(Creatrip.com) Chunky sausages and ham cooking inside a red hot, boiling kimchi-base soup. Melted cheese on top and slightly undercooked ramen noodles. Budae-jjigae, or army base stew, has been welcomed around the food scene in Korea for decades. It slowly rose to global fame from many media coverages introducing it as the must-try Korean dish especially when Anthony Bourdain cooked it for Anderson Cooper.
Believed to have originated in the 1950s when the American army base set camp in Korea, the stew is a fusion of kimchi stew with ingredients of sausages, hams, bacon and baked beans that were initially provided by American soldiers then. Slowly evolving, budae-jjigae now has numerous options for toppings such as rice cake, cheese, ramen noodles, tofu and more.
We headed over to Bada Sikdang, located just minutes away from Hangangjin Station in the vibrant Itaewon area, to try their specialty Johnson Tang (another name for the dish) that people are willing to line up for.
Bada Sikdang | Information
- Address: 서울 용산구 이태원로 245 2F
- Hours: 11:30-22:00, Closed on every first and third Mondays of the month
Bada Sikdang | Review
Bada Sikdang recently reopened its doors at a new location, conveniently situated on the big avenue just down a couple of minutes of walk from Hangangjin Station exit 1. Walk through the door and go up the stairs, you’ll see arrays of tables and chairs. Once you pick where you sit, you’ll be given a simple menu.
The signature dish, Johnson Tang (budae-jjigae), can be seen on the first page of the menu. Prices 22,000KRW~Barbeque and steak items that go well with the Johnson Tang.Drink MenuLots of tables and chairs are available to accommodate the large number of customers the restaurant often sees.Cover for utensils so dust doesn’t sit on them.
One DIY task you’ll be given here is pan frying your own egg. The sign says one egg per person, so remember not to go overboard with them!
Johnson Tang 22,000KRW for 2
After we had finished frying our eggs, our Johnson Tang was served. Although it looks humble and ordinary on the outside, the soup was packed with flavours of kimchi and beef broth. The chunky sausages added a nice texture while the soft cabbage added sweetness to the mix. The part where the melted cheese covered the sausages also had a unique deliciousness as well.
One thing about Bada Sikdang is that rice is not included, so expect to pay an additional cost of 1,000KRW per serving.
On our way out, we noticed a whole bunch of autographs on either side of the wall, testimonies of sort from K-celebs proudly backed its popularity.
|Taeyang, Big Bang||GD, Big Bang|
|Jisoo, Blackpink||Jennie, Blackpink|
|Jang Keun-Suk||Park Na Rae|
Bada Sikdang | Directions
- A 3-minute walk from Hangangjin Station exit 1. Walk straight past the Mercedez-Benz building and you’ll see the restaurant on your right.
Overall, I think it’s a great place to get a taste of this classic comfort food when in the Itaewon area. Check out our ITAEWON | Creatrip Locals’ Guide for more information on how to tour around Itaewon!
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