Korean vocabulary of the day
Gyul (n): Korean word for tangerine, a delicacy of Jeju.
When traveling, you are keen to try the local food that can be wildly out of your comfort zone or expensive dishes but once in a while, you can't help yourself but to be reminded of the modest meals. Especially when you are at a travel destination that is full of unfamiliar sights. Soban located in Seogwipo serves food you would have at real homes in Korea.
Soban means an individual dining table previously used. Before the industrial advancement, it was much more common to have meals prepared for each person. And Soban in Seogwipo offers a typical Korean home meal with just one item on the menu, Soban Jungsik, or meal. Once you order the only thing on the menu, you will be flabbergasted. With one glimpse, there are countless Banchans, or side dishes that are just a joy to watch. But it cannot be honored to be on Migyulin Guide just by having a lot of side dishes.
If it is indeed a great restaurant, even in smallest detail, you can find the chef's attention to detail. Soban is a good example of this. Each of their Banchan prepared with their philosophy in modesty and beauty, much like the staple ideologies of Joseon Dynasty. You would not notice any artificial flavoring in the food as they value the true flavor and fragrance of the raw ingredients. This is a place you can feel the warmth the chef has in his or heart as they prepared each dish. This would be a perfect soul food for any Koreans and a cultural experience to realize that warmth of the heart can indeed transcend all.
The main dish at Soban is Jeyuk Bokkeum, Stir Fried Spicy Pork with generous amount of vegetables. And this dish is one of the most common everyday food in Korea, much more common than Bulgogi or Bibimbab. Unlike other Jeyuk Bokkeums, Soban offers it with minimal seasoning but still manages to maintain the maximal flavors. One keyword to associate this place may be hearty.
One downside of this place is the opening hours are not consistent. So make sure you check before you go. Note this place does not open very often.