Cow Intestines

Wangsimli Stone Stomach
(왕십리 돌양곱창)
Nam Gu, Daegu

Overview
The Good+ Interesting culinary experience
+ Convenient 3-meat sampler
The Bad  - Single, distant location
Best for: Groups, trying new and strange meats, drinking


Food

The restaurant 왕십리 돌양곱창 serves uncommon delicacies that may seem strange at first, but may prove delicious if given a chance.  Let's start with straightening out the title's misleading attempt at a direct translation.   (dol), meaning "stone," refers to their method of grilling with ceramic pans.  양곱창 (yang gopchang) is their specialty meat: a cow's stomach, specifically their first out of four stomachs.  While 양 (yang) also means sheep, leading some to doubt 양곱창's bovine origin, this restaurant proudly claims to serve meat only from Korean cattle (한우).  [Also, 양곱창 shouldn't be confused with just 곱창, which refers to small intestines of both pig and cow.]


Order a serving of 곱창 for 2-3 people, for \30,000 (한우 곱창 on the menu, see below).  Or order 대창, cow's large intestine, for \28,000 (한우 대창 on the menu).  


Alternatively to these single meats, you can order the 4-piece combination set (모듬구이) for \30,000 and try the two specialties, as well as two other cow organs. [UPDATE: now 3-meat combo].  It also comes with onions (양파), garlic chives (부추), and potatoes (감자).  Let's take a look:




Large Intestine, 대창 (dae chang)
Initially it seems similar to sausage, with an elastic outer wall with inner stuffings.  However, those insides are the intestines' natural fatty tissues.  They are gelatinous yet chewy, almost resembling chunky noodles.

Overall it has a delicious bacony flavor, which spreads via grease to the pan's veggies.  The waiter cuts it into small pieces to allow for thorough and crispy cooking.

1st Stomach*, 양곱창 (yang gopchang)
This is their signature meat. Rightly so, as it's also the tastiest in my opinion. It's outer layer is tough and chewy.   The inside is filled with creamy gop (곱), which has a rich cheesy flavor.  According to our waitress, gop is partially digested food from the cow's final meal.

This particular organ must be cooked and then cut with precise timing, so the fat drains, the gop solidifies, and the outer walls don't burn.  So leave it to the professional staff.

  Don't be alarmed by any solid lumps inside some pieces; they are stuffed with garlic.

Heart, 염통 (yum tong)

This was my second favorite of the four.  Not as satanic as it sounds, eating the heart of a cow was actually less strange than the other three.  It seemed the closest to regular beef in terms of feel and flavor.  The 소금 (salt) on your table is intended for this one.

4th Stomach*, 막창 (mak chang)
This was my least favorite of all.  It was tough, chewy and had very little flavor.  Don't expect it to be anywhere near as delicious as pork mak chang.  While a cow's 4th stomach and a pig's rectum are given the same name in Korean (막창, literally "end" of the digestive system) they are not the same type of body part nor similar as meals.

[Update: As of my most recent visit (August 30th), this meat has been removed from the combo dish, and their menu entirely.  More space for the good stuff!]
*Sure, cows don't actually have four stomachs, they have four "digestive compartments."  Anyway, you can try #1 and #4 here, #3 at raw beef restaurants.  I'm not sure about #2.



If you're still hungry upon nearing completion, order fried rice (볶음밥) for \2,000 (2 serving minimum).  They mix it into your pan with 양곱창's left-over grease to prolong the deliciousness.





Atmosphere
왕십리 돌양곱창 is a familiar scene to fellow fans of Korean BBQ.  It has about a dozen metal tables with ventilation tubes hanging above.  The place is well-known and tends to fill up around dinner times.  Also, this style of meat tends to be accompanied by rounds of Soju, which helps clear the palette before sampling the next bite of delicacy.  Despite being crowded and drunk, the place doesn't feel too cramped, thanks to plenty of space between tables and open doors and windows (weather permitting).




Location
It's located in Nam Gu, meaning "south district."  It's southwest of 반월당 (Banwoldang) by about a 10-minute and \5,000 taxi ride.  It's not within verbal direction range of any major landmarks.  So your best bet is for you or your taxi driver to enter the following address into a GPS:

대구광역시 남구 이천동 532-3

See map






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