Nang Man Gimbap

Nang Man Gimbap
45-3 Myeong-Dong 1(Il)-Ga
Myeong-Dong Shopping Street
South Korea

Soondubu Jjigae / Silken Tofu Stew (KRW ₩6,500 / SGD $8)

Hole In The Wall Casual Eatery, Tasty Home Cooking

(Ratings: On a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 = Worst and 10 = Best)
Overall: 6
Ambience & Setting: 3
Food & Beverage: 8
Service: 6
Value for Money: 9
Spent about KRW ₩7,000 / SGD $8 per person.


Nang Man Gimbap is a casual, hole-in-the-wall eatery / restaurant, located along the busy Myeong-Dong Shopping Street. Mostly frequented by Korean locals due to its wallet-friendly, individual serving dishes, Nang Man Gimbap is constantly crowded at all hours of the day. Being located along the street level, near major shops, the eatery sees high foot traffic, and its clear signage and menu out front draw in the crowds.

Ambience at Nang Man Gimbap is noisy, cramped, and uncomfortable. The small floor area is tightly packed with simple wooden furniture and small round stools, you literally sit back to back with other diners. In fact, squeezing past customers to get to seats is a norm here, and carrying big bags, or many bags, just gets in the way. Crowded and noisy at all hours of the day, the warmly lit shop space still has a certain local charm to it. While not a place for relaxing, lingering meals, being a more eat-and-go place, you do get a sense of the local Korean working culture.

Service at Nang Man Gimbap is partial self-service. Staff will quickly seat you and take orders, and they are able to converse in Korean, Mandarin, and simple English. However, payment is self-service over the counter, as is collection of water and Banchan / side dishes, you'll have to serve yourself. The menu has helpful English names of dishes, but no pictures, so you'll need to know beforehand what you're ordering. Dishes are prepared to order, expect a typical waiting time of 10 minutes or so. I note staff are very quick and efficient in clearing up after a diner leaves, due to the high turnover here.

Food at Nang Man Gimbap is traditional, classic, rustic Korean dishes. There is an emphasis on individual dishes here, portion sizes are medium size, crafted for 1 person, due to their target audience of busy Korean executives working in the area. It's still possible to share dishes though. Quick snacks and comfort food feature, and I find dishes to be tasty and delicious! Prices are designed for locals, wallet-friendly and suitable for everyday dining, very affordable compared to other eateries or restaurants in this area. Budget about KRW ₩7,000 / SGD $8 per person for a meal here.


Nang Man Gimbap Exterior

Nang Man Gimbap Interior

Nang Man Gimbap Menu

They only have 2 types of Banchan / side dishes here, Kimchi Baechu / Kimchi Pickled Cabbage, and Kkakdugi / Cubed Pickled Daikon Radish. I find these to be decent in taste, good enough to accompany a meal. It's free-flow, but self-service, you'll typically have to squeeze past several other diners to get to it. Personally, I think it's only worth the trouble to get it once.

Kimchi Baechu / Kimchi Pickled Cabbage

Kkakdugi / Cubed Pickled Daikon Radish

The Gimbap Sogogi / Seaweed Rice Roll Beef (KRW ₩4,000 / SGD $5) was decent, with a nice, tightly packed roll, and savoury meaty minced beef, along with a host of fresh, crunchy vegetables which lend texture. I actually preferred the Gimbap Chamchi / Seaweed Rice Roll Tuna (KRW ₩3,500 / SGD $4), with its creamy texture of the tuna mayonnaise, and more intense taste, this roll was more delicious!

Gimbap Sogogi / Seaweed Rice Roll Beef (KRW ₩4,000 / SGD $5)

Gimbap Sogogi / Seaweed Rice Roll Beef

Gimbap Chamchi / Seaweed Rice Roll Tuna (KRW ₩3,500 / SGD $4)

Gimbap Chamchi / Seaweed Rice Roll Tuna

The comforting Soondubu Jjigae / Silken Tofu Stew (KRW ₩6,500 / SGD $8) is large enough to share, and is packed full of soft, silken tofu, vegetables, and egg. A perfect dish on a cold day, this savoury yet light dish has a slightly spicy taste, and pairs well with white rice!

Soondubu Jjigae / Silken Tofu Stew (KRW ₩6,500 / SGD $8)

My 1st experience with Rabokki / Ramen Noodles With Rice Cakes (KRW ₩4,500 / SGD $5), and I love it! The savoury spicy gravy clings well to the instant ramen noodles and Tteok / Dduk / rice cakes, and the vegetables are generous. I wish there was more sliced pork meat though, to balance out this filling, carbohydrate heavy dish.

Rabokki / Ramen Noodles With Rice Cakes (KRW ₩4,500 / SGD $5)

Rabokki / Ramen Noodles With Rice Cakes

A large, filling bowl of Jajangmyeon / Black Soybean Paste Noodles (KRW ₩6,000 / SGD $7), great for sharing, as I think it's a little too much for just 1 person. The slippery texture of the noodles, the thick, dark, savoury sweet soybean sauce, and the chilled hard-boiled egg, are incredibly satisfiying. The cucumbers lend a little crunch and contrast of textures, but otherwise, this dish lacks other vegetables and meat.

Jajangmyeon / Black Soybean Paste Noodles (KRW ₩6,000 / SGD $7)

Jajangmyeon / Black Soybean Paste Noodles