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MeoSeumGol – 머슴골

It’s not often we review Korean restaurants here in Ulsan Online. Throw a stick anywhere in Ulsan and you’ll hit a dozen or more Korean places to eat. They have to be fairly extraordinary to get onto our pages. MeoSeumGol is just such a place.

Spacious tables surround the small pond and water wheel at MeoSeumGol

Whether it’s a full dinner, or drinks and anju you seek, MeoSeumGol is the place to be. Nestled in the heart of Samsandong, it is at once easy to find but easy to overlook. Just across the street from the intercity bus terminal and Lotte Department store and down the street from Outback and Bennigans, it is artfully tucked behind a fence and tall trees and cuddled among a thicket of trees and shrubs. Once inside the compound (for it seems to be more that than a single place) it’s not difficult to forget you’re in one of the busiest areas in Ulsan.  Outside seating abounds and is perfect for the many days of pleasant weather in spring, early summer and fall here in the city.  Large picnic tables  surround a pond and water wheel and form the centerpiece of the outside area. The gentle splashing of the water wheel and fountain combined with the trees help to insulate the restaurant from the noise of the busy world outside as well as from neighboring tables. It’s a perfect place to relax and unwind with friends in high Korean style.  At night, subdued lighting transforms the area to a soft, glowing coziness that makes for an tranquil place to talk, eat and drink.  Unaware of just how comfortable and sequestered we felt inside MeoSeumGol’s complex we were jolted back to urban reality upon leaving.

 

 


Soft lighting at night transforms the restaurant ambience

The skyline behind the water wheel gently reminds that we are still downtown

The menu is very extensive and includes such staples as bibimbap (비빔밥), gukbab(국밥), several styles of galbijim(갈비찜). But it also ranges to the semi-exotic with seafood (해물) dishes including such varieties as stingray and whale, mandu,(마두) multiple styles of Korean pizza (전) and handmade bean curd (두부).  For our dinner we chose several dishes and shared them among our party. We feasted on a large bowl of Jangteo Sogogigukbab (장터소고기국밥) which is a delicious spicy beef soup. We followed that up with a large platter of handmade bean curd with kimchi and samgyeopsal(손두부김치삼겹살). The portions were so enormous we had trouble finishing it all.

Generous space allows for a relaxed environment while the small stage provides nightly entertainment

The alcohol menu is nearly as extensive as the food menu. The ubiquitous beer and soju that peppers every restaurant is accompanied by a large selection of makgeoli (막걸리) and, my personal favorite for quickly getting unwound, dong dong ju (동동조).

 


Adjacent buildings house room for private parties

MeoSeumGol has a large dining area inside but also has large private rooms adjacent to the pond for parties. Tables, either floor seating or chairs, are widely spaced and allow easy conversation without having to shout above the noise next to you. Most nights, live music is on the stage next to the main dining area.

 

You won’t find anything on the menu that resembles western food or drink, but that’s part of the fun of Korean traditional dining and drinking. Bring someone who can speak and read Korean as the staff has limited English ability.

To get to MeoSeumGol is quite easy. From Lotte Department store, walk toward the bus station. MeoSeumGol is directly across the street from the intercity bus terminal.  Numerous buses can take you to the general vicinity. The easiest way to find your bus is to search by destination for the bus terminal, Hyundai Department store or Lotte Department store.

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