Korean’s are well-known for loving soups and stews with almost some shape of form of the dishes appearing at every meal along with rice and kimchi.
Gomtang, a hearty and healthy soup dating back to the Joseon Dynasty, is said to have graced nobles tables as part of a 12 dish royal table called a “surasang” which should be served with three tables and a hotpot.
While Gomtang has an interesting history, popularizing in the 1930s and becoming regionalized more after the Korean war, Gyeongsangdo-style’s is typically milky white.
On a recent trip to Haeundae, my dining partner and I decided to try Geodae Gomtang located at Benecity-Venezia in Marine City, which I’d heard is a food blogger’s favorite in Busan.
Open entering, its luxurious exterior and interior were very inviting, and its minimal menu made ordering easy.
We tried the hanwoo gomtang, their basic soup which upon arrival doesn’t seem special for its 15,000 won price.
However, once we dug in, the fresh Korean meat brisket was tender and melted in your mouth, and when seasoned to your taste — you add your own ingredients to what is a very milky-looking broth — it grows on you the more you get to the bottom of the bowl.
The very simple side dishes, kimchi and kkakduggi, which are staples of a good gomtang meal, were very delicious, though some say it’s more of a Seoul-style so it can be hit-or-miss for aficionados.
They also use very fresh ingredients and no MSG is added.
While it’s said they make about 300 bowls per day, the restaurant is said to close early many days as it sells out fast. Many a diner has been turned away disappointed when they found out that the days portions have been sold out.
It’s a lot pricier than your normal mom and pop diner due to its location, but for a different take on gomtang, it’s a good place to give a try if you’re looking for something a little different.
Geodae Gomtang (거대곰탕)
Open: 10:00 – 21:00 daily
Address: 163 Haeundaehaebyeon-ro, U-dong, Haeundae-gu, Busan
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