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Posted by Yeom-My Monday, February 7, 2022

Tribute to Paik's Food Alley: Best Remembered Moments of Food Alley


Paik Jong Won is often noted as the "food god" of South Korea. His show "Paik's Food Alley" recently ended after a long run of four years. The show aimed to help revive the challenging restaurant industry in South Korea, and Paik Jong Won would visit specific alleys with dying restaurants, providing solutions on how it would do better.

The show can kind of be compared to Kitchen Nightmares; however, it's definitely not as intense, and though it was considered an entertainment show, it warmed the hearts of many listening to the stories of the business owners. 

Since the show has now ended, we are going to take a look at some of the best-remembered moments of Food Alley and the impact the show has left on the country. Let's take a look at some of the legendary moments from the show! 

Yeondon & Donkatsu

If anyone is thinking Food Alley, the most remembered restaurant can easily be Yeondon. The owner coupe is truly passionate about their don katsu, and they even received the praise of quite possibly the best don katsu in South Korea. Because of its immense popularity, the town they had their restaurant in began complaining about all the noise from people camping out at night. Eventually, they relocated with the help of no other than Mr. Paik himself, and they are currently running their business at Jeju Island.

The Inedible Spicy Rice Cakes

When the team visited Pyeongtaek, the owner of the small spicy rice cake restaurant was super passionate, proud, and prideful of her spicy rice cakes. Unfortunately, the taste didn't align with the passion and pride, and Paik Jong Won criticized the dish immensely. On the bright side, Paik offered a solution with a much better recipe and even a new menu item that would only be exclusively available at this store.

The Heartwarming Kalgooksu

The team checked out the city of Wonju and visited a plaza that unfortunately recently went through a huge fire. One of the restaurants was severely impacted and had to relocate to a temporary booth with little to no set-up. Paik Jong Won visited this restaurant, praised the kalguksu dish and the very kind owner lady's passion for her customers, and offered a solution by helping them redesign the interior, so it becomes more friendly. 

Hongtak House

If there was an exemplary restaurant owner like Yeondon, there were some pretty horrible ones as well. In fact, these two owners were actually in the same alley. Nicknamed as Hongtak House, this restaurant specialized in dak bokkeum tang (chicken stir-fry stew) -- the food itself wasn't a problem, but the owner was the problem. The restaurant was listed under his name, but the mom would be doing all the cooking, and the son would not really be helping out at all. Paik was furious at his lack of attention and attitude, and the owner was able to have a real reality check. Paik made the owner promise him to send a photo of himself at the restaurant every day at 6 AM to show that he really has changed and he is trying his very hardest to redeem for all the lackluster times previously.


When Paik Jong Won and the crew visited Pohang, the COVID-19 outbreak had just begun in the country, and the filming process for this alley took over six months. From a very mediocre handcrafted don katsu joint, the owner was able to come up with a new menu that actually ran into legal problems afterward. Dupjook was similar to dup bap, except not over rice, but over Korean-style porridge. Paik praised the new menu item for not only being delicious but also for being unique. Unfortunately, after the broadcast, someone tried to register their copyright/trademark over this product, creating a whole ordeal.

Baekban & Soontofu's Controvery

Last but not least, we go back to the first alley of this entire series. Paik visited an alley near Ehwa Women's University and provided a solution for a baekban & soon tofu restaurant. Approximately two years later, Paik and the crew returned to the alley for a special check-up due to some malicious comments regarding the restaurant. Paik monitored the situation to see that the owner couple was not doing anything that Paik had instructed them to do. Paik became extremely disappointed and infuriated, and we were able to see some tears from him as well. 

Well, there you have it! Those were some of our best moments from Food Alley. While we aren't able to see the show anymore, you can still check out Paik Jong Won via his YouTube channel for very easy-to-follow Korean recipes and more food-related content. Was there a restaurant or an alley that you particularly enjoyed? Let us know in the comments below!

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saynotopot (Banned)
saynotopot (Banned)-11,504 pts Monday, February 7, 2022 0
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