A Humble Joint Specialized in Only One Thing
Donmul Noodles in Jeju-si has only one thing on its menu: pheasant buckwheat noodles. Like many other classic Jeju food, the dish involves minimum seasoning and focuses on natural flavour of the ingredients. The noodles are made of buckwheat dough. Hand-cut noodles are so soft that using chopsticks might break them. I glance over at two ladies (who look local) and they are using spoons, not chopsticks, to dive into their bowls.
Last time I was in Jeju cycling the island, I stopped over at another restaurant in downtown Jeju specialized in pheasant dishes. Golmok Restaurant, located in Jeju Dongmun Seafood Market, was where I had my first bowl of pheasant noodle soup. I remember it was raining, and it was a few hours before my ferry out of the island. It was the end of nine-day riding & camping and I was exhausted. I needed something cozy and comforting. Like a bowl of warm chicken noodle soup.
My first impression of pheasant buckwheat noodle soup was that it looked bland. There were not much colour. The broth was grey, the noodles were grey, and even the bowl was grey. Maybe I did not have high expectation to begin with. But I was delightfully surprised with the first sip of the broth. It’s not too heavy, but heart-warming. Soul-awakening.
Handmade Noodles Paired with Tasty Side Dishes
One thing I like more about Donmul’s noodles compare to Golmok’s is the thickness of the noodles. The noodles are hand-cut, so obviously each restaurant serves noodles of different shape and size. Golmok’s noodles were so thick that they reminded me of rice cakes in ddeokbokki. Donmul’s noodles are just the right thickness and length for me to eat comfortably.
Another thing I adore about Donmul is the side dishes. The cabbage kimchi is amazing. But what I enjoyed most was thinly sliced radish salad. They are lightly seasoned and free of excess liquid. The radish go wonderfully with pheasant meat. It’s refreshing flavour and texture takes the noodle soup to the next level.
Pheasant buckwheat noodles is one of my favourite local foods that I wouldn’t miss when I am in Jeju. It is simple, light, and makes a good hearty meal.
Donmul Noodles 돈물국수
1090-1 Geonip-dong, Cheju, Jeju-do