I often get a lot of questions about what is my favorite Korean restaurant in Seoul. Without any hesitation, it always has been Woo Lae Oak (우래옥) in Jongro, Seoul. Woo Lae Oak serves the best North Korean Style’s cold noodle (pyongyang naengmyeon) and marinated beef (bulgogi) in my opinion. When I was a kid, I used to come here every Sunday with my grandparents and relatives. This cold noodle is my ultimate soul food that I miss the most since I’ve moved to NYC.
There are 2 branches in Seoul. One in Gangbuk (above the Han river) and the other in Gangnam (below the Han river). The one in Gangbuk is the original one and I always prefer coming here because it just simply tastes better
there are two levels in the original location
Cold kimchi soup as an appetizer
Korean’s table is always full of complimentar small dishes, banchan. From kimchi to different vegetables, eggs, hams and etc. It is Korean culture to eat rice with a bowl of hot soup and lots of small dishes
this is another type of Kimchi. One of the signature small dishes from Woo Lae Oak. Marinated with chili pepper and rice vinegar, this sliced radish pickles is so delicious
Woo Lae Oak is famous for serving the best quality of beef
First, pre-heat the grill
My favorite is So Geum Gui (Fresh tenderloin without marination)
Look at that marbling ! Literally it just melts in your mouth
Since it is not marinated, you are supposed dip this beautifully grilled beef into the salt and sesame oil sauce just little bit to taste
I love to put my beef on top of the fresh lettuce with a little bit of pickled radishes and sweet bean paste sauce (ssam-jang)
Waiting for another round
After finish eating the non-marinated tenderloin, now bulgogi (marinated beef) time!
Bulgogi is one of the most well known Korean dishes since it is very tender and very flavorful. Lots of my foreign friends love whenever I cook bulgogi. I will share my mom’s secrete recipe of bulgogi on the next post!
After you are done with beef, it is now time to eat cold noodle, pyongyang naengmyeon. This buckwheat noodle with a clear cold broth is a traditional food from North Korea. North Korean food is known for its clean and deep flavors without using too much sauces
As garnishes, there are sliced port belly, marinated radish, kimchi, sliced Asian pears and scallions on top
This is my ultimate soul food, cold noodle!
Woo Lae Oak has several private dining rooms too (left)
There are a few cold-noodle specialized restaurants in Seoul. Woo Lae Oak which has been running since 1946, has been selected as one of the best cold noodle restaurants for several times. Whenever special guests visit Korea, I always take them here for its bulgogi and cold noodle. Guess what? they all love it! During the summer, this place gets packed for both lunch and dinner, so make sure you make a reservation or go early!
Woo Lae Oak
- address : 62-29 Changgyeonggung-ro, Jugyo-dong, Jung-gu, Seoul, South Korea
- Tel : +82- 2- 2265-0151
- Hours : Tue – Sun 11:30 am – 9:30 pm (closed on Monday)
- Price : Cold noodle 13,000 krw, bulgogi 31,000 krw/ person, Fresh tenderloin 55,000 krw / person