Korean diners aka bunsikjeom (분식점) or bunsikjip (분식집) are my go-to places when I want inexpensive Korean food. Sonmali Gimbap (손말이 김밥) in Gyeongridan is a place I visit regularly. This independent restaurant is very popular with the locals. It’s a pretty small place, seating no more than about 12 at one time. I see them busy during lunch times and dinner times. I see people buying gimbaps for trips. The workers also deliver food to customers in the neighbourhood. This place is so popular that one time I tried to buy some gimbap at 7:00 pm, and they’d run out of rice!

As the name implies, they are known for their gimbaps. However, they sell more than just gimbaps. They sell other Korean dishes like ramyeon, bibimbap, kimchi fried rice, and et cetera. I’m a big fan of their gimbap — my favourites being their kimchi and tuna gimbaps. The kimchi they use in the gimbap tastes good and is slightly spicy. In both the tuna and the kimchi one, they use perilla leaves. In all their other gimbaps, they include fish cake, which I’d not encountered until I tried theirs. If you order gimbap and dine in, they will give you some Korean doenjang soup (aka Korean miso soup) and pickled radishes on the side. If you do takeaway, you’ll need to request the soup and the radishes.

Gimbaps aside, I also like their tteokguk, bibimbap, and omurice. I’ve tried other things they offer, but those three dishes along with the two gimbaps are the ones I usually get when I come here. If you order their main dishes, they will give you banchans (side dishes) of the day, which are usually kimchi and two or three other sides. I like the days when they offer fish cakes as their sides. I also like their marinated anchovies. All main dishes are available for takeaways, and they will also pack the side dishes, too.

Sonmali Gimbap is a nice little mom and pop diner that I prefer over chain diners like Gimbap Heaven. It’s a place I like to bring friends to if we’re in the mood for Korean food. Unfortunately, they use zero English in the restaurant, so that’s why most of their customers are Koreans. However, I’ve taken the time to translate their menu below! So if you’ve walked past this place and always wondered what they have, the menu below will let you know.

식사류 ~ Siksa ~ Meals
김치볶음밥 ~ Kimchi Bokkeumbap ~ Kimchi fried rice ~ 5,000
비빔밥 ~ Bibimbap ~ Mixed rice with veggies, meat, and hot sauce ~ 5,000
참치볶음밥 ~ Chamchi Bokkeumbap ~ Tuna fried rice ~ 5,000
오불덮밥 ~ Obul Deopbap ~ Squid and bulgogi rice bowl ~ 6,000
쭈꾸미덮밥 ~ Jjukkumi Deopbap ~ Baby octopus rice bowl ~ 6,000
알밥 ~ Albap ~ Fish roe rice bowl ~ 5,000
떡국 ~ Tteokguk ~ Rice cake soup ~ 5,000
만두국 ~ Manduguk ~ Dumpling soup ~ 5,000
떡만두국 ~ Tteok Manduguk ~ Rice cake and dumpling soup ~ 5,000
김치떡만두국 ~ Kimchi Tteok Manduguk ~ Kimchi rice cake and dumpling soup ~ 5,000
오므라이스 ~ Omurice ~ Omelette rice ~ 5,000
순두부 ~ Sundubu ~ Spicy soft bean curd stew ~ 5,000
육개장 ~ Yukgaejang ~ Spicy beef soup ~ 7,000
된장찌개 ~ Doenjang Jjigae ~ Bean paste stew ~ 5,000
김치찌개 ~ Kimchi Jjigae ~ Kimchi stew ~ 5,000
동태찌개 ~ Dongtae Jjigae ~ Frozen pollack stew ~ 6,000
뚝배기 불고기 ~ Bulgogi in a stone bowl ~ 7,000

김밥류 ~ Gimbap
손말이김밥 ~ Sonmali Gimbap ~ Regular gimbap ~ 2,000
김치김밥 ~ Kimchi Gimbap ~ 2,500
참치김밥 ~ Chamchi Gimbap ~ Tuna gimbap ~ 3,000
치즈김밥 ~ Cheese Gimbap ~ 2,500
소고기김밥 ~ Sogogi Gimbap ~ Beef gimbap ~ 2,500
멸추김밥 ~ Myulchu Gimbap ~ Spicy anchovy gimbap 3,500
못난이김밥 ~ Motnani Gimbap ~ “Ugly” gimbap that’s rice with crushed gim ~ 3,500
모듬김밥 ~ Modeum Gimbap ~ Everything gimbap ~ 4,000
날치알김밥 ~ Nalchial Gimbap ~ Flying fish roe gimbap ~ 3,500

분식류 ~ Bunsik ~ Flour-based Meals
짬뽕라면 ~ Jjambbong Ramyeon ~ Spicy seafood ramyeon ~ 4,000
만두라면 ~ Mandu Ramyeon ~ Ramyeon with dumplings ~ 3,500
치즈라면 ~ Cheese Ramyeon ~ 3,500
계란라면 ~ Gyeran Ramyeon ~ Ramyeon with egg ~ 3,000
떡라면 ~ Tteok Ramyeon ~ Ramyeon with rice cakes ~ 3,500
순두부라면 ~ Sundubu Ramyeon ~ Ramyeon with soft bean curd ~ 4,500
라볶이 ~ Rabokki ~ Spicy rice cakes with ramyeon noodles ~ 4,000
떡볶이 ~ Tteokbokki ~ Spicy rice cakes ~ 3,000
물만두 ~ Mulmandu ~ Boiled dumplings ~ 4,000
쫄면 ~ Jjolmyeon ~ Spicy chewy noodles ~ 5,000
물냉면 ~ Mul Naengmyeon ~ Cold noodles with broth ~ 5,000
비빔냉면 ~ Bibim Naengmyeon ~ Cold noodles mixed with spicy sauce ~ 5,000
막국수 ~ Makguksu ~ Similar to naengmyeon except the noodles have more buckwheat ~ 5,000
김치칼국수 ~ Kimchi Kalguksu ~ Hand-cut noodles with kimchi ~ 5,000
김치말이 냉국수 ~ Cold noodles with kimchi ~ 5,000
장치국수 ~ Jangchi Guksu ~ Noodles in anchovy broth ~ 5,000
유부우동 ~ Yubu Udong ~ Udon with fried tofu skin ~ 5,000
김치우동 ~ Kimchi Udong ~ Udon with kimchi ~ 5,000
볶음우동 ~ Bokkeum Udong ~ Stir-fried udon ~ 5,000

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Business Info

25, Hoenamu-Ro, Yongsan-Gu, Seoul, Korea
서울특별시 용산구 회나무로 25
From Noksapyeong Station, go out of exit 2 and keep going straight until you reach the underpass. Go under, cross, and go out the left exit. Cross the street and go up on your right passing by Bao, Tucan, et cetera. Head up straight you come upon a Y-intersection. Take the left fork, and Sonmali Gimbap is on your right; it’s right next to the pharmacy. If you see Pizza School, you’ve passed it.
2,000 ~ 7,000+ won budget per person

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