Since arriving in the Republic of Korea, King Lee Gon (Lee Min-ho) hears a lot about budaejjigae (army stew) and in episode 8 of The King: Eternal Monarch (더킹:영원의 군주) (SBS, 2020), he and bodyguard Jo Yeong (Woo Do-hwan) go to this restaurant for lunch. Unfortunately they meet a local gang exiting the restaurant, whom Gon had whipped in a previous fight, so he was happy for Yeong to take over. “Don’t kill them,” he tells Yeong, but it’s not Yeong – it’s counterpart Eun-sup! Luckily the real Yeong arrives and saves the day. Later in the episode they attempt to eat again, but fate steps in when the King is recognised by the owner, and they have to leave without tasting the delicious hotpot.
Movie Filmed Here
This restaurant also appeared in a popular South Korean crime movie The King (Deo king/더 킹) (2017) starring Jo In-sung and Jung Woo-sung, where the scenes included a fight scene outside, and eating a meal inside the premises. Sounds familiar?
Wangchang Budaejjigae [왕창부대찌개], which translates to ‘Army Stew Restaurant’, specialises in budaejjigae (army stew) and yukgaejang (a spicy beef soup with mushrooms, bean sprouts and green onions). It is located in a laneway near the Jeongok Traditional Market [전곡장] entrance in the village of Jeongok [Jeongok-ri/전곡리] in Yeoncheon County’s [Yeoncheon-gun/연천군] Jeongok Township [Jeongok-eup/전곡읍].
Budaejjigae is a Korean fusion stew that incorporates American style processed food such as spam, sausages, canned baked beans and sliced cheese with traditional Korean ingredients of tofu, mushrooms, kimchi, rice cakes, gochujang and ramen. The name comes from budae (부대/部隊) –meaning a military unit– and jjigae (찌개) — soup or stew. After the Korean War, food was very scarce and often scrounged or smuggled via black markets from the US military bases providing many Korean people with surplus processed foods who then produced the fusion food “Army Stew.” It is still popular almost 68 years later.
82-10 Eunjeon-ro, Jeongok-eup, Yeoncheon-gun, Gyeonggi-do, South Korea
경기도 연천군 적곡읍 은전로 82-10
(전곡읍 전곡리 454-39)
Geolocation: 38.028262, 127.068690
Soyosan Station [소요산역], Seoul Subway Line 1, Exit 1
(1 hr 23 mins from Seoul Station [서울역]).
➜ Soyosan Station bus stop #16140 (vis-à-vis Exit 1):
Take bus #53-5, 53-12 or 53-3 for 20 stops to Jeongok Traditional Market Entrance (전곡재래시장앞, stop #43203).
➜ 5 minutes walk.
— submitted by sarahms