One small aluminum door opens into an extended space filled with tables, waitresses running about fetching egg rolls and banchan (side dishes), the owner thanking all her guests, and the sizzling of a teppan style grill. All of this makes the place look more like a traditional food market than a restaurant. The old hanok style exterior and interior of the restaurant is a little run down, but it’s perhaps how you can tell it has a strong character of its own. With the look and feel of those hanoks you see in the countryside with repairs and extensions all done by hand, this 14 year old restaurant is a favorite kimchi place among locals.
Hanok Jip's kimchi (made in their private factories with 28 ingredients all sourced domestically) is rich in taste, beautifully balanced with the spice, sour and savory. The 2 items that initially made this restaurant famous are the Kimchi jjim (steam) and jjigae (stew). The stew comes with a pack of instant ramyeon noodles to be added into the boiling soup. If run out of pork broth, you can ask for more, at any point of your dining. The chunky pieces of pork provided in both dishes are soft and juicy, great when wrapped in a kimchi leaf with some rice.
The 3 vegetable side dishes provided are a little sweeter than the main, going well with the slightly sour taste of both the jjim and jjigae. Even if you decide to get one of their other dishes such as the tteokgalbi (short rib patties), tamagoyaki and boiled beef salad, order at least one kimchi dish here and you won’t be disappointed.