On my last day in Seoul, I had the morning free before I needed to head to the airport for my afternoon flight. My bunkmate also didn’t have plans before her evening flight, so we decided to grab lunch together.
After running some last minute errands, we found ourselves walking back to Hongdae from Hapjeong, in hungry spirits. The original plan was to get fried chicken, but unfortunately every place we found was not-yet-open at 11am on a Monday.
I had spotted a couple of dakgalbi restaurants along the way, and as noon crept up on us, it seemed to be the best option available.
After a previous experience with spicy food, I managed to talk down my bunkmate from her overzealous declaration that she could handle the highest spice level. We settled on the cheese dakgalbi at the second spice level, which cost ₩11000 per serving, with a minimum order of two servings.
A plate of side dishes was presented, with sweet pickled, thinly sliced pickled daikon radish, and a corn salad. Refills were available as a self-service at the back of the restaurant.
We ended waiting a bit longer than expected, and the previous fried chicken hunt had left me with a tighter margin than I would have liked.
In due time, a huge, sizzling plate of red made its way to our table. Stir-fried chicken, rice cakes, cabbage and onions were covered with a spicy gochujang-based sauce, and a generous line of mozzarella was sprinkled down the middle. There were a couple pieces of tempura-battered sweet potato on one side of the dish, seemingly out-of-place.
We waited a couple of minutes until the cheese started to melt into a gooey consistency, and then we dug in with gusto. Thank goodness we didn’t order above the second spice level – I had to alternate bites of the spicy chicken with some side dishes.
Save a few stray pieces of cabbage, we finished our meal and made our way back to our hostel to grab our luggage. Until next time, Seoul!