Korea

The best Jjimdak is at Wicked Jjimdak (찜닭)

I think to think of Wicked Jjimdak as Hongdae’s tasty gem along with Ganggangsulrae (강강술래, not the dance) for being a little out of the main street and not mentioned much to others. For me personally, it’s the best jjimdak I’ve had. If you’re in Hongdae, you can go to the backstreet before the Olive Young on the main street is and the restaurant is opposite the Big Mama restaurant on the second floor.

This isn’t the standard jjimdak but it was my first time being introduced to this Korean dish so Wicked Jjimdak’s one is pretty special to me. The Jjimdak at Wicked Jjimdak consists of cheese, ricecake, soy sauce, thigh bone chicken, japchae noodles and gochujang with soft tortilla chips. I was overwhelmed with the japchae noodles underneath and noodles hidden in a dish is something I’ve grown to love.

So where is the spice? It’s hidden in the sauce and you have the option of three levels (보통 Usually・매운 Spicy・아주 매운 Very Spicy). It’s a sharing dish so it’s best to go with more than one other person who is hungry and loves spice. Unfortunately, I only got the “very spicy” level once while I’ve had the spicy level more often. I remember the “very spicy” taste was quite peppery to a Habanero level.

If I had to describe each level to be accurate to my spice ranking, 보통 is about a Sriracha level, 매운 is at least a Vindaloo while 아주 매운 is a Habanero level.

The original cheese is the best one to start with for your first time trying as well as my favourite. The others you can try is Bulgogi, Buldak, Bacon, Sweet potato, Pepperoni, Egg, Tomato, Pineapple, Pure Cheese, Boneless and Bone. Scroll down in this link for the translated menu.

I wasn’t fond of the Bulgogi and the Hot Chicken despite my love for them both as separate dishes. The Bulgogi is too sweet which I think doesn’t contrast well with Jjimdak. The Hot Chicken is nicely spiced however there’s also a hint of sweetness and it’s not as “hot” as the title says it is.

That aside, I would recommend starting with the spicy level before going to very spicy. And make sure you take more friends with you to enjoy this!