One of Our Favorite Chinese Restaurants in Seoul
Some of the best Chinese food in Seoul is at a small place in the heart of the city. Chunky Myeonga is a Cantonese-style restaurant that is within walking distance from Gyeongbokgung, the biggest of the five Seoul palaces, and Myeong-dong, the shopping and food glut. If you’re visiting Seoul and getting your fill of excellent Korean food and sights, Chunky Myeonga is a good and light interlude that appears to be quite popular with locals and tourists.
Chinese food in Korea is a bit strange. There are little Chinese restaurants (중국집) everywhere, but they mostly serve inexpensive noodle dishes and soups that are not actually Chinese. The most popular of these is jajangmyeon, a noodle and black bean sauce dish, born in a Chinese immigrant’s restaurant in Incheon that is now everywhere in South Korea. It’s a Korean comfort food with its own holiday, but despite being delicious, it’s not really all that Chinese. Think of the growth and popularity of Chinese food in America without all the racism.
For some actual Chinese food in Seoul, Chunky Myeonga has some excellent varieties of Hong Kong staples. The complimentary tea served is so good Jen once asked a server what it was so we could look for it. We haven’t been able to find it anywhere, so we always get plenty of refills when we eat there.
The dumplings are required eating. Boiled dumplings are better than fried, so we always get the boiled pork dumplings, which come in either five or eight. The dumplings pair nicely with a noodle soup with shrimp wontons that Jen and I always share. The best vegetable dish is the spicy garlic cucumber, but we have also ordered and liked the Chinese broccoli in oyster sauce.
Three dishes is sufficient for two people to share. Whenever we’re there, the fried rice is popular with other diners, but it’s a bit on the expensive side and something better eaten in the aforementioned cheap 중국집.
Seoul has a lot of places to get Chinese-style dumplings, hot pot, dim sum, and noodle soups, but for the location, portions, and most of all, the tea, go to Chunky Myeonga in Jongno. Subway Line 2, Eulji-ro 1-ga Exit 2.