In 1933 when Kim Hee-jun put up the sign for his new seolleongtang (beef bone soup) restaurant in the back alley of Seoul Station, he named it after the surrounding village of “Jam-ba-wi Gol’ or Jam Boulder Village which derives its name from a plum-colored boulder said to have existed at the time.
Seventeen years later, when the Korean War began, Kim, like many others, fled Seoul for safer, isolated areas. Even as a refugee, Kim continued to serve seolleongtang from a makeshift tent to uprooted Seoulites who yearned for a taste of home. After three long years, when the war ended, he headed back to Seoul and set up shop near Namdaemun.
In 1974, as a result of redevelopments, the restaurant moved to its current location and in 1982 Kim Hee-jun passed away leaving his beloved restaurant to his son Kim Hyeon-min, and later his grandson Kim Kyung-bae and his granddaughter-in-law Yoon Kyung-sook. While the restaurant originally only served seolleongtang, their menu has come to include doganitang, ggori gomtang, suyuk, and haejangguk.
How to get there
Address: 68-9 Sejong-daero 9-gil, Seosomun-dong, Jung-gu, Seoul
Opening hours: Weekdays and Saturday 9 am – 10 pm, Closed Sunday