On day 10 of my 2014 South Korea trip I have the opportunity to sample hanjeongsik 한정식 at Jirisan Restaurant in Insadong. Hanjeongsik is full-course Korean meal. You can read this post for a more thorough explanation of what hanjeongsik is. I choose Jirisan because I’ve read some good reviews about it.
Look for this sign at the main Insadong road. You’ll see Jirisan name on it. Walk to the end of the alley and turn left. Jirisan is on your right.
Jirisan menu outside the shop. No worry as they provide you with English menu.
We arrived at 5.30pm and only few tables were occupied. The waitress brought us to another room and as you can see above, it’s empty except for us. This restaurant is able to accommodate up to 150 people. The first thing I realized as soon as I came into this room is how smelly it is. It’s a woody-oily smell. I guess the main culprit is the wooden table. I don’t even want to mention how some leftovers got stuck at the holes of the wooden table. Yuck. Opps did I just mentioned it?
For Jirisan, you need to order minimum 2 heads of the Hanjeongsik. Even though there are 3 of us, we decided to order 2 only since it’s rather pricey plus I knew with all the banchan served, we would have no way to finish it all. The difference with ordering 2 heads and 3 heads is only the extra 1 bowl of rice. Because of this, we get a jeer from the waitress. LOL
We ordered Nogodan Jeongsik 노고단 정식 @ 15,000 won per head (RM45.00). It comes with a bowl of rice, 12 banchan (side dishes) and 2 stars dishes namely doenjang jjigae and a tofu-porridge like dish. FYI, Jirisan is famous for their tofu.
Looks good right? However we were all left disappointed. Again like Gajok Hoegwan in Jeonju, the meal lacks love. Unlike Gajok Hoegwan which only lacks in bibimbap department but their banchan were rather good, the overall hanjeongsik meal in Jirisan were bland. I’m guessing it must be the seasonings or because most of the dishes were served cold. We left the restaurant with quite a large amount of leftovers. Thankfully we ordered 2 heads of hanjeongsik only so in a way I don’t feel my money being wasted too much.
Again I want to stress, I hope this review doesn’t stop you from trying out Jirisan. Have a go and let me know what you think. As you and I know, taste is a subjective thing. Some people may like it and some people may not.
지리산 Jirisan Restaurant
30, Insadong 14-gil, Jongno-gu (84-2 Gwanhun-dong), Seoul
서울 종로구 인사동14길 30, 관훈동 84-2번지
Tel: +82 2-723-4696
Business hours: 12.00pm-10.00pm
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