Bon Juk

With over 1,800 outlets in Korea, Bon Juk is one of the most popular Korean porridge chains. I am quite surprised to find NTUC and Amazon selling some of their ready heat-up sachets online so it is a good gauge that the porridge should be quite good. Since it is fronted by ambassador Gong Yoo, it is impossible to not give the porridge a try when you are in Seoul

When I booked my accommodation in Seoul, I was so happy to find a Bon Juk outlet just a stone’s throw from my hotel

As it is one of the smaller outlets, the shop front is quite small with limited seats so you can see seats placed out front for customers to wait for a seat during peak hours

As this outlet is really small, there wasn’t an English menu and the staff cannot really understand English so we depended on our translation apps to decide on what to order and just pointed to the menu when the staff was taking orders. They actually have quite a huge variety on their menu; abalone, chicken and ginseng, beef and vegetables, crab, shrimp, kimchi and even some with truffle toppings. I believe the bigger outlets at Myeongdong for example have English menus for tourist

The shop itself is quite squeezy with only 2 seated tables for 8 and a high table by the window for up to 4 people as almost half of the shop was allocated to the kitchen and cashier. While at the shop, I realised this outlet mostly does takeaways or delivery so the time I was there, I was not pressured to eat and leave quickly by customers waiting for seats

We took the table by the window and I really loved the view as you can have your porridge and kind of watch the people going by their daily lives since the Dongdaemun area is bustling with wholesale activities

I ordered the abalone intestines porridge which is why the porridge is greenish in colour. Each porridge order is served with a side plate of cabbage kimchi, soy-braised beef (Jangjorim) as well as radish water kimchi (Dongchimi). The porridge is topped with pine nuts, sesame and seaweed powder. Firstly on the sides, as I do not eat beef, I passed that over to my nephew who said it was savoury and paired well with his porridge. The kimchi was crunchy and not too spicy or sour but gave a nice flavour when paired with the porridge. For the sides, I really loved the water radish kimchi as it was extremely appetising with sweet and sour kimchi water.

For the porridge, the taste is generally light but very delicious with a natural saltiness from the abalone intestines. There are chunks of abalone meat within the porridge which is chewier in comparison to the canned ones but as they are cut up into small chunks, it is still easy to eat. The consistency of the porridge is not like the smooth Cantonese congee but more like the rice porridge we can find in some Singapore hawker centres where you can still find some broken grain

This is the plain abalone porridge served with the same sides and in comparison to mine, it is a lot blander without the saltiness from the intestines. I guess this is really good if you are feeling under the weather and need something lighter for the stomach. When paired with the sides, especially the seasoned beef, it was much more flavourful. Personally, I did not find it too bland, there is a light sweetness from the abalone taste

Overall, I am so glad for the Bon Juk near my hotel as my nephew got stomach problems during the trip and I ordered another takeaway for him. I ordered the shrimp version which is more easily digested and he mentioned it was nicer than the abalone one so I am sure there is a suitable porridge for customers with a strong palate as they have a huge variety but I will definitely have Bon Juk again as my breakfast when I am in Korea

Address: 43 Jangchungdan-ro 13-gil, Jung-gu, Seoul, South Korea

Operating hours: 9.30 am to 9.30 pm ( Closed on Sundays)

Author: elizbeartravel

A human bear who loves travelling, eating and cooking

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s