JEONJU, SOUTH KOREA: Jeonju is home to Korea's largest Hanok Village, and in 2012, it was chosen as a Creative Cities for Gastronomy as part of UNESCO's Creative Cities Network. Jeonju is recognised for its reference to high quality traditional Korean food. We narrowed it down to just three with so many types of food to try. Two of them are iconic to the city, and the last one is what we thought was the best we have had so far.
Here are the three must eat if you are in Jeonju.
Going to Jeonju and not having Bibimbap is like going to Japan and not having Sushi. Being the birthplace of Bibimbap, it's one dish you must have, and the best place to have this world-renowned dish is at Hankook Jib, which means 'Korean house'.
Hankook Jib claims to be the first restaurant to serve Jeonju Bibimbap (전주 비빔밥) since 1952, and it is the only Korean restaurant to be listed on Michelin Guide 2011. Everyone goes there just for the Bibimbap, and occasionally, you will see the rare few who order something else.
We were very intrigued with what makes this Bibimbap so special, and our search for information led us to a page on Jeonju City Korea, Jeonju Bibimbap, the most popular traditional Korean dish among foreigners (jeonjucity.kr)
Who would expect that more than 30 ingredients go into a bowl of Bibimbap? Among these, the key ingredients that decide the flavour of Bibimbap are bean sprout, hwangpomook (yellow mung bean jelly), red chilli pepper paste, beef tartare, and jeopjang (fermented soy sauce). This is food fit for Royals.
Address: 2-3 Jeon-dong, Wansan-gu, Jeonju-si, Jeollabuk-do
교동떡갈비 (Gyodong Tteokgalbi)
Gyodong Tteokgalbi is located right in the centre of the Hanok Village and is famous for its short rib patty, Tteokgalbi. In fact, when the actor Yeo Jin-goo was asked to pick his favourite restaurant in Jeonju, he picked Gyodong Tteokgalbi.
For those who do not know what Tteokgalbi is, it is seasoned and grilled short rib patties, just like a hamburger patty. At Gyodong Tteokgalbi, they only use 100% Korean pork. Therefore, it is exceptionally flavourful. When they serve the dish, it comes in a large patty and is already cooked. Then, the waitress will help you to cut it into manageable sizes on the hot plate, and it is ready to eat. If you love hamburger or hamburger steak with rice, you will love this.
Address: 73-2 Pungnamdong 3(sam)-ga, Wansan-gu, Jeonju-si, Jeollabuk-do
Inside Jeonju Nambu market is 조점례남문피순대 which is very famous for its Sundae (순대)
Sundae is a type of Korean blood sausage commonly found in street food. Generally, it is made by stuffing cow or pig's intestines with ingredients such as rice, glass noodles and blood. It is then steamed and cut into pieces before serving.
조점례남문피순대 serves its Sundae in soup, either spicy or non-spicy. It comes with a bowl of rice and a plate of green onions. The best way to eat it is to pull the green onions into the hot soup, let it cook a little and mix in the rice. This warmed my heart with every bite.
Address: 39 Pungnammun 2-gil, Jeon-dong, Wansan-gu, Jeonju-si, Jeollabuk-do