The city of Seongnam is more known as popular residential area in Gyeonggi-do province. Geographically it is not part of Seoul but the city is conveniently connected to Gangnam and other parts of Seoul through Metro. When I hopped on a bus at Daejeon Government Complex bus terminal that was bound to Seongnam I really did not have much thought on where I wanted to go. It was simply the bus to Seongnam was what was available at the moment. Soon I got off in a town that I have never been before and started to venture off into the snow.
I met up with a friend and next moment we were at a buckwheat noodles restaurant. He found out about this place on a TV show and wanted to check it out. Naengmyun (냉면), or cold buckwheat noodles, is originally from North Korea and is now enjoyed all over the country. The dish is obviously more popular in summer but there is no such thing as the best time of the year for true buckwheat noodle lovers.
The outside has already turned snowy white by the time we settled down on our table. I noticed that they also serve onmyun (온면), or warm buckwheat noodles. Why not? It’s freezing outside, I will warm up with some nice bowl of warm noodle soup. I was glad that I went with the warm noodles–it was different, and it was so good. The broth of cold noodles may be more clear and had good aroma but in general I very much enjoyed the warmth and heartiness of my noodle soup. It was like having a bowl of pho but with aromatic buckwheat flavour lingering in your mouth.
The cold noodles was delicious as well. The cucumber-infused broth was cool and refreshing. I loved the crown daisy as a garnish on my warm noodle soup. And sesame seeds, of course. For me, when it comes to sesame seeds more the merrier.
We also ordered a couple of dumplings but had to wrap them up as we were already too stuffed. Like the dumplings, they were big and stuffed with ground meat and bean sprouts. Tasted quite like homemade dumplings from my childhood when we gathered around during the holiday season to make trays of dumplings.
I was told that the original restaurant was smaller but they relocated to current, more spacious location. I understand that the restaurant owners would want to expand and renovate but sometimes I wish that they would keep the old, original place just as a site of history. The new place is modern and clean, but I wonder what the old restaurant looked and feel like.