Friday, May 17, 2013

틈새라면 (TeumSae Ramen)

Do you have a masochistic side? Do you like ramen? Well there's a place for you, tucked back on a dead end street in Myeongdong. Famous for their scorching hot ramen, or 빨계떡, 틈새라면 is the place to satisfy your masochism and your hunger.

If 틈새라면 looks familiar, it could be because their ramen is sold in convenience stores and packaged as single serving ramen bowls in addition to their physical restaurant. In Myeongdong, 틈새라면 serves two things--빨계떡, a spicy ramen, and the non-spices version called 계떡.

To find 틈새라면, you really have to know where you're going. Take exit 8 from Myeongdong Station, turing left out of the exit, continue to walk for about three blocks and swing a right. There in that dead end street you'll find just a simple sign that reads "틈새라면". The first thing you'll notice about the interior is the walls. Covered with thousands of testimonials written on slips of paper, it's obvious this place is something special. 

If you can handle the heat, order the 빨계떡--ramen served in a spicy liquid with sprouts, an egg, 김 (seaweed), and a few slices of rice cake. The 계떡 is essentially the same dish, minus the heat. Oh, and did I mention its super cheap? A bowl of ramen will only set you back ₩4,000!

As someone who loves spicy food, I have to admit the 빨계떡 was really a challenge to get through. Your mouth will burn. Your eyes will water. Your nose will run. You won't be the only one though. The small, windowless restaurant is a cacophony of sniffles, deep exhales and slurping.  

So try something new. Try something hot. Try to make it through an entire bowl of the spiciest ramen you may ever eat. Good luck. You're gonna need it.

Addresss: 4-1 Myeongdong 2(i)-ga, Jung-gu, Seoul, South Korea

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