With so many new Korean restaurants opening up, I almost forgot about an old classic: Won Jung Gak. It wasn’t until one of my friends suggested we have lunch there that I remembered how great it still is! Won Jung Gak was the first Korean spot I ever visited a few years back and now that I’m more acquainted with Korean cuisine, I was excited to try them again.
Being situated in an industrial area, it can be easily missed and is a true hidden gem. It’s probably one of the last places you’d think of to get Korean food. However, don’t underestimate the exterior image! They’ve got a unique menu full of authentic Korean dishes and I think they’re worth a re-visit.
To start, I tried some Tteok-bokki (Korean rice cakes) in the spicy pepper sauce. The rice cakes were cooked well; soft with just the right amount of chewiness. I didn’t find the sauce to be too hot but I’ve also built a steady tolerance for Korean spice so eat at your own discretion! They do offer a soy sauce instead too if you prefer no spice.
The rice cakes are also paired with some thinly sliced fish cakes which were a great addition to the dish.
We also had some GoonMandu ($9) or Korean dumplings. They were a nice and crispy treat to start our meal. The filling consisted of pork and veggies and while I would’ve preferred a dipping sauce, the dumplings were fine on their own too.
The Bulgogi ($16) was served in a clay pot and there was no shortage of meat. Paired with glass noodles, it’s definitely a dish that will fill you up! If you have not had bulgogi before, it’s thinly sliced marinated beef in broth, served with rice. Taste-wise, it’s lighter and a bit sweeter in comparison to other Korean soups/stews. It’s definitely a nice change-up from spicier options.
Another great option was the Bibimbap ($14)! Served traditionally in the clay pot, the rice underneath becomes a little crisp to give each bite a nice crunch. Bibimbap is a solid option if you are looking for something with some meat, veggies, and rice – it has a little bit of everything. Top it with some hot sauce and mix it up for an easy dish.
One of Won Jung Gak’s most popular dishes seems to be the JiamJiam ($14) or half-and-half, termed for a half size of Jjajangmyeon (noodles served in a black bean sauce) and a half size of Jjamppon (spicy soup noodles with veggies and seafood). For only $11, you get the best of both worlds and the portion size is perfect for sharing. While both noodle dises were good, I really enjoyed the black bean noodles in particular. The noodles were perfectly cooked and the sauce was addictive, I could probably eat a whole portion to myself.
Surprisingly, Jjajangmyeon is not a dish I see at many Korean restaurants. If you know of any other spots to get this dish, please let me know! In the meantime, Won Jung Gak is the spot to go for it.
All in all, I had a really delicious meal at Won Jung Gak and am a bit shocked at myself that it took me so long to come back. If you’re finding it hard to keep up with all the new Korean spots, check out Won Jung Gak in the meantime – rest assured they are still serving up tasty and authentic Korean eats. Their menu offers much more than just the casual fare and you can find them in the Argyll area.
Update (March 2): Unfortunately, it’s come to my attention that Won Jung Gak has been permanently closed!
Won Jung Gak
9655 62 Avenue