Here you go people. The highly anticipated blog post about there place I went to get cheap and good Korean beef in Seoul. ^^
Disclaimer: I will not be responsible for any Korean food or beef cravings from all the pictures and videos that I will be posting with this blog post.
Korean Beef is also known as “han-woo” and you really should pronounced it like “han- WHOOOOOOOOO!!!!” LOL… because it really is very good and my Korean colleague introduced me to this place and so now I’m sharing it with everyone.
Just so you know, some Koreans do not even know about this place so let’s all agree to keep it as an open secret so it won’t get thronged by tourist and get ruined.
Here goes: the place is called “Majang Meat Market (마장 축산물시장)”. Address: 서울특별시 성동구 마장로31길 40.
If you can Korean, I highly recommend that you use Naver maps to find out the best way of getting there. The Majang Meat Market not near to any of the subway stations and the nearest subway stations is at least 1 km away if you want to walk.
Here’s a route that I’ll recommend because it’s the most easily accessible as a foreigner/tourist (have your T-Money card ready):
- Take Line 2 to Wangsimni Station and get out of Exit 8.
- Once you are at the ground level, turn around 180º and walk along the road to find bus stop ID: 04-134.
- Take bus number 2222 or 2015 and alight at “Majang Meat Market” (bus stop ID: 04-119). It is about 3 stops. There is an announcement on the bus in English. There is also this LED announcement sign at the front of the bus so just pay attention.
- Once you alight from the bus, you can see the west entrance to the market.
This place is a truly local wet market type place so be prepared for some smells. I didn’t think the place had any “smell” but my mother and aunts were complaining that it was very smelly. So yeah, you’ve been warned.
At this point, you can just choose any stall you like to buy whatever cut of beef you like. There are labels and the price is stated but it’s all in Korean. So, happy negotiating with the stall owners. Do also take note that the Koreans are generally honest and do not practice the “foreigner price/korean price” type of business so you don’t need to worry too much.The price is very reasonable and even if you have to pay a bit more, it will still be cheaper than the prices you can find in any restaurant/eatery elsewhere.
As my mother and aunts were complaining about the smell, I didn’t get to walk too far into the market to check the place out. We just stopped at the first few store, grabbed a pre-packed set of various cuts of Korean beef and ask them to bring us up to a restaurant to bbq the meat. You are free to go into any one you like but we just asked them to recommend one because it was just easier and quicker.
So for the picture above, the big packet in the foreground is 696g and they charged us ₩59,000 and threw in the lump of fat (to grease the bbq surface) and the 2 packets of beef slices (‘service’) at the top/background of the photo. It is better to use fat lumps to grease the pans because it will not interfere with the taste of the Hanwoo. Some places provides butter just so you know.
The Korean beef we got was the 2nd best in terms of grade. The best is 1+++ but if you are not someone who knows their beef very well (like me) who really cares? 1++ was already really good. The Hanwoo was soft, sweet, juicy and had a natural buttery flavour to it as well. Too awesome!! (I’m drooling as I type this even.)
Take note that if you buy beef from the market to bring up to the restaurant, they will charge you ₩5,000 per person for the BBQ and all the side dishes. It’s the same in almost all the shops so no need to walk around. There is a shop (or two?) that charges ₩4,000 per person but it’s not a significant difference so whatever you know, just go with it.
You can also buy the beef directly from the restaurant if you don’t want to go through the hassle of bargaining/choosing the meat from the market stalls etc. The price is reasonable as well. Here’s the menu from the place I ate:
I’m not going to translate the Korean in the menu because I don’t know which part of the cow it is referring to. LOL. Also, to aid communication, I suggest that you bring a picture of a cow or whichever part of the cow you want to eat and show them. Else just go for the ₩8,500/100g one. It’s a platter with various cuts of beef.