in Eating Out, South Korea

Butanchu ramen, Sinchon

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I went there on a Tuesday at 1:30 pm, and there was no wait. I normally wouldn’t be able to go on a weekday, but I happened to have the day off.

There’s a clipboard with a pen attached, hanging by the door, where you can write in your name and how many people are in your party. I was the only one standing around outside, and I started having doubts. What if the restaurant was half empty?

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I couldn’t see through the tinted windows but they could see me, and I was convinced I’d look pretty silly, standing around waiting for a half-empty restaurant. So I cracked open the door to peek in and find out. I was immediately asked how many? and told them, uh, just one. I got a seat at their 4-seat bar table. I love bar tables! It’s such a relief to sit at the bar, when out solo dining.

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This is from my seat at the bar table. The guy’s shirt says “Star Ramen”.

 

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And this is what in front of me at the bar table.

 

On to the menu!

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Choices, choices!

 

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To order, there are three steps.

1. Broth
There’s four kinds of broth: toko tonkotsu, toko shio tonkotsu, shoyu tonkotsu, and shio tonkotsu.

2. Noodle
Choose between three different types of noodles.

3. Customization time! Choose Heavy/Regular/Light/None for the following: sauce, spiciness, bean sprouts, and green onions.

Extra step: Toppings! You can choose an extra half-an-egg for 500 won, extra chashu for 2,000 won, a side plate of all three noodles for 1,000 won, and a bowl of rice for 1,000 won.

I went for #1 toko tonkotsu, regular on all the customizations. If I had to do it over, I would go light on the bean sprouts, heavy on the green onions, extra chashu for 2,000 won, and maybe more noodles if I was actually hungry, instead of just there for the trip. I’ve never had spicy ramen so I can’t say – I went with regular all across the board on my order, just to see what the basic order was like.

It was a great, thick broth, a little bit too salty – but hey, some people like that. The broth doesn’t really cling onto the noodles – you can pull up the noodles and deposit it onto a spoon without much broth making it along.  It was great but I didn’t think it was like a destination.

While I was paying, the waitress also gave me a sheet of coupons. It’s a sheet of nine coupons valid for March, for things like free additional chashu, egg, coke/cider, noodles, or a discount of 1,000 won on set meals. Muahaha she didn’t give any to the two ladies who paid before me!

부탄츄 (Butanchu)
서울특별시 서대문구 연세로5길 26-9 [Naver Map] [Daum Map]
Seoul, Seodaemun-gu, Yonsei-ro-5-gil, 26-9 [Google Maps]

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