by Michael Jones
Over the weekend we went to Pajeon alley with a group of friends and we were completely blown away by the Jeon (전). It was definitely the best Jeon we’ve ever eaten. For those of you who might be new to Korean food, Jeon is essentially a Korean pancake that can be made with many different types of meat and vegetables then mixed in flour/egg batter and fried in oil. Pajeon alley is a small street located near Hoegi Station on line 1 that is famous for making the best Pajeon in Seoul. Pajeon is a seafood variety of Jeon and it’s savory, packed with flavor, and extremely filling. I’ve been there a few times with a good friend who lives next to the station, and although I enjoyed the other places, they never impressed me as much as I was expecting them to. That changed this time. The place our friend took us to on Saturday is called Nakseo Pajeon (낙서파전) and like many incredible restaurants, a shoddy looking exterior belies the incredible food inside. The interior is intimate and filled with wooden tables and the roof is small in places, so watch your head. It feels very comfortable though and very authentic. The place was busy the entire time and the reason was the otherworldly food and the cheap prices. For 5 people we ordered two different types of Jeon: kimchijeon (8,000) and modeumjeon (9,000), one order of Jeyuk-Bokkeum (spicy pork) for 8,000, and three bottles of Makgeolli for just over 38,000 won. It was a very cheap meal split between 5 people and the serving sizes were huge. The Jeon was served on a wooden tray and was the size of a pizza, and I’m talking about a large pizza. My girlfriend and I are huge eaters and it is hard for us to get full, but this place pushed us over the edge. The Jeon was crispy and just greasy enough to be delicious, but not enough to make you feel like a horrible person. The Jeon was packed with seafood (octopus) and vegetables and was very rich. It’s the perfect food to eat with Magkeolli and share with friends. The kimchijeon still had a little octopus in it, but not as much as the modeumjeon so its a better choice if you're not a fan of seafood. The pork bokkeum was average, but that might just be because after eating the Jeon anything we ate would’ve tasted bland in comparison. This place is truly a special restaurant and deserves a visit.
Directions: Go to Hoegi station (회기역) exit 1.
Turn left on 회기로28길 (the second big street on your left after exit 1).
Nakseo Pajeon will be on your left.
Address: 서울 동대문구 회기로28길 11
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