50 Years of Tradition: Yurim-Myeon Noodle House

yurimmyeon city hall korea

South Korea gets really hot and humid in Summer. It is only the first week in July, but the summer heat is already in full swing. To combat the sticky days and airless nights, a couple of cooling dishes are created to beat the summer heat here in Korea. These dishes like Naeng-Myun (냉면, cold noodles), Hwa-Che (화채, Fruit Punch) and Pat-bingsu (팥빙수, shaved-ice dessert with red bean paste), although some are very identical to Japanese food, are all well-loved by the Koreans.

yulim noodle at city hall korea

Yurim-Myeon is a noodle house near the City Hall Station that serves one of the best cold buckwheat noodles in Seoul. Their noodles are from a recipe passed down through 3 generations and have gathered the “Know-How” for more than 50 years. I was told that their menus may differ slightly due to season and they only use ingredients that are produced in Korea (Guk-san 국산), which guarantees good quality.

Here are the dishes they serve:

Buckwheat Noodles (Memil Guksu 메밀 국수) KRW 8,500
Buckwheat Noodles with Red Hot Pepper Sauce (Bibim Memil 비빔 메밀) KRW 9,500
Noodles with Vegetables & Red Hot Pepper Sauce (Bibim Guksu 비빔 국수) KRW 8,500
Udon Noodles in Hot Pot (Naembi Udong 냄비 우동) KRW 8,500

We ordered the Naembi Udong, the restaurant’s most popular dish and a Memil Guksu, buckwheat noodles.

yulim myeon buckwheat noodle
Tsuyu that comes together with Buckwheat Noodles (Maemil Guksu)

The tsuyu dipping broth and shallots arrived first before the cold Buckwheat Noodles. It looks different from ordinary Japanese soba tsuyu as Japanese soba is usually served with a clear dipping broth. Yulim-Myeon’s version of tsuyu, however, is already pre-mixed with chopped radish.

Finely chopped shallot is, of course, a must for cold noodles.
Pickled radish as sides.
yulim buckwheat cold noodle
Maemil Guksu. Cold Buckwheat Noodle. KRW 8,500

The cold buckwheat noodles arrived a few minutes later. It was rather plain looking with dried seaweed on top of the noodles though the translucent gloss shining from the noodles indicates freshness.

The most common misconception about making buckwheat noodles is that you plunge the noodles in cold water to cool them off, which is, in fact, wrong. To make good buckwheat noodles, the chef would have to rinse the noodles rather vigorously, and repeatedly under cold running water. This procedure is to effectively get rid of excess starch which will adversely affect the flavour of the noodles.

Each serving of the cold buckwheat noodles actually comes in two separate bamboo boxes that are stacked together.
yulim buckwheat cold noodle

We pour the shallots into the soup stock, add some mustard and mix them well. Then, dip the noodles briefly into the sauce and tuck them in!

yulim buckwheat cold noodle

The tsuyu soup stock was done well. The fragrance of the soup stock imbues the radish with both sweetness and savoury flavours. The texture of the noodles was a  smooth, chewy al-dente perfection. Together with the light crisps of the shallots and radish, it is a refreshing dish to savour in summer.

yulim myeon

If you are a Korean pop-culture fan, I am sure you’ll find this picture above very familiar — it was the filming location of an ever-popular K-drama, My Love from the Star (별에서 온 그대) starred by Kim Suhyun and Jeon Jihyun. In fact, the place where I took the picture was exactly where Do Minjoon (Kim Suhyun) was seated in the drama.

yulim myeon my love from star

Remember the scene Cheon Songyi said that she hated eating alone? Do Minjoon was actually having udon with Lawyer Jang while receiving Songyi’s call that she was hungry. So when Do decided to bring her some food home, he remembered Songyi doesn’t like to eat alone so he got home with two portions of Naembi Udong so that he can join her for dinner (again!).

yulim myeon udon 50 years korea
Naembi Udong. KRW 8,500

This famous Naembi Udong is a simple dish with mushrooms, fish cakes and an egg. The soy-based broth is light and clean with subtle umami. It is a comforting dish I would say, but nothing more than that.

yulim myeon udon my love from the star

Writer’s Note: This place certainly gains a few more eyeballs after the <My Love from the Star> drama craze. That said, serving up noodles for more than 50 years, they certainly know their ground and are already well-loved by the locals even before the drama. While Naembi Udong is their popular dish, I’d recommend Yurim-Myeon’s cold buckwheat noodles (Maemil Guksu) instead. It is a perfect dish to enjoy in a warm, sweltering summer. I heard their Bibim Maemil is great too. If you like spicy cold noodles, you should try them out! I don’t think I am going back for their Naembi Udon. It is nice, but a tad too simple. I would order it if I am not feeling well during colder days and needed something comforting and not too heavy.

Contact Details:
Yurim Myeon 유림면
139-1, Seosomun-ro, Jung-gu, Seoul
서울 중구 서소문로 139-1 (서소문동)
Tel: +82-2-755-0659 (Reservation available during lunchtime only)
Operation hours: 11am- 830pm.

How to get there: As there are no big carparks nearby, it is recommended to take public transport to the restaurant.

how to go to yurimmyeon

1. Get off at City Hall Station (Seoul Subway Line 1 or 2), Exit 12, or 11. I recommend taking Exit 11. 2. Upon exiting the station, walk towards the direction to Deoksugung Doldam-gil. 3. Pass one building, and immediately turn left into an alley. You’ll be able to see their front gate, which look like this:


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Previous Story

DDP: My Love From the Star Exhibition

Next Story

L’atelier Monique: Bae Yong Joon and Lee Seung Gi’s Favourite Bakery.