Location: Downtown, Daegu
Price: approx. w30,00 for two
Hours: 12pm to 9pm daily. Closed 1st and 3rd Wednesday. 1pm-3:30pm and 5:30pm-9pm Sat-Sun. and holidays
They keep confusing hours, they close early and open late, it’s impossible to get a seat, the servers have permanent scowls and have no time for you to ponder the menu. But, none of that will stop me from coming to Gyeongdo. Despite their attempts to drive away business Gyeongdo is still drawing crowds. Why? They are making one huge mistake. They continue to serve the freshest, most authentic Japanese food in the city.
Over the past six years since opening, Gyeongdo has been catering to mostly Japanese ex-pats looking for a taste of home. The chef and owner is Japanese and a veteran of its ultra competitive restaurant scene. He came to Daegu with his Korean wife with one goal in mind. Give the Japanese community something they are used too, at the standards they are used too, and do it consistently, day in, day out. No wonder his tiny restaurant has been inundated with Koreans and foreigners.
The menu is massive and written in Japanese with Korean subtitles and no pictures. If you don’t have the help of a Korean when you go, which happened to me the first time I was there, you can rely on a few standards like ramen and udon. That, or just look around at the tables next to you and point.
One of the most popular dishes is Curry Ramen (why don’t Koreans do this?) which is absolutely lovely and comes with Japanese takuan (you know it as danmuji, its that sweet yellow pickle that comes with kimbap) that is dense and salty unlike the Korean version. Also on the menu is a slew of other ramen, udon and soba. They also sell rice dishes topped with steak, salmon, shrimp, and curry.
Before you head out to Gyeongdo make sure to have a back-up plan. The only time there in no line up for a table is when they are closed. The good news is that right across the street is So-Rak, another Japanese restaurant that is not quite as good but almost always has a table. They also don’t have an aversion to people coming there wanting to eat.
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