Meeeeehh I sound like a man right now because my throat is achinggggg. I always tend to get a little sick when the weather changes. It’s not so bad when it’s changing from warm to cold because then I have a good excuse to stay in a warm bed. Now it’s the opposite; the weather is getting warmer, kids are all out to play, and my throat demands that I eat only mush. Blegh. Luckily, Arirang exists and they make amazing sujebe, a traditional Korean soup noodle dish. The soup is usually made with anchovies, shellfish, and kelp, though Arirang is known for their Chicken Sujebi. I swear after you have this, you can never return to having other chicken noodle soups. And while you’re sick and can make a few demands, why not ask for Arirang?
Like most Korean restaurants, you’re served barley tea and a variety of ban chan, small side dishes that are always free with your meal (you can always ask for more too!). Some places are known particularly for their yummy ban chan, such as Kun Jip, where you are served at least 6-8 kinds of dishes before your meal even begins. Arirang does not provide as much variety as you are served just two kinds of kimchi: cabbage and radish. The radish is my favorite. It is not too sour and has a nice crunch, complimenting the warm bowl of noodle soup.
Their haemul pajeon (seafood pancake) is on the greasy side but is pretty good. Unlike Chinese scallion pancakes, where the batter only consists of flour and water, pajeon (“pa” = scallion) is made with eggs, wheat flour, and rice flour. The rice flour gives the pancake a chewier and more dense texture. I can’t tell you which I prefer… they’re different.
I actually ordered the karjebi instead of the sujebi so that it included half handmade long noodles and half dough flakes. I liked having two kinds of noodles in my soup, one long and chewy, the other flat, short, and thicker. The flat ones are torn by hand to resemble “dough flakes” (wide, flat, short noodles). Above is a photo of what the dough flakes look like. The soup that they have at Arirang is amazing. It’s made with chicken, onion, potato, and long slivers of scallions. The starch from the potato makes the soup a little thicker, and the chicken of course adds tremendous fragrance. The only problem is that the longer the noodles and potato sit in the bowl uneaten, the thicker the soup becomes. You have to slurp up all your goods quickly to enjoy it in its best state (ahem… C.W.)!
If you didn’t get anything else from this review, just know that the noodles are chewy (very QQ, J.H.) and the soup is the most tasty chicken soup ever. And it all only costs $10 per bowl. Particularly yummy on a rainy or sick day. Though the last time I went was on a sunny and very healthy day… still delicious.