Within weeks of living in Seoul, I quickly found my favorite restaurant. Just a 3 min walk from the dorms, unbeatable cheap prices, and delicious, delectable food. This restaurant really has it all. 딸기골 (Ttalgi Gol), affectionately also known as “The Strawberry Restaurant” by students (ttalgi means strawberry in Korean) has been a staple in my diet for the past month. If I have a short break in between classes, a quick lunch trip to Ttalgi is in store.
The restaurant highlights traditional Korean cuisine with its 30 meals. You can find a lot of stews and noodles dishes there. My favorites so far have included their Jjolmyeon (a chewy type of noodle) and their Ojingeo Dolsot-Bap (squid stone pot rice). I can always rely on their assortment of side dishes too. Without fail, every dish comes with kimchi, bean sprouts, and nabak ( a water-based kimchi). On a really good day, I get treated with anchovies, tofu, and even pajeon (scallion pancake).
My dedication to this restaurant is accentuated by the fact that I took the time to translate every option on the menu. So no more blindly pointing to a meal and being surprised by what I receive. I also make it a point to order in (heavily butchered) Korean, so I can practice my pronunciation skills. My frequent excursions to Ttalgi have now spawned a new mission of mine: to try every single dish on the menu. Currently, I have a running list of every meal I’ve tried: so far we’re at 12.
Parts of this restaurant feel so comforting, like second nature at this point‒from the entrance lined with potted plants, to the copious amounts of water I consume with every meal. A hidden gem, by far, I can say Ttalgi has been one of my favorite discoveries in Korea.