Wednesday, June 11, 2014

The Best 밀면 in Busan: 할매가야밀면

A large bowl of 밀면 from 할매가야밀명 in Busan. Just five bucks!
Amy knows where all the best food in her part of town is; I trust her completely with recs for noms when I'm in Busan. There's a popular restaurant located down a side alley in Nampo-dong, one of the busy shopping areas, that specializes in 밀면 (milmyeon). Milmyeon is a kind of cold noodle soup; the noodles are made from flour and potato starch, and they are served in a tangy chilled broth -- it literally has ice in it -- along with chili sauce, vegetables, a boiled egg, and some pork. This version of traditional Korean 냉면 (naengmyeon) originates from Busan.

I very clearly remember the first time I ever had 냉면 -- two years ago at a run-of-the-mill restaurant in Goesan. I was rather unpleasantly surprised by the fact that there was ice in my bowl. But I soon grew to really love naengmyeon, especially in the hot summer months. Milmyeon is just as good. As Amy would put it, "It's SOOOOO GOOOODDDD!!!!!!!" And my friends can attest to how much I liked it: despite having eaten a large lunch, I still downed my bowl -- the one you see in the photo above -- in five minutes flat. I mean, I finished before my two friends, who were sharing the same bowl, had even gotten halfway through theirs.

The restaurant, called 할매가야밀면 (Halmae Gaya Milmyeon, or Grandma's Gaya Milmyeon), also serves enormous 왕만두 (wangmandu, or King Dumplings), which I love. Another perk is that instead of water, patrons get complimentary warm soup, in order to balance the overwhelming chill from your noodles. The service was quick and the place was very busy, so you know it's got to be good. I'm going to share a Fulbright Infusion restaurant review with you in a bit, so you know where to eat lunch or dinner the next time you're in Busan on a hot summer day!

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