Sometime in the past couple of weeks, I found myself looking for a location to have dinner with a couple of awesome people. We had been craving Korean food that wasn’t A) seafood, or B) too spicy. After throwing ideas around for a few hours, we did what the locals usually do and whipped out our smart phones to look for anything good in the area. That is how we ended up at 등뼈감자탕 (Deung Ppyeo Gamjatang).
Located on the increasingly busy street of what I like to call “Little Pungam”, the restaurant was rated rather highly on one of the Korean apps we searched through. Upon first look, there wasn’t a whole lot to see. The place looked like every other standard Korean restaurant, which is probably why it never stood out to me. The lack of chairs was also a slight bummer, but we got over it quickly when we realized how hungry we actually were. Looking for a place to eat can take a lot out of you!
Though we had originally arrived with the intention of getting some 감자탕 (gamjatang), which is a pork bone soup with vegetables, we grew rather curious about the 등뼈찜 (deung ppyeo jjim), which roughly translates to steamed spine. It definitely looked more appetizing than it sounded, and we had read that this particular restaurant was well known for it. Figuring it wouldn’t kill us to be brave, we went ahead and ordered the medium portion (options are small, medium, and large).
After we placed our order, we received the standard side dishes consisting of bean sprouts, vegetables, and three different types of kimchi. We also received a piping hot bowl of what appeared to be some sort of 해장국 (haejang guk), which is a soup that usually consists of vegetables and congealed blood (not sure if I saw any in this one) in a meaty broth.
Before long, our food finally arrived. What appeared before me was a steaming platter filled with pork (warning: lots of bones), rice cake, glass noodles, and vegetables all brought together by a sweet and savory soy sauce-based sauce. It smelled and tasted great, despite being potentially messy (one of my poor friends was wearing white!). The meat was fall-off-the-bone tender, and the rest of the ingredients had absorbed a fair amount of this surprisingly not spicy sauce, making everything taste awesome. Though I’m usually not the biggest fan of sweeter sauces, this one was fairly balanced and a little addictive. Tip: If you’re not the type to get full easily, order a bowl of rice with your meal. Spoon some of that sauce into your rice before eating and mix it all up. You’re welcome.
In the end, 등뼈감자탕 turned out to be a pleasant surprise. If all of my on the whim decisions turned out as well as this one did, my life would be significantly more awesome. The place can get a little busy at times, but it’s great to see that it also happens to be open 24 hours a day. Next time I make an appearance, I will definitely need to try their 등갈비 (deung galbi), which appears to be spine galbi. Who would have thought that back bones could taste so good?
Address: 광주 서구 풍암동 926 (next tot he Alpha Stationary Store in Pungam)
Average Price Range: Approximately 10,000 per person