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James Cheese Back Ribs – Getting Cheesy at Myeongdong, Seoul

This is the more cheese option (2) - 16,000 Won. I'd really have preferred 3, but my mum's not a huge fan of cheese!

It’s been awhile, and I’ve got TONS of dining suggestions in Seoul for you guys, give me some time to procrastinate and write ok? I’m glad a couple of you enjoyed the Lobster Bar, thank you for giving me the reassurance that my recommendations still quite useful. Is it I low self esteem?! Haha!

Here’s another instagram worthy place to go and it was also an impromptu dining decision for us because we were getting quite tired of the usual Ginseng Chicken, Korean BBQ and Bingsu. A quick google search on Korean baby back ribs brought us to – JAMES CHEESE BACK RIBS! One of the Korean signature dishses – Cheese deung galbi!

They’ve got a couple of outlets around Seoul, one of which at Myeongdong, the other at Hongdae. We went to the Myeongdong branch since we were staying in the vicinity, and honestly, I think it would be difficult for first timers to spot it as the entrance is just a stairwell leading up to the restaurant. 40A314EA-C0E3-4F56-92D7-F576D463DBC5Just keep a lookout for this signboard. If I don’t remember wrongly, they are located just beside the Yoogane branch at Myeongdong! (Update: I corroborated my memory with other people’s directions, yes, it is beside Yoogane!)

Okay, actually I became super familiar with the streets of Myeongdong cause I was searching for my NMDs. You all can help me find NMDs to familiarize yourself with the place also. HAHA!

Directions: Take Exit 8 from Myeongdong station. Walk straight and turn left into the small alley, walk past Nature Republic and Watsons and you’ll soon see Yoogane!

Try to avoid visiting them during the usual dining hours because that would mean you’ll have to queue in this narrow stair well for close to an hour or so. Not a very pleasant experience. In fact, we were consciously avoiding the dinner hour, but still had to queue at 8.30pm. It was until about 9-ish when the queue subsided.

If you’re looking for a nice place to dine in, um.. James’ isn’t quite the ideal.

E20145D8-2E0D-441E-B5F6-EF490274A73F
Dark. Cramped. 0 noise ventilation. Low hanging lamps.

It’s quite a nightmare if you are feeling HANGRY.

The menu wise is pretty straightforward and simple. 42236E84-E52C-4000-BBCE-49A978C5A4E2Pretty much just cheese ribs and a few other side. The variety of mains would be:

  1. Cheese (14,000 Won = S$17.30)
  2. More cheese (16,000 Won = S$19.80)
  3. F***ing lot of cheese (18,000 Won = S$22.20)

You can also choose the spiciness of the glaze on your ribs – we chose the little bit spicy.

This is the more cheese option (2) - 16,000 Won. I'd really have preferred 3, but my mum's not a huge fan of cheese!

This is the more cheese option (2) – 16,000 Won. I’d really have preferred 3, but my mum’s not a huge fan of cheese!

I shall manage your expectations a little bit on this post, the pictures are gonna be ugly because it was not very convenient for me to take photos and eat with my hands at the same time, and it was also super dim inside there.

The best part of this dining experience is that there are servers who help you cook the cheese, cut the ribs and roll the ribs into the cheese. BDC44CE1-8AC7-4813-977A-2B6B05B8D6EBCooking the cheese – damn therapeutic I tell you 667D265D-0AFC-4F07-A897-FD23F1F7E308 SHIOKKKKK! My mum didn’t quite enjoy it cause she’s not a cheese person but I liked it alot, even though I wish the ribs had the nice sweet glaze on it like it usually does. The cheese tended towards the milky side. So if you’re the kind who don’t like milky stuff then tooo bad. 1DA635B0-EF03-459C-B8AC-59530ECFF8A0 It’s like watching a show, I wonder how he does that. I tried mimicking but cannot get the cheese to stretch so high de. E4EA976E-2AA3-4D11-A980-56FF134BEC42Now, it’s ready to eat!

I liked the touch of jalapenos in the cheesey mixture because it gives the entire dish a slight spicy and tangy kick. Quite shiok, and the corn with cheese is damn shiok also. Moral of the story is, if you love cheese, just choose the last option with crazy amounts of cheese. Otherwise, the ribs on its own is a little meh, to be honest.

For the price we were paying, I thought it was crazily affordable, especially since I remembered paying close to a hundred bucks for this over at a Korean restaurant in Singapore 2 years ago! Of course, now I think got cheaper alternatives already, but still… Super affordable in Seoul!

I also made a side order of STEAMED EGG – 3,500 Won, S$4.30.

AFEDDD84-9AE9-4A6F-A13B-5A63030F3AB0Super comforting in the cold weather but… Nothing to shout about, BUT i love steamed egg, so I approve. DAMN WOBBLY AND SILKY.

Overall the experience here was rather average, food was not too bad, but not mind blowingly good. If you’re looking out to try something novel, yet Korean, I’d think this makes a good option! The dining experience was pretty unpleasant with the ambience, but if you are someone who’s not too fussy about the environment, I’d recommend this if you’re in the vicinity. Besides, the cheese pull quite insta worthy.

How to get there?

11 Myeongdong 10-gil, Myeongdong 2(i)-ga, Jung-gu, Seoul, South Korea

Opening hours

11am to 11pm daily!