Cheung Kee Noodle, Hongdae
Pork with hot and sour sweet sauce & wonton / with noodle 9,500w.
Prawn wontons and pork dumplings are few and far between in Seoul. Had I known this my stopover in Hong Kong prior to moving to Korea for keeps would have been even more of a wonton rampage than it already was. Because it’s these silken pockets of prawns dipped in chilli sauce and vinegar that are high on my favorites list and everything else can take a back seat.
Cheung Kee Noodle is the Seoul outlet of Hong Kong’s Mak An Kee Noodle. And while the food isn’t a perfect replication, it’s close and the best my deprived taste buds have found in Seoul. On offer is any conceivable mixture of noodles, wontons, dumplings, braised beef, spicy sour pork, and soup, with sides of oyster sauced green vegetables (choisam or kailan). The thin, springy wheat noodles have a hint of grease and are cooked a whisker short of al dente, so hold their own in seafood-scented soup. Pair with gelatinous anise scented braised beef and pork dumplings heavy with meat.
After countless visits, my order has settled to prawn wontons, served in peppery rich and lightly fishy broth and steamed kailan. The chilli sauce, a necessary dip or addition to the soup, is dark, oily and fierce, and on sale by the front door. The noodles are a delicious, novel eating experience in Seoul and I’m always sure to steal some of his. Often served dry, mixed with a fatty sweet, sour and spiced pork, or tender braised beef, always lifted by vinegar and that tremendous chilli sauce. Cheung Kee Noodle is pricier than its Hong Kong cousin, but worth it in otherwise wonton-less Seoul.
Cheung Kee Noodle
Opening hours: Tuesday to Sunday (closed on Mondays) 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. and 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Noodle dishes hover around 9,500 won.
Welcomes solo diners.
Next to Hongdae playground.