With the global COVID pandemic continuing, many food businesses are hit hard with South Korea no exception. Being a widely enterprising nation, many young aspiring entrepreneurs look to the F&B industry to kickstart their ventures. Baek Jongwon’s Alley Restaurant (백종원의 골목식당) is a reality programme hosted by Baek Jong Won himself, where he uses his network and experiences as a renowned chef to try and revive failing alley restaurants.
We are so used to widely recommended and touristy places, but where do the locals actually head to? I have personally visited some of the restaurants that was revived in this programme, and I must say you will be guaranteed quality food, because such is the high standard the show holds their participants to. In the recently concluded September episodes, the programme collaborated with Geumak Village to try and revive an inland village not frequented by tourists. Named the local economy revitalization project, contestants were invited to pit their culinary, service and business skills to win a chance to run their own restaurant at the village.
By now you should know where this is going. You can catch the programme on your own at VIU, but what we are introducing to you is the new food street comprising of the 4 winning restaurants. The most interesting part of this new attraction is that you won’t be enjoying traditional Korean fare, with Ramyeon and Pork-gangjeong the closest you get.
꿀봉 (Honey Bong)
The restaurant is operated by a married couple who used to serve mainly western food in their previous business. Instead of the gangjeong made of chicken that most are familiar with, these were made by pork, which is also a specialty of Jeju (yes it’s more than seafood). A popular tip from Baek Jong Won is one that restaurant owners should try and make use of ingredients that can be related to the place that they are operating out of. These fried pork strips will be the perfect for a snack while you keep some space for the other restaurants.
Address: 3 Geumak-ro 1-gil, Hallim-eup, Jeju-si
Operating Hours: Every day from 10:00 to 17:00
The restaurant is operated by a beautiful lady-boss Ahreum, and it’s a pasta restaurant that serves pasta that is freshly made (not the hard a dried ones you see in the supermarket). The place is beautifully furnished (and insta-worthy) and complemented by great quality food. How often you get to savour a cream-based pasta topped with a whole abalone? Not forgetting as well the tomato-based pasta topped with delicious black pork.
Address: Geumak-ro 1-gil, Hallim-eup, Jeju-si
Operating Hours: Every day from 11:00 to 16:00 (Closed on Tuesdays). Reservation is preferred.
Chico is the brainchild of a brothers team who used to specialise in Thailand food. No idea how this happened, but their eventual menu were Mexican tacos. If you are not a fan of parsley, no worries as it has been tested by many on the show and it seems acceptable to most. Pretty sure you can ask for the parsley to be let out. Portion is not huge, so it’s definitely worth trying even if you already have pasta in that tummy.
Address: 18 Geumak-ro, Hallim-eup, Jeju-si
Operating Hours: Every day from 10:00
똣똣라면 (Dotdot Ramyeon)
Dotdot Ramyeon is right beside Chico, and is now operated by 2 of the show’s contestants (the winner engaged one of the losing contestant). Their signature and the only dish is the Dotdot Rameyon (똣똣라면) that supposedly packs quite a punch in spiciness. The luxurious portion of garlic and spring onion adds loads of fragrance to the noodles. Of course, the star (minced black pork) is hidden inside the devilish soup-base. Once you are done with the noodles, do what the Koreans do to add some rice into the soup. The rice in itself is cooked with seaweed, so it should be fragrant even if you ate it on its own.
Address: 18 Geumak-ro, Hallim-eup, Jeju-si
Operating Hours: Everyday from 11:00 to 18:00 (Last order 17:30)
Special Mention – 연돈 (Yeondon)
Yeondon is not a restaurant that is operating within the new Geumak Village area, but it is a widely popular pork cutlet (tonkatsu) restaurant that was previously featured in the same programme. Being an expert in making pork cutlet and one well acknowledged by Baek Jong Won, his restaurant was moved to Jeju a couple of years ago and should also be well worth a visit while you are traveling in Jeju. The queues could be crazy for this one so be mentally and physically prepared.
Address: Seogwipo City, 968-10, Jeju-si
Operating Hours: Everyday from 12:00 to 16:00 (Lunch), Break from 16:00 to 18:00, 18:00 to 21:00 (Dinner)