It’s something I’ve said countless times, but I’ll shamelessly say it again: I love noodles. One of the many perks of living in Korea is the fact that there are so many different types of noodle dishes to satisfy those carb-laden cravings of mine. What’s even better is that these options are often cheap and plentiful. On that note, I was more than willing to try the new noodle joint that just opened up in the still growing area of Pungam.
국수나무 (guksu namu), which means Noodle Tree, appears to be a fairly successful franchise that specializes in hot noodle soups. When I first stepped inside the new location in my neighborhood, I was instantly charmed by the clean, modern look of the decor that didn’t go too overboard (even though there was some Engrish to be found). Though seating arrangements were sparse, we were lucky to arrive right before the lunch rush.
I was happy to see that the menu did have everything written in both Korean and English, though there were no actual translations to be found. That being said, pictures were more than enough to give me an idea of what each dish had to offer. Half of their noodle options consisted of different types of fresh white noodles (the thin kind), while the other half was made up of various udon dishes. I would recommend that you stay away from the noodles if you’re allergic to seafood, as I’m fairly sure that everything that some form of seafood in it. I got the 생면국수 (saengmyeon guksu), which was a simple noodle dish in plain broth, and my usual date got the 새우튀김우동 (saewoo twigim udon), also known as Shrimp Tempura Udon.
After we placed our orders, we were greeted with the usual side dishes a little before our meals arrived. I was able to try a few tastes of the udon before I tried my dish, which almost ended up being a mistake. The shrimp was still hot and crispy, despite being drenched in hot soup, and the broth was nice and hot without being too salty. As expected, the noodles were fat, slippery, and very filling. When it came to eat my dish, the experience was a little different. Maybe it’s because I’m not a huge fan of fish, but the broth was decent. While the noodles and extras were hot and delicious, I found the anchovy taste to be a little stronger than I was used to (something I usually don’t mind with this dish). I can see how those who do enjoy fishy broth would love this, but I found myself wanting more of the udon.
All in all, 국수나무 turned out to be a pretty standard place for noodles. For a decent price, we were able to walk away full and satisfied. Also, if you’re not in the mood for noodles, the restaurant offers other dishes like fried pork cutlets, omurice, and 떡만두국 (tteok mandu guk), which is better known as rice cake and dumpling soup (this one’s quite good, but spicy). While I won’t make any claims about this place having the best noodles in town, but it’s definitely a good choice for a simple, affordable meal.
Address: 광주광역시 서구 풍암동 956-11 (located near Unri Elementary School)
Average Price Range: 4,000~7,000 won per dish