I’d been trying to get into Seongbuk-dong Ole Noodles (성북동 올레국수) for ages & ages, and finally managed it in late February. It’s a really small place — only has tables for maybe 8 people, plus a few at the bar (though, frankly, I doubt even the ever-svelt Koreans could squeeze in there well). And that’s been the problem: every time I stroll by, it’s been full.
Then, out of the blue… it was empty. So empty, I thought it was closed, but I spotted one of the two women who runs it hiding in the kitchen, so I boldly went on in.
Very nice! The main was a nice broth with noodles, chopped vegetables and some pieces of meat. There seem to be no end to variations on that theme here, but this one was particularly nice, and despite the thick ribbon of fat on the edge of the pieces of meat, not greasy at all (nice trick!).
But the real surprise was the side dish, a lovely bit of rice with some bean in it, some dried seaweed on top… and a fair bit of caramelized onions mixed in. What the heck? Never seen anything like that here (nor have a few people I’ve mentioned it to).
Conclusion: It’s back to being packed, but worth waiting for a spot. (Especially given how quickly lunches go here… the wait won’t be long!)
OpenStreetMap.org (approximate location):