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Out of the many mukja golmoks (food alleys) in Seoul, one of the oldest is Majang-dong's Mukja Golmok, boasting over 40 years of history. This narrow and run-down alley is home to several gogi jip (Korean BBQ restaurants), so much so that the delicious smells of barbequed beef brings hordes of customers here 24/7.
With its location right next to Majang Livestock Products Market (the largest livestock goods wholesale market in Korea; approximately 60-70% of the livestock goods traded in Korea goes through here), Majang-dong's food alley started up naturally.
With the largest source of livestock goods right next door, the restaurants in this food alley are able to offer high-quality meats at a fraction of the price that it normally is at most barbeque restaurants.
This food alley has been around for over 40 years, so as you can expect, the buildings are old and the restaurants are very narrow inside. But even with these discomforts, every evening there are always tons of people that come to this alley.
Cattle in Korea are separated into three categories: dairy cattle, beef cattle, and han-u cattle. Han-u cattle is also a type of beef cattle, but refers to a specific breed of cattle raised in Korea that yields premium beef due to its high palatibility and desired chewiness. Despite its high price, many Koreans prefer Han-u to cheaper imported beef as the former is regarded as fresher and of better quality.
The restaurants in this alley offer both han-u (also known as hanwoo) beef and yuk-u (yukwoo) beef. Han-u beef is about 30% more expensive than yuk-u beef, but most people cannot taste the difference between the two, so really it's up to what you prefer.
The most popular thing on the menus in this food alley is the modeum gui. "Modeum gui" literally translates to "everything grill", which is exactly what this dish is! The modeum gui may differ from restaurant to restaurant, but generally an order of modeum gui includes some tripe, outside skirt steak, hanger steak, top blade (flat iron) steak, and beef short ribs! So many different varieties of steak all in one order!
Short loin steak and chuck flap tail steak are also on the menu, but are not available in large quantities and sell out fast, so it's wise to make a reservation in advance if that's what you plan on having.
Typical table set-up!
Raw liver and omasum come free with your meal!
You get to grill the meat yourself, just the way you like it! The meat is so fresh and tender that it melts in your mouth!
Steak that has been grilled well may not require more than just a bit of salt, but the restaurants in this alley each offer their own dipping sauces that truly make the steak taste even better!
Top left going clockwise: sogeumjang (coarse salt), gireumjang (sesame oil and salt), gochuganjang yangnyeomjang (chilis and soy sauce), jeolin yangpa (onions and soy sauce)
The soju glass comes with a slice of ginseng!
If you want to try fresh, high-quality beef for a fraction of the price that you would normally pay at a restaurant, and at the same time want to experience Korea's mukja golmok culture, then Majang-dong's Gogi Alley is for you!
How to Get There Take subway line 5 to Majang Station and go out exit 2. Walk straight for about 360 meters and you should see Majang 2(i)-gy Gyocharo (Crossing). Take a left at the crossing and walk straight for about 480 meters to reach the food alley!
A. Wonjo Jeollado Jip (원조 전라도집) 02-2292-4990 B. Hanuri Gwangju Jip (한우리 광주집) 02-2296-0908 C. Honam Jip (호남집) 02-2295-0118 D. Yetchon Matgoeul (옛촌맛고을) 02-2298-6658 E. Ssangdungi-ne (쌍둥이네) 02-2295-3878 F. Jeonbotdae (전봇대) 02-2294-0875 G. Namwon Jip (남원집) 02-2295-9989 H. Gohyang Jip (고향집) 02-2295-5995 I. Chungcheongdo Jip (충청도집) 02-2295-5994 J. Gyeongi Jip (경기집) 02-2294-8774 K. Naju Jip (나주집) 02-2292-9901 L. Jeonju Daebak Jip (전주대박집) 02-2294-3939 M. Yongmun Jip (용문집) 02-2292-2218 N. Daegu Jip (대구집) 02-2294-6349 O. Mongsili-ne* (몽실이네) 02-2299-3365 P. Hanu Chon* (한우촌) 02-2281-9292 *The Mongsili-ne and Hanu Chon restaurants are located in the next alley over.
Prices Modeum (assorted meat): Small 35,000 - 50,000 won / Medium 50,000 - 75,000 won / Large 70,000 won - 100,000 won
Hours 11 a.m. - 2 a.m. the next day (Open throughout the year)
(Prices and hours may vary by restaurant)
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