#aucklandeats: Hearty K-Soups To Fight the Blizzards

by Isabel Bang

Onggojip Restaurant | 243 Rosedale Road, Albany, Auckland 0632

Zomato | Onggojip

In Albany, where all the good Korean restaurants are found in Auckland, lives a small Korean restaurant plaza. In this little corner, they have four different Korean restaurants and even a Korean bakery (tmi alert, this bakery is where HIKOCO always orders our birthday cakes for staff!). Out of all the good food you can find here, my go-to would have to be Onggojip, the master of all Korean soup (Gukbap). There are quite a few Korean restaurants that offer soups in clay pots called Ttukbaegi, which is the authentic Korean way to have soups. As a Korean Gukbap lover, I must say that I’ve been to a good number of restaurants to find my favourite place - here we have the winner. Not only do I go to Onggojip in winter to warm myself up, but also in summer to get that sweat out of my body, and of course, to fix my worst hangovers 🙃

Zomato | Onggojip

One thing that might fascinate you when you enter Onggojip is the table layout. There are your usual tables with chairs as well, but on one side of the restaurant, there’s an array of low tables with square mats under them. In an old-fashioned Korean restaurant, you often get two options of seating like you would in Onggojip - table seating and floor seating. In Korea, it was the norm to have all family members sit on the floor together when having meals. This is why the Koreans have the underfloor heating system (Ondol) developed since the Joseon dynasty - you’ll be surprised how warm the floors are when you visit Korea in the wintertime! Even if the floors aren’t heated, or if you have the sit-bone pains, don't worry because you’ll have sitting mats (bang suk) ready by your side at all times.

Zomato | Onggojip

Onggojip does have some dishes to share, but the main stars are the Gukbaps - the soup in Ttukbaegi pots. You’ll have five different Gukbaps to choose from: Youngyang Tang (Lamb Soup), Dogani Tang (Tendon Soup), Sullong Tang (Beef Bone Soup), Ukeoji Haejangguk (Bean Paste Soup) and Yuk Gae Jang (Spicy Beef Soup). Out of the clear soups - Korean soups have clear types and spicy types - my pick is the Dogani Tang nine out of ten times. This tendon soup has a clean yet deep beef bone broth that's been boiled for hours and hours. Some may not be familiar with the tendons, or 'knuckles' as others call it, but their gelatinous texture can really grow on you! The bit of beef is a block of collagen itself and is what makes the soup so hearty and rich for a winter evening. 

Zomato | Onggojip

My second pick would be Yuk Gae Jang, from the spicy soup list. Some say that if you feel the early symptoms of a cold, you should have a bowl of Yuk Gae Jang to fight it off. It’s one of Korea's most nutritious soups with a smoky and spicy kick to it. Beef brisket and many vegetables including scallions, green onions, bean sprouts, mushrooms, and a type of Korean wild green, gosari (fernbrake), is all boiled together with chilli powder. The Korean-authentic ingredient, gosari, adds earthy flavours to the soup. Called "the beef of the mountains," it delivers most of the nutrition in the Yuk Gae Jang, as it’s jam-packed with protein. If you can handle the kick, try the Yuk Gae Jang on days when you feel chilly! The depth of this soup will hit you in the heart at first sip.

Zomato | Onggojip

Koreans say that you can tell a good Gukbap place from their homemade Kimchi. I can tell you that Onggojip’s kimchi is another reason why I keep going back to this place 👌 But I must warn you, that you shouldn’t even touch these pickled cabbages and radishes if you can’t tolerate spice. I consider myself as someone who can handle my peppers and these kimchis BURN. That’s my only warning about the place, apart from the fact that you won’t be able to stop visiting here and spending your money on these blazing cold nights ❄️


11AM - 7PM

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