by Ashley Heil
It's a long way from Seoul to Wonju, but worth the journey. We had heard in previous reviews how good the chicken and the ribs are at Sweet Oak, so we knew we had to order both. The ribs at Sweet Oak (49,000 won, make sure to pre-order!) surpassed all expectations. The ribs had a delectable charred outer layer and the slow-cooked meat was tender enough to pull apart with your fingers. The smoky flavors of the meat, balanced with the fattiness, caused momentary silence during the first bite as me and my friends failed to think of adjectives. All of us thoroughly enjoyed the ribs. The ribs were served with 3 sides, and a mouthwatering batch of dry rub fries. We also ordered a platter (29,000 won) of wood-fired grilled chicken (we got it spicy piri piri style), and smoked pulled pork, which included another 3 sides and fries. It had the perfect amount of spiciness, was juicy, and had great flavor. The chicken definitely did not disappoint. The smoked pulled pork was also tasty, but seemed comparable to the pulled pork we've had at other barbecue restaurants in Itaewon (Manimal and Linus). It was good, but not the star of the show. The sides were good, but also comparable to other BBQ places. However, I thoroughly enjoyed the fries more than expected, and I kept eating the french fries long after I was full. Also available at Sweet Oak to wash everything down is a nice selection of Hand and Malt beers, as well as other alcoholic beverages. Although Sweet Oak is not in Seoul, and takes a bit of planning and sitting on a bus/train to get there, it is for sure worth it. If you're a barbecue or meat lover, make your way out to Sweet Oak as soon as you can!
Take the bus (1.5 hours) from express bus terminal (tickets 7,000 each way for general or 10,000 for excellent) to Wonju.
OR take a train (about 1 hour) from Cheongnyangni Station.
Take a taxi to Sweet Oak (원주시 봉바위길 76-2 )
It's near 솔샘초등학교.
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by Michael Jones
Korean cuisine is much more than samgyeopsal, bulgogi, and soju. There are countless dishes to discover and kimchi jjim is one of our favorites. It is often overshadowed by kimchi jjigae, but every food lover should try kimchi jjim. Kimchi jjim (김치찜) is served in a scalding earthenware bowl and paired with white rice and side dishes. The pork, but it can also be made with other meats, is slow cooked with the kimchi. The fat drippings mix with the tanginess of the kimchi which makes a creamy, rich broth. The bowl is filled to the brim with tender chunks of pork on the bone and large strands of pungent kimchi. This Korean comfort food is the perfect companion on a cold or rainy day. It is also more filling, usually, than kimchi jjigae, so for big eaters it is a great option.
The ddukbaegi kimchi jjim (뚝배기김치찜) at Usoon Daega (우순대가) is inexpensive and savory. For 7,000 KRW you can enjoy a steaming bowl of pork and kimchi stew. Usoon Daega also sells delectable Korean pancakes, made with beans, called kong jeon (콩전) for 5,000 KRW. The softness of the warm pancake goes perfectly with the tangy crunch of the kimchi and juicy pork. Next time you crave some comfort food, grab some friends and visit Usoon Daega.
Go to Hoehyun station (line 4) and go to exit 6. Take a right and walk through Namdaemun market. Take a right when you come to the big road, 남대문로. Walk a little ways and the restaurant will be on your right.
Address: 서울 중구 남대문로 30 1층
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