We love to stay adventurous but at the same time we tend to go back to where we came from, looking for that familiarity and comfort of the good old times. Founded by the star chef Jong-won Baek, Saemaeul Sikdang takes the patrons on a time travel and places them right in the 70s Korean diner setting.
Saemaeul Undong (새마을운동, The New Village Movement) began in early 1970s when President Park Jeong-Hee planned the national project in order to revitalize the countryside. The name came from this iconic movement that represents the developing Korea. 70s was the time when the war was over but many people did not have enough to eat and lived in a poor condition. Dishes served at Saemaeul Sikdang are all-time popular Korean comfort foods that are cheap and humble but with a slight modern twist.
The signature menu is called 7-minute Kimchi Chigae (7분돼지김치). Pork and kimchi are boiled down to make a thick soup. Patrons are encouraged to mix up the soup with rice and dried seaweed. It is quite different from the ordinary kimchi hot pot that I am used to taste at Korean restaurants in Canada. Very thick and more flavorful – it goes great with the rice.