Bulgogi & Bossam Wraps

Hyang Won - (향원)
Su-seong Gu, Daegu

The Good+ Favorite traditional Korean place
+ Tons of sides
+ Wrapping fun!
+ Reasonably priced
The Bad  - Table grills out of action
- Only floor seating
Best for: Traditional Food, dates, groups

향원 is highly esteemed by Korean bloggers of Daegu restaurants.  At least when it comes to the traditional Korean style, I have seen why this place reigns supreme.  

First, they deploy side dishes with military precision.  Unlike other such traditional places, every single one is not only edible but delicious, as well as a potential auxiliary for the main dish.  

For your main force I recommend the 모듬쌈밥 (mo-dum ssam-bap) #1, which is the variety meal for \10,000 per person.  It includes two meats: 불고기 (bulgogi), fried pork and veggies marinated in soy sauce, and 수육 (soo-yook), steamed and seasoned pork.  The latter is more commonly known as 보쌈 (bo-ssam), and usually accompanies salty shrimp and bean paste.

But 향원's claim to the throne is their 쌈밥, meaning to wrap food in a veggie leaf.  Just arm yourself with a leaf of your choice, load up some meat, sides and sauces.  Enjoy mixing and matching to discover your favorite combo.

My weapons of choice were the steamed 양배추 (cabbage) and 다시마 (seaweed), rolled up and dipped in the spicy soy sauce.

But the lord of all 쌈밥 was certainly this fellow.  He nearly choked me to death.

The outcast at this gathering is the 꽁치 (mackerel pike).  For easiest consumption, slice along his undercarriage with a chopstick, fold open into two halves, and pull off the entire spine at once.   He goes well with the spicy soy sauce.

Atmosphere:  향원 is clearly going for the traditional setting to match their traditional food.  The decor is warm and pleasant.  Out of the 25 or so tables in this large place, all of them are floor seating.  Many of the tables have built in grills, although based on the menu and the lack of a ventilation system, they are for show only.  The staff was friendly yet busy, so aside from wheeling over orders on their carts, they didn't interact much.

As I mentioned this place has quite a following.  While it was nearly empty when we arrived at 5pm on a weekday, it filled up rapidly, and was quite busy an hour or so later.

Location: 향원 is located in the Southwestern portion of Su-seong Gu.  From 중동 네거리 (Choong Dong Intersection), head east (towards the sun in the morning, away from the sun in the afternoon, with your sun to the right at noon in the winter, or with North Korea off to your left), it's the second side street on your left.

Or if you're navigationally challenged, just show a cab driver or enter into a GPS the following address:

 대구광역시 수성구 중동 184-8

See map

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