In Seoul, particularly in Jayang-dong, Gwangjin District near Konkuk University, there is a 600-meter alley that is known as ‘Lamb Skewer Alley” or 양꼬치 골목 (pronounced as yang-kkochi gol-mok). This part of Jayang-dong is filled with restaurants run by Chinese immigrants specializing in their native cuisine. This place is also titled as the new “China Town” because a lot of Chinese immigrants are working in factories nearby and Chinese students studying in Konkuk University.
My husband told me about this particular restaurant named Song Hwa Yang Kko Chi located along the famous alley. He first visited this restaurant with his childhood friends few weeks ago. He liked all the dishes that he tried, so he wanted to take me there for dinner last weekend. Knowing that the restaurant passed his high food standards (he’s so picky with Chinese food), I was sure that I wouldn’t be disappointed.
The restaurant was packed when we arrived and there was one group of ladies ahead of us. Fortunately, the weather wasn’t that cold so waiting outside for around 10 minutes was just bearable. Hubby and I asked for the menu book and browsed it while waiting outside. He pointed a lot of dishes that he wanted me to try and since I had no idea how they taste, I just let him choose. While taking this photo above, I heard some passersby commenting about the popularity of this restaurant. I heard a lady telling her boyfriend, “Oh.. Song Hwa Yang Kkochi… This restaurant is always full!” I am not a fan of Chinese cuisine but the comments I heard assured me of a good meal that evening. Haha!
A Chinese lady ushered us to our table and a Chinese guy put some charcoal on this automatic grilling machine. Cold water and side dishes were served first. The side dishes were peanuts, kkaktugi (cubed radish kimchi), tofu skin, cucumber kimchi and some unpeeled garlic. It was my first time to eat some roasted garlic. It tasted a bit sweet, like a roasted chestnut. Hehe!
I loved all the food we ordered but my most favorite was the deep-fried pork in sweet and sour sauce. It’s because unlike the common tangsuyuk that you can find in Chinese restaurants here in Korea, it’s coated with sticky rice powder and not potato starch or flour. The lamb skewers are actually served seasoned so if you want a plain lamb meat, just tell the staff in advance. And oh, the dumplings were given as ‘service’. I want to visit this place again and try the yang galbi and other dishes. I’ll surely go there with friends next time. The price is quite affordable considering the generous amount they give for each serving. No wonder why the restaurant is always packed especially late at night having lamb skewers and tsingtao beer as the best sellers.
How to get there:
- Subway: Konkuk Univ. station (lines 2, 7), exit 6
- Buses:240, 721, 2016, 3217, 4212
The restaurant has a parking area at the back but it can only accommodate 2-3 cars.