in Eating Out, South Korea

Butanchu ramen, Sinchon


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?


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.


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




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


On to the menu!


Choices, choices!









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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