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Everything You Need to Know About Ulsan

면공장 The Noodle Factory

In the first weeks of my arrival in Ulsan I stumbled on to what has become one of my favorite restaurants for lunch: 면공장 The Noodle Factory. The Noodle Factory is a small restaurant on the busy street behind the Hyundai Department Store in Samsan-dong.면공장is owned and operated by Mr. Kim who also owns a second restaurant in the area. Though Mr. Kim doesn’t speak any English, his business partner Mr. Kang does. Mr. Kang is a familiar face in the restaurant, speaks enough English for a pleasant conversation, and is the one who answered my questions for this review.

 mr. kim

 Mr. Kim (owner/chef) doing his magic (picture courtesy of Mr. Kang)

The restaurant is known for it’s 볶음토마토짬뽕(pocum fried tomato jahmppong). 짬뽕 is a popular noodle dish with seafood such as shrimp and squid, vegetables, mushrooms, and a spicy tomato sauce that can be found in restaurants all over Korea. I’ve tried 짬뽕 from other restaurants and all of them seem to have one flavor that dominates the dish: unbelievably spicy. Mr. Kim, however, has his own special recipe for many of the dishes he offers.  His jahmppong is a fantastic blend of flavors where the spiciness isn’t over powering. This spicy-tomato, noodle soup consists of noodles made fresh as each order is placed, mushrooms sautéed in garlic, onions, greens, bean sprouts, cabbage, red pepper, shrimp, squid, and tomatoes in a spicy tomato soup finished with dried herbs, salt and pepper. The jahmppong is 8,000 won, and I order mine minus the squid with an extra helping of the noodles which can be had for a 1,000 won.


볶음토마토짬뽕(pocum fried tomato jahmppong)

True to the name they offer a variety of pasta dishes such as 까르보나라스파게티 (Carbonara spaghetti), 토마토마레스파게티(a tomato spaghetti), 볶음짜장 (pocum jajang which is a Chinese dish of fried noodles with vegetables, mushrooms, squid and black sauce), 야끼우동 (Yakee udon which is a Japanese dish with fried noodles, vegetables, squid and mushrooms), two additional 우동(Udong) dishes and 메밀소바(Memil soba which includes soba noodles, a side of wasabi and ginger, and a broth with green onions). The memil soba is quite delicious on a warm day as it was served with an iced broth for the noodles.

For those wanting a little something extra the menu also offers: 고기만두 (golgi mandoo), 김치만두 (kimchi mandoo), 캘리포니아롤 (California roll), 튀김롤 (Tuigim roll), 연어롤 (Yeunuh roll), 새우폭탄롤 (Saewoo poctan roll)


the menu in its entirety

The hours of operation are Monday-Saturday 10 am-10pm. Between the hours of 12:30-230 the Noodle Factory is usually the busiest which is to be attended to because of the limited seating. The Noodle Factory can be found if one walks along the side of Hyundai Department Store along the Samsan-Ro side towards Krispy Kreme and Paris Baguette. Turn left along the path between the parking lot and Hyundai Department store. Continue straight and cross over the first small street to the busier street behind Hyundai Department Store. You will turn right pass a jewelry shop and the Noodle Factory will be on your right across from a pharmacy, and diagonal from 8 Seconds. Look for this when you turn the corner: