Korean barbecue is a must-eat when you visit Korea, obviously!
If you want to taste delicious grilled meat, then come with us to 401 Restaurant, owned by Haha and Kim Jong Kook.
Korean Name: 하하&김종국의 401 정육식당
Address: 서울 마포구 잔다리로 23
23 Jandari-ro, Mapo-gu, Seoul
*Due to COVID-19 guidelines, closing time is currently 21:00. Please check with the restaurant before coming.
|Chadol Doenjang Jjigae|
In 2009, Haha established his own restaurant under the name Palja Makchang (팔자막창), specializing in grilled intestines. In 2015, the restaurant was renovated and re-branded, altering the menu and changing the name to Loco Quan 401.
At the beginning of June 2017, Kim Jong Kook became Haha's business partner and the name was changed again to Haha & Kim Jong Kook's 401 Restaurant.
If you come here, you will see the large photos of the duo on the storefront.
The interior looks like many other barbecue spots in Korea, with round stainless steel tables and black leather seats.
You can open the seats to store jackets or other personal items so they don't absorb the all the meat odor.
The restaurant is quite spacious and has many seats. There is also long table in the middle for large groups.
On the back wall of the restaurant you will see a huge picture of Haha and Kim Jong Kook.
Something special about this restaurant's interior are the Running Man name tags hung all over the place. You can look for your favorite idol!
By the cashier counter, you can see golden name tags of the main members of Running Man.
In addition, there are also a lot of autographs from famous celebrities who have eaten here.
At peak hours, it is very crowded here, so it is best to come early and get a good seat.
There are also some tables outside that are surrounded by a tarp so you don't get cold in the winter.
The menu here offers a variety of popular cuts of pork. You can choose a set or choose individually. In addition to pork belly and shoulder, there are also things like cheek meat, pork skin, and intestines available.
We ordered 1 serving of pork belly and 1 serving of lean shoulder meat, plus 1 cold noodle soup. It's very convenient here that you can order single servings since many restaurants in Korea require at least 2 servings of the same type of food.
Our meat and side dishes were brought out very quickly, within about 5 minutes of ordering. The cold noodle soup will be brought out when the meat is close to done.
Samgyeopsal (삼겹살) 14,000 won/serving
Moksal (목살) 14,000 won/serving
As you can see, the meat here is very fresh and thick, with a perfect ration of lean meat to fat for each cut. However, the serving sizes are a bit small, so you may need to order 3 servings for 2 people.
The fattier cut is the samgyeopsal and the leaner one is the moksal.
Don't worry about being inexperienced, the restaurant staff will assist in grilling till it's almost done and cutting, then you just have to eat it when it's ready!
After your meat is cooked through, you can place it on the provided wire rack to drain the excess grease.
The golden pieces of perfectly grilled pork look very appealing.
Because the meat is very fresh, it has a fragrant and succulent smell when grilled. When you bite into it, you will find it to be very tender and sweet
Banchan dishes are also served to accompany the meat, such as lettuce and green onion salad. You can dip your meat in salt or ssamjang.
There are also thinly sliced pickled radish, soy sauce green onion, pickled onion, and white kimchi. These accompaniments help cut the fattiness and richness of the meats so they don't become too overpowering.
The standard way to eat your grilled pork is to warp the meat in lettuce with banchan dishes and eat it all in one bite. The rich flavor will flow through your mouth, coating your tastebuds.
You can also dip your meat in salted shrimp. This fish sauce made of brined shrimp is super salty, so be careful not to overdo it.
If you eat a lot of meat, you may start to feel heavy and greasy, so to wash that away, Koreans will often order naengmyeon, cold noodles.
Mul Naengmyeon (물냉면)
They offer two different kinds of cold noodles here, we order the watery version that comes in an icy broth.
You can add more sauce to taste.
We were really impressed by the mul naengmyeon here. The broth was super delicious, with a sweet and sour taste that wasn't bitter at all. It was probably one of the best mul naengmyeons we've tried, plus the price was very reasonable.
You can even eat the meat with the noodles for a delicious bite that isn't greasy feeling at all.
We have to say, the food at Haha & Kim Jong Kook's 401 Restaurant was delicious! We didn't go in expecting too much, but were pleasantly surprised by the quality of the food here.
If you have the opportunity to come to Hongdae, remember to stop in for a bite. Maybe you will even meet a famous celebrity.
How To Get There
Come out of Exit 3 at Hapjeong Station (합정역).
Go straight when you come out of the station.
At the 3-way intersection, take a right down the side street next to the BMW store.
At the end of the road, turn right.
Go straight for a while, at the intersection you will see the restaurant on the right hand side.
What did you think of our trip to Haha & Kim Jong Kook's 401 Restaurant today?
We really enjoyed our experience, and think you will too when you come to Seoul.
For more restaurants in the Hongdae area, click here.