Andong Jimdalk originated in, of all places, Andong, a small Korean city surrounded by rice fields. It’s a stewed chicken dish which includes glass noodles, vegetables, and, if you want it to be authentic, tons of diced red chili peppers in a salty black sauce. It’s pretty damn amazing in a country with plenty of incredible dishes to choose from.
You can find jimdalk restaurants throughout the country, and plenty in nearby Daegu, but this is the street where the dish originated. For starters, they aren’t skimping on the chicken, are they? A lot of places will use too many noodles in order to save money, but this little place treats you right, protein-wise. Another thing I noticed was that it wasn’t nearly as salty as other places, which is a good thing.
This place, Yu-jin, is supposedly the restaurant where it all started but, like pizza in New Haven, a lot of people have strong opinions as to whether or not this is true.
So why am I giving you a shot of a serving guy’s butt? This little joint actually has a second “floor,” Being John Malkovich-style: you climb a ladder up to a little area where you can’t stand fully upright.
And of course, the second floor was just as crowded as the first one.
It would pain me to have to choose one dining experience as the best in a country where there are so many delicious things to devour. But real Andong jimdalk would definitely be in the top five. The sweet, juicy chicken, the salty black noodles, and the occasional punch of a chunk of red chili pepper — it doesn’t get any better.