The 22nd Busan International Film Festival (BIFF) is coming to an end this weekend. From October 12 to October 21, 2017, stars and filmmakers from all over the world gather in Busan, the largest port city in South Korea. The festival is one of the most prominent events in Korea and attracts thousands of visitors.

Haeundae is a popular beach that serves as a festival venue during this time of the year. After enjoying a film, you can head down to Haeundae beach for some late-night drinking at seaside pocha street. The next morning, a hangover brunch can be found at Haeundae Market, a place of abundant choices from popular classic tteokboki to local delicacy seawater eel.

My choice was simple and humble: bibim dangmyeon. It is something I have been wondering about ever since I first saw a group of people devouring it on the streets of Gukje Market two years ago. I wanted to give it a try back then but I was too stuffed with all the other street goodies I had and my tummy just could not afford another bowl of noodles. The time has come that I now try this regional favourite and see what the fuss is about.

Golmok Guksi, just like its name, is an intriguing little space utilizing a narrow back alley between the two buildings. A long piece of table and backless bench takes up one wall. The mirror over the fixed table gives an illusion that the tiny space is wider than it actually is.

The menu is humbler than the atmosphere. Only two kinds of noodles available: noodle soup and bibim noodles. You can also choose the type of noodles: regular flour noodles or glass noodles.

Busan's famous bibim noodles
Busan’s famous bibim noodles

Dangmyeon is made with sweet potato starch and often called glass noodles or vermicelli.  In Korea, japchae is a classic dish made with dangmyeon. But here in Busan, bibim dangmyeon is another well-known local favourite.

There is not much special about the W3,000 bowl of noodles. The cooked vermicelli is topped with veggies and a drizzle of special sauce. How to eat: you mix the noodles with sauce just like you do with a bibimbap. The sweet and spicy sauce is paired with warm, soft glass noodles.

The noodles soup base is made with thick fish broth. You can also order half-half; half noodles and half vermicelli.

A local friend had been coming to this same joint ever since he was a little kid. The backalley eatery was established in 1982.

Golmok Guksi 골목국시
36, Gunam-ro 41beon-gil, Haeundae-gu, Busan