Nearly a decade ago, Kim Hee Young, owner of Ha Dong Kwan, turned her back on decades of memories of eating gomtang (beef bone and tripe soup) on a worn down table in the back alley of a Seoul hanok and moved her restaurant to Myeongdong.
The year was 2007 and the urban renewal project to restore Cheonggyecheon Stream had sparked a revitalization of downtown Seoul leading to the demolition of neighboring buildings. However, Ha Dong Kwan’s gomtang, rich with history and boiled with care throughout 72 years hasn’t changed a bit.
The result is a gomtang so delicious that countless celebrities and prominent persons, including former Korean president Park Chung-hee, have sought it out over the years.
Gomtang and seolleongtang may be close cousins, but there are distinct differences between the two soups. Seolleongtang uses beef bone and brisket as the main ingredients, whereas gomtang must also include beef tripe and entrails. Also, when making gomtang, all the ingredients are boiled together, then the meat and soup is stored separately until serving time at which point they are boiled together a second time before being served.
How to get there
Address: 12 Myeongdong 9-gil, Myeongdong 1(il)-ga, Jung-gu, Seoul
Opening hours: 7 am – 4 pm, closed on Sunday