- Address: 114, Seolleung-ro 190-gil, Gangnam-gu, Seoul, South Korea
- Closest Subway: Yeongdeungpo Market Station
- Exit: 3
During my first Hallyu-themed trip, I made sure to eat lunch at CNBLUE’s Kang Min Hyuk’s family-owned restaurant located in Yeongdeungpo-gu. It’s a little tricky to find since it’s not in the usual tourist area.
How to Get There
Take the subway Line 5 (purple) to Yeongdeoungpo Market Station, Exit 3. After going out the exit, walk straight for several hundred meters until you reach a four-way intersection. Cross the street to the left diagonally, and stay on the left side of the busy street. You’ll immediately pass by the Yeongdeungpo Rotary Underground Shopper Center exit 1, keep walking straight until you run into another exit of the same shopping mall. Cross the street and stay on your right, turn right at the first street (as seen on the Google map below).
Hwang’s Eel Restaurant is located at the corner of a perpendicular side street. You won’t miss it because there are pictures of CNBLUE outside the restaurant.
Inside the Restaurant
If the outside of the restaurant isn’t that noticeable, once inside, there’s no doubt that this is an idol-owned restaurant just by looking at the CNBLUE photos, posters, and fan-written notes on colorful post-its all over the walls.
It has two areas, one with low tables where you had to take off your shoes and sit on the floor, the other with tables and chairs. It seems that all the fangirls were given the low tables to sit on because this is the area where the notes and other CNBLUE-related stuff could be seen.
Since this is a grill restaurant, you have to cook the food yourself. The ahjumma (old lady), who doesn’t speak any English at all, took our orders. You need to order two per item, so it is quiet expensive at KRW12,000 per order. The menu is written in Korean, Chinese and English and although it’s the same menu from the first time I went there in 2015, the picture changes based on CNBLUE’s current album.
The serving is too big for two persons (during my first time), but just enough for three (on my second time around). For our group of three, we added Bibimpap to our order of pork skirtmeat. It came with lettuce, mint leaves, sauces, garlic, cold seaweed soup, salad and dduk. The meat was marinated so well and it was so tender and delicious. Wrapping it with the leaves and dipping in soybean paste made it perfect.
I was glad I needed to go to the restroom during my second time there because this scene greeted me. The nook leading to the common restroom looks like a shrine of all sorts! I missed this the first time around.
After paying our bills, I gave my presents for Min Hyuk and his family to the ahjumma. Too bad I didn’t see Min Hyuk’s father there so that I could hand it to him personally. It seems that the old lady is used to getting presents from fans because she understood that they are for Min Hyuk’s “appa”.
We didn’t find it hard to trace our way back to the station. My friends who went with me were at first shocked when we reached the place because it seemed like we time-travelled to the past with all old people around. We were all just too glad to be back in the trendier part of the city.