Taste of Korea: Hankookjib serves authentic, delicious bibimbap

Photos by ChiHon Kim
Photos by ChiHon Kim

Taste of Korea: Hankookjib serves authentic, delicious bibimbap

by ChiHon Kim
Stripes Korea

Bibimbap is one of the most well-known Korean dishes, and no trip to Jeonju would be completed without tasting the city’s specialty. In this neighborhood, you can’t go wrong with bibimbap!

Around the hanok village, Hankookjib(한국집) and Gogung(고궁) are highly acclaimed restaurants known for their delicious bibimbap among locals. My family and I chose the restaurant Hankookjib for our lunch.

Hankookjib is not only the best-known eatery for traditional recipes passed down through generations, but it is the birthplace of bibimbap as a commercial food in South Korea.

You’ll spot Hakookjib in a small alley behind the Royal Portrait Museum. This was originally a residential home, but now serves as a restaurant. I expected a luxurious building, but the store has old traditional wooden window shutters at the front and faded signboards. Inside, it has a tiny classical Korean courtyard with stone pagodas and well-manicured fine trees, creating a cozy atmosphere.

We ordered two bowls of Jeonju-bibimbap and a bowl of dolsot-bibimbap (or hot stone pot bibimbap) for 12,000 won each and a side of yukhoe (or beef tartare) for 35,000 won.

In an elegant brassware bowl, the presentation with colorful veggies on top of premium rice was so appealing. The taste was not overwhelmingly amazing but cooked to perfection and well-seasoned. And the soybean soup and water kimchi on the side were more flavorful than the main dishes!

One of the toppings that caught my eye was a hwangpo-muk (or yellow mung bean jelly), which is a rare topping for bibimbap in the Gyeongsang region. In addition, Hakookjib’s house gochujang made of various fruits and herbs, really sets this eatery apart from the others. The hanwoo beef tartare seasoned with the store’s secret sauce was fresh and worth every bite.

Jeonju offers many other dishes beyond bibimbap to enjoy. But, if you want to try the local delicacy which follows an ancestral recipe spanning decades, you’ll want to stop at Hankookjib.

ADDRESS: 전북 전주시 완산구 어진길 119 (KOR), 119, Eojin-gil, Wansan-gu, Jeonju-si (ENG)
HOURS: 9:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. (Break time 4 – 5 p.m.), Open throughout the year  
PHONE: 063-284-224
Price ranges: from 8,000 to 25,000 won.

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