After growing increasingly spoiled by the usual non-Korean options in the downtown area, I often have to remind myself to actually eat Korean food while I’m living here. Maybe I just need to find new people to eat with? Either way, whenever one of those rare moments where I get to pick where my company I eat dinner pops up, I always try to pick a good one. I’m happy to say that this week’s choice did not disappoint.
I went to 고수 닭갈비 (Gosoo Dakgalbi) a few weeks back after making an executive decision during one of those awkward “where are we going to eat dinner?” moments. Seeing how we were scheduled to watch a movie after dinner anyway, it was nice to have an option that was nearby.
When we entered the restaurant, there was a bit of a wait to find an available table. Now that I think about it, I don’t think I’ve ever seen a time when the place didn’t look busy. Despite the line, we didn’t have to wait much longer than 10 minutes to be seated.
Once we got to our table, I got to quickly read through the small menu before placing our order. From the looks of it, there were only two real options available. Below the main dishes included extras like rice and an assortment of toppings ranging anywhere from bacon to ramen noodles. We ended up getting the Chicken Rib Without Bone for three people along with the 치즈모듬사리 (chijeumodeumsali), which was pretty much an assortment of toppings including cheese, rice cake, cellophane noodles, and hand torn noodles (almost like a Korean gnocchi).
After we ordered, the waiters were quick to bring out a number of sides (more than what I was used to seeing at dakgalbi restaurants), as well as a pan filled with our food that went straight onto the fire. From what I could tell, the attractive line of gooey cheese running down the middle appeared to be the restaurant’s trademark.
Before long, everything was finished cooking, and we dug into our meal without hesitation. Though hot, I was actually surprised at the lack of overpowering spiciness I faced with each bite. While most dakgalbi restaurants are enough to make me sweat a bit, the heat in our dish was present without being overwhelming. Though I’m usually a fan of the hot stuff, it was rather nice to see that my dining buddies weren’t writhing in pain throughout the meal. The marinated chicken meat went quite well with the melting cheese and the other goodies present in the dish. My favorite part was the chewy and flavor absorbing hand torn noodles, known in Korean as 수제비 (sujebi).
All in all, 고수 닭갈비 was a nice place that proved that dakgalbi doesn’t have to be painfully spicy to be good. Looking back, I wish I could have added some of my usual favorite toppings (like ramen noodles), and possibly even had some of the fried rice that would have been cooked in with the leftover sauce in our pan (a norm at most places like this). If you do plan on giving the place a try, be aware that there might be a bit of a wait on busier days. Also, don’t wear white.
Address: 광주광역시 동구 호남동 78-5 (right across the street from Megabox)
Average Price Range: 8,000-10,000 per person (depending on the amount of toppings)