim Naengmyeon /회비빔냉면 and ordered for me right away.
As seen in the video above, another server helped me to cut the noodles when I was served with the dish as the noodles are even more chewier than the mul naengmyeon since it is made from either potatoes or sweet potatoes. She also taught me to add the soy sauce / 왜간장, Korean mustard called geoja / 겨자 and vinegar / 식초 to my dish before mixing the pear, julienned cucumbers, radish, raw skate with gochujang sauce and cold noodles together. I usually enjoy having my eggs last or in between the beginning and ending of my meal. I found the naengmyeon so gratifying since I have never had a full experience of it before. Although it was too much for me, I ended up finishing the dish because it was just that good! I have no idea how some people can even order more noodles for their meal when there were a lot of noodles in one serving already. This got me stunned for a bit but oh well! Oh and I thought they were serving the naengmyeon with hot tea but it ended up being hot soup so that’s a nice surprise to warm the stomach with something hot before consuming the cold meal filled with spices.
Opens daily from 11:00am to 9:00pm
Nearest Station: Exit 8 from Euljiro 4-ga via Line 2 & 5
As it was a hot day outside and I was going on my solo hike to Yongmasan Mountain, this dish kept me cool for awhile and full for my entire hike. I am looking forward to try the best mul naengmyeon at Seoul in my next trip!