The restaurant is famous for three dishes: 꿩만두국 (pheasant dumplings), 막국수 (Makguksu) and 수육 (suyuk). We ordered one 꿩만두국 and one 막국수 to split between the two of us. Apparently, suyuk is their most famous dish, but since it was lunch time, we didn't see anyone eating it.
There's something really exciting about eating pheasant. I'm not sure what it is, I think it's the feeling that you're eating something that the elite would eat... or at least it sounds that way in my mind. In fact, pheasant was the meat of choice to fill dumplings many years ago, but due to overhunting people had to start settling for chicken, coining the 속담 (expression): 꿩 대신 닭 (Chicken instead of pheasant), meaning that you have to settle for second best. A useful expression for those studying for the TOPIK exam :-).
Actually, I couldn't really taste anything different. But I like being able to say that I ate pheasant for lunch. However, the broth on the other hand was the best manduguk broth I've ever had. That is partially because I'm generally extremely dissatisfied with manduguk broth in general, but I can still say, without comparing it to other manduguks in the past, that it was a pretty decent broth which actually contained some flavor that was neither hot pepper powder nor black pepper.
Next was the Makguksu. Makguksu is kind of like bibim naengmyeon, but made with buckwheat (soba) noodles (메밀) rather than potato or sweet potato noodles. See how all the ingredients are piled, relatively neatly on top of the noodles? Yea, don't eat it like that, mix it up!
This was also very nice. I like makguksu better than naengmyon because the noodles aren't so chewy.
The restaurant is owned by a somewhat famous local Korean skiier named Kim Hak Rae, however, I think the food is what keeps the people coming in, not the famous name. As we were leaving a bus load of hikers arrived to have some makguksu of their own. As you eat here, be sure to get a seat by the window to enjoy the nice winter scenes right outside the window!
Gangwon-do, South Korea
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