Mr Dakgalbi

Known as a speciality dish in the Chuncheon; capital of Gangwon Province, the Dak Galbi is extremely popular in the area with an annual festival just dedicated to the dish. The Dak Galbi is a spicy stir-fried dish of boneless chicken with rice cake and vegetables on a huge hotplate. The first time I had this dish was also in the Chuncheon area after my tour of Nami island and I remember loving the flavours no doubt a little spicy for me

At the carpark area just next to the ferry terminal for the ferry to Nami Island, there are plenty of Dak Galbi restaurants. We chose one which was nearest to our tour bus with the biggest and brightest signboard and it turns out to be Mr Dakgalbi. From the signboard, the restaurant seems to have participated in a variety show featuring foreign tourists so we made a calculated assumption that the ones served here will not be as spicy

The restaurant is quite big with many seating areas and floor-to-ceiling windows where you have a beautiful view of the stream that surrounds Nami Island. The place is fully air-conditioned so while you can enjoy the stream, you can do it in the comfort of the aircon. The building has more than 1 level and the restroom is on the 2nd floor. As I could not see the 2nd floor, I am not sure if there are more seating areas at level 2

There was a refrigerated side counter where you can help yourself to a free flow of side dishes like pickled radish, seasoned soy sprouts, garlic, bean sauce, lettuce and salad

We ordered 1 set of the Dak Galbi which came in a huge pot laid with cabbage, pumpkin, rice cakes, and onions and topped with spicy marinated chicken. Everything is served raw to the table and the server will cook in front of you

The whole process takes close to 20 to 25 minutes for the chicken to be fully cooked and the staff is very strict in ensuring the meat is thoroughly cooked before allowing you to dig in. As we had very limited time left, we were anxiously looking on while the staff was cooking and towards the end, we had to pack the rest to go after just having 1 serving of the chicken. This entire pot can actually fill at least 4 bowls per person and is really quite filling. This time around, the sauce is not as spicy as I remembered and had a tinge of sweetness which complemented the rice cake and chicken very well. The chicken was perfectly cooked with tender juices flowing with every bite

We ordered cheese rice which is charged separately and it was supposed to be added to the pot once we finish the meal, as we were rushing for time, we got the staff to cook the rice on one side of the pot while we ate the chicken. You can see the staff cooking the rice here and finally topping it with cheese when it is almost done. I can only say the rice was the star of the meal as it was cheesy and full of flavours from the sauce and seaweed as well as some burnt bits from the chicken and rice cake. The rice was so good we stopped eating the chicken and finished all the rice and packed the chicken instead

Overall, our group had no regrets about having our meal at Mr Dakgalbi as the sweeter and less spicy sauce went well with our group who cannot do very spicy food and the cheese rice at the end was just the best. My only regret is not able to spend more time enjoying the food and maybe ordering another portion of the rice. The owner lady and the staff were also very friendly and nice and spoke English well enough to converse with us

Address: 1044-14 Bukhangangbyeon-ro, Gapyeong-eup, Gapyeong-gun, Gyeonggi-do, South Korea

Operating hours: 9 am to 9 pm

Author: elizbeartravel

A human bear who loves travelling, eating and cooking

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