Directions from website: From exit 10 of Myeongdong Station (subway line no.4) walk to the right of Hotel Sejong until you reach a T-intersection. Turn left and walk about 60m.
Gogung is renowned for its Jeonju Bibimbap. It’s supposed to be a really nutritious dish, full of vegetables and some meat. It’s reported to be the best place to try traditional Korean food in Seoul.
The menu is quite simple as usual, with a couple of traditional Korean dishes that we’ve grown to love while studying in London and eating at our favourite Korean restaurants there. If you want the full Korean experience, you can splurge on this massive feast fit for a King, and order a ton of sides with your bibimbap. It might come as a surprise that we didn’t order this king-sized meal, but went for a more modest selection of dishes (modest being a relative term here). We chose to have the Jeonju Bibimbap, the Jap Chae and a Seafood Pancake.
As with all Korean restaurants, a variety of appetizers were quickly brought to our table. We really liked the Kimchi – full of flavour, but definitely less powerful as the one we had in Myeongdong Kyoja yesterday. We also liked this Broccoli and Tofu appetizer that we’ve never seen before. There was a creamy-ish sauce that was drizzled over the dish, and we just loved that it was light and irresistible. Also, the texture of the tofu was just phenomenal. There was also an octopus appetizer that A wouldn’t touch, but it was chewy and slimy but oh-so-yummy.
The Jap Chae came first. We love the mushrooms in this dish, but overall we felt that this dish lacked flavour and seasoning. It was slightly sweet, which was quite surprising, but beyond that we wished that it had more salt and sesame oil. (To be honest we very much prefer the version at Bi Won, but we’re hesitant to say it because on so many accounts, this version at Gogung should be far more authentic than the one at Bi Won, so we’re divided on this.)
Next was the Seafood Pancake. This was a lot more eggy than the one we’re used to, and it had seriously shit loads of seafood and scallions. We really like it that the seafood is the focus of the dish, and the pancake serves just as a means of presenting the seafood. In other Seafood Pancakes we’ve had, it’s always been a case of the pancake being the focus of the dish. Here we really taste all the flavours of the seafood and scallions.
Our Bibimbap came soon after, and it was served in a brass bowl, and not a hot pot (because that’s a different version of bibimbap, and not the Jeonju bibimbap). This was a very different bibimbap from what we’ve ever eaten. Here you well and truly understand why people consider bibimbap to be a healthy dish. There is just a little sauce served with the dish to provide just the right amount of flavour, and there is hardly any oil in the bowl at all. You really taste all the individual components of the dish – eggs, sesame seeds, bean sprouts etc, and they all come together in a lovely medley of fresh flavours. We really love this version of bibimbap.
Finally at the end of the meal, a complimentary (they never stop giving free things here in Seoul we swear) sour plum soup was presented to us. This was the perfect refreshing, detoxing palate cleanser to end off the meal.
Overall, we really liked our meal at Gogung. It is a really good place to re-discover Korean food for its fresh, clean flavours. We love the home-y feel of the food served here, and it’s also highly recommended by the official tourism site, so there, you can’t go wrong by checking this place out!