The ubiquitous kimchi jigae can easily be found in most eateries in Seoul. It is such comfort food especially in cold weather. The stew’s savoury-tart flavour is very appetising – my favourite way to eat the dish is to mix the rice together with the pork-flavoured broth.

Before one of my trips to Seoul, I was Googling for ‘where to eat in Seoul’ and I came across very good reviews of Gwanghwamun Jip.

Gwanghwamun Jip
Alley that leads to Gwanghwamun Jip. Shot with iPhone 7+
Gwanghwamun Jip
Entrance to Gwanghwamun Jip. Shot with iPhone 7+

It was not easy locating Gwanghwamun Jip. The restaurant is hidden in a back alley and its entrance is not obvious – the door looks like a back-door and not the main entrance. The signage of the restaurant is hung quite prominently above the door. Unfortunately, I cannot read Korean, so it took me a while and several trips up and down the alleyway to figure out that this door is THE entrance to the restaurant.

Gwanghwamun Jip
Interior of Gwanghwamun Jip. Shot with iPhone 7+

The restaurant is literally a hole in the wall that is run by several ahjummas. It is a tiny place that holds about 4 to 5 small tables and serves mainly three items – kimchi jigae, gyeran mari (rolled omelette) and jeyuk bokkeum (spicy stir-fried pork). We were there after the lunch hour and got a table immediately but I imagine that queues could get rather long during meal times.

Gwanghwamun Jip - Kimchi Jigae
Shot with iPhone 7+

We decided on the kimchi jigae and rolled omelette, and gave the spicy stir-fried pork a rain-check. Otherwise, we wouldn’t be able to eat dinner! As expected, there was simply too much food on the table. The kimchi jigae came in a big bubbling pot for two persons, the rolled omelette was massive, and there was banchan and rice.

Gwanghwamun Jip - Kimchi Jigae
Glorious bubbling pot of kimchi jigae. Shot with iPhone 7+
Gwanghwamun Jip - Gyeran Mari
Gyeran Mari. Shot with iPhone 7+

Looking at this bubbling pot of kimchi jigae with aged kimchi is making me drool. The flavours of this stew were really good – rustic, spicy and comforting. The rolled egg omelette was SO tasty and satisfying. As much as I would like to, it was impossible for me to eat kimchi stew without rice so I gobbled up the entire serving of rice.

Gwanghwamun Jip is totally worth the trouble that was involved in locating it. I cannot recall how much the food costs now, but it is definitely inexpensive!

Gwanghwamun Jip

Address: 110-071  12, Saemunan-ro 5-gil, Jongno-gu, Seoul  

Opening Hours: Monday to Sunday, closed on public holidays.

Directions: Take the subway to Gwanghwamun Station and leave the station by Exit 1. Walk towards the cross-intersection where you will see a GS25 convenience store. Enter the alley at GS25.

Gwanghwamun Jip – Delicious Kimchi Jigae In Seoul

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