Seoul has huge Supermarkets as you have seen in my post about Emart, however, they don’t have much in the way of Chinese sauces and dry goods. As these are necessities in my household, and it has had me searching high and low for my favorite products. The Korean supermarkets just don’t have what I’m looking for.
The other day, I went to our favorite chinese foot massage place, and I mentioned that I haven’t seen much in terms of Chinese Restaurants or groceries and they told me that it’s because the majority of Chinese people don’t live near our area. They told me to go to Daerim (or Dalin in Mandarin). So I went ahead and looked it up on my subway map and saw that it was about 7 stops away. Tonight I was able to convince Scott to head that way for some yummy Chinese dinner.
When we arrived to Daerim, we were surprised to see that it is a really large subway stop! There are tons of people and 12 total exits.
The closest exit to all the Chinese shops is exit #12.
Once you walk up from exit #12, you will make an immediate left and you will see a bunch of back alleys with many Chinese restaurants and vendors. The small vendors sell fruits and vegetables and some sell dry goods, spices and sauces, but have very select items.
Walking around we noticed that the majority of the food here is Sichuan cuisine (so lots of spicy food). There are also a lot of 24 hour hot pot restaurants and we popped into one that is located on the same street as exit #12 of the subway stop.
For 35,000 won you get a split pot hot pot, a huge plate of vegetables, a plate of sliced lamb and dumplings. Portions were much more generous than other places we have been here in Seoul. They also bring over a sauce cart for you.
I wish I lived closer as I would definitely love to take advantage of the 24 hour part, but I thought the flavor and value was pretty good here. We are already planning our next trip to the Daerim area to try some more restaurants!
*note that there are a couple restaurants down here that serve dog meat, but it appears they advertise it pretty clearly on their windows – look for the word 狗 and avoid those places*