Saemaul Sikdang Dongdaemun

When in Seoul, there is one restaurant you will not miss out on and it is the barbeque restaurant. I used to visit another restaurant called Maple Tree House which serves excellent quality meat but their outlets are not near my hotel so I settled for one restaurant near my hotel which is pretty popular with locals

As seen here from the poster, this restaurant is owned by celebrity chef Baek Jong Won who also owns Paik’s coffee and Bornga restaurant; the more familiar brands for Singaporeans. While there are Bornga outlets in Seoul as well, the 2 barbeque restaurants reach out to different groups of customers as Saemaul Sikdang Dongdaemun has a more pocket-friendly menu focusing mostly on the barbeque while Bornga has more variety of items on their menu like different soup, stews and noodles

The restaurant is pretty narrow just like all restaurants in Dongdaemun and is packed almost all the time. When we stepped into the restaurant, we had no idea it was one of the famous restaurants popular with locals and we thought Chef Baek was an endorsement and not the owner. Due to the small space, each table can sit 4 people and is quite tight so there is almost no space for large shopping bags or luggage

One portion of pork collar was priced at KRW13,000 and pork belly at KRW 14,000. The serving of pork jowl was smaller at KRW 11,000. Comparing the prices to Korean barbeque in Singapore, the price is definitely more affordable. There are both English and Chinese menus but you will have to ask the staff for it

Our meat arrived and it looked like pretty premium cuts. Our order mainly consisted of the pork jowl and the pork collar as those were our favourite cuts and the price was quite affordable. We had to grill our meats as the staff was quite understaffed and busy with service and checking the bills. The customer turnover of the restaurant was relatively high as you see satisfied customers leaving and new ones taking over the tables very frequently

The meat was fresh and juicy and of course, since we were doing the grilling ourselves, it might not be the best-grilled flavour but the cut of the meat made up for it. We also ordered the pig intestines which were chewy and flavourful. There was hardly any bad pork smell from the intestines and while the spicy ones were too spicy, it was really delicious. We ordered a 2nd helping of the non-spicy one and it was quite bland and the intestine taste was more obvious. You will need to dip it into salt or bean sauce to help lessen the original taste of the intestines

Overall, the meal was affordable with pretty good cuts of meat. The soup we ordered was quite small in serving and the small table could hardly contain all the dishes. My only gripe is the size of the tables tends to be on the squeezy side and with winter jackets, it is really quite tight. I would have enjoyed the meal better with a more spacious area.

Side note, my nephew had food poisoning the night after but the rest of us is fine so we figured he had cross-contamination by using the tongs for raw and cooked food at the same time and nothing to do with the restaurant so do be careful in cooking your food thoroughly and not cross using tongs for cooked and raw food

Address: 13, Jangchungdan-ro, 13-gil, Jung-gu, Seoul

Operating hours: 11 am to 9.20 pm

Author: elizbeartravel

A human bear who loves travelling, eating and cooking

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