Chinese Fusion

Lian - (리안)
Mancheon, Daegu

The Good+ Best deep-fried pork (tangsuyuk)
+ Variety of Chinese noodles
+ Reasonably priced
+ Historic reputation
The Bad  - Sometimes a waiting list
- Cafeteria vibe
Best for: Cheap filling meal, lunchtime, takeout

Chinese restaurants (중국집) are common in Korea.  Just look for their red decor and Cantonese characters, and you'll find their unique blend of Chinese and Korean culinary traditions.

See their entire translated menu at the bottom.  First let's look at some of their specialties. 

Ya-ggi-U-dong (야기우동) is spicy veggies and seafood served with thick noodles (우동).  It's Lian's second most popular dish, usually ordered along with:

Tang-su-yuk (탕수육) is a well-known Chinese fusion dish and Lian's claim to fame.  Yuk (육) is the Chinese word for "meat" and Tang-su (탕수) refers to the sweet and sour sauce that accompanies it.  The meat itself is strips of pork, breaded and deep fried.  At this restaurant, they have mastered the deep-frying process, so the outer layers are fluffy and crispy, making it incredibly delicious.

Another popular dish at Korean Chinese restaurants is Jja-jang-myun (짜장면).  Jja-jang, from the Chinese characters meaning "fried sauce," is a thick, black soy-bean sauce.  It is commonly served in dishes with rice (suffix: 밥) or in this case noodles (suffix: 면).

If you visit during lunchtime on a weekend the first thing you'll notice are the hordes of hungryfolk filling the lobby.  Close proximity to Suseong University, reasonably priced meals and decades of reputation form a perfect typhoon a factors.  And like the wiseman says, when wind blows from an empty cave it is not without reason. Perhaps the delicious deep-fried pork also helps draw the crowd. Either way, while the ingenious chalkboard system ensures orderly service, you may be waiting like a sardine for quite some time.

Lian's interior may be clean and modern.  But it's still not exactly a scene for dates or fancy dinners.  It feels more like a cafeteria.  A gangarang of ajjumas mass-produce grub in the back kitchen while others frantically squeeze between crowded tables.

Reminds me of an ancient Chinese proverb: when the tree falls, the monkeys scatter.

Call in a take out order to avoid the mob and dine at your own leisure.  It's also a great chance to practice your restaurant Korean.  Hear and you'll forget, see and you'll remember, do and you'll understand.

Lian is near the main gate (정문) of Su-seong University (수성대학교), on the eastern edge of Su-seong Gu.

By subway, it's on the green line (line #2) towards the Yeongnam Uni. Station (영남대역).  From Manchon Station (만촌역), walking straight out of exit #3, continue straight through the busy Mancheon Intersection.  If still alive, make a right on the third side street, then a left on the second side street, and you'll see the red Lian signs on your left.  If you still can't find it don't worry, the sky is big and the emperor is far away.

The Address is: 대구광역시 수성구 만촌3동 855-18
See map

Meal Menu

  • Jja-jang [black sauce] noodles
  • Mandu [fried dumplings]
  • O-daeng [thick noodle soup]
  • Jjam-bbong [spicy seafood and veggie "mix"] noodle soup
  • Jjam-bbong soup with rice
  • Bokk-eum-bap [fried rice]
  • Ja-jjang rice
  • Sam-seon thick noodles
  • Ya-ggi [fried spicy seafood and veggies] noodles
  • Ya-ggi rice
  • Jjam-bbong soup
  • Order of rice / extra noodles


  • Jjam-bbong and Jja-jang combo noodles
  • O-daeng and Jja-jang combo noodles
  • "Special" Jja-jang (2-3 people)
  • "Special" Ya-ggi (2-3 people)
Main Dishes
  • Tang-su-yuk* [deep-fried pork with sweet and sour sauce]
  • Ggan-pong-gi [deep-fried chicken] (from Korea)
  • La-jo-yuk
  • Beer
  • Soju
  • Golyangju
  • Soft drinks

* The three options are the Chinese characters meaning small, medium and large.  When ordering say "so-jjah" (소자), "jung-jja" (중자) or "dae-jjah" (대자), respectively.

What's your favorite ancient proverb?  :)

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