Deep in the center of Minneapolis, Minnesota, there is a little hole-in-the-wall restaurant named “Korea Restaurant”. If you are passing by on any normal day, you’ll be likely to miss it; there’s no fancy banner, no flashy sign, nothing that would indicate the location of the best Jajangmyeon in Minnesota.
The atmosphere inside Korea Restaurant is surprisingly calm and quiet, despite every table being occupied. When you walk in, you are instantly greeted by two sites: a cute, middle-aged woman with panda earmuffs on her head (who seemed surprised when I pronounced the name of my dish correctly), and an enormous array of food choices that line the wall. It’s almost overwhelming at first; but I knew what I was there for–Jajangmyeon and nothing else.
For those who don’t know, I’ll give you the general run down of Jajangmyeon. Jajangmyeon translates to “noodles with black bean sauce and meat”. Usually the meat is pork, and the dish is served with chopped zucchini and onions (green and red), sesame seeds, and sometimes half of a hard boiled egg.
The Jajangmyeon was phenomenal! It was served piping hot and in a stainless steel bowl so it stayed warmer much longer than normal. As you can see, the portion size was large–much larger than I expected–and I could not have finished it all even if I was starving. The sauce itself is super rich and thick and the noodles are heavy, so it fills you up quickly. Luckily, I’ve spent my whole life eating, so I knew how to pace myself.
If I hadn’t filled up so quickly, I would have licked that bowl clean. When thinking about trying Jajangmyeon, I got nervous, because I read that the sauce is often loaded with red onions and even though I like red onions, they can become too powerful of a flavor. I didn’t have that problem though, as the ingredients were perfectly proportioned! Although, mine came with the egg, but it was quickly moved to the side because this is one girl who does not like hard boiled eggs. Once the egg was out of the way, though, I was able to go to town on the food! Honestly, you have no choice but to go all in when you’re eating Jajangmyeon; the sauce makes the noodles so slippery that unless you grab a heap full with your chopsticks they’ll slide right off. Every bite was taken with care, and every taste was loved and appreciated.
This meal rang in at a whopping $10.99. Now, for some $10.99 is a bit pricey for one meal, and for others it’s not. After I saw the portion size, the price felt reasonable to me because the left over amount of Jajangmyeon I have is enough to make another lunch or dinner.
All-in-all, I would give this a 9.5/10. The obscure location of Korea Restaurant is the only cause for losing half a star: missing the restaurant=missing the Jajangmyeon. If you’ve got the eyes and you’ve got the money, though, look for a place near you that sells jajangmyeon as quickly as possible.