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Porridge Restaurants Doing Thriving Business

ast Asian Countries, such as Korea, Japan and China, have long enjoyed porridge, though in Korea, it is often found in houses, where as in Hong Kong and Taipei, there are porridge restaurants all over the place. Now however a newly opened restaurant, "Ching" (meaning "please"), offers a variety of porridge styles to Koreans ranging from plain without any topping to chicken, beef, ducks egg, shrimp, seafood and abalone porridges and many more.

The Cantonese style porridge is much softer and thinner than the Korean variety and for a first timer it is wise to start with the plain porridge (W4,000) to adapt to this type of dish. Duck egg porridge (W7,000) has sliced ducks egg with thin pork strips.

The porridge is first boiled for 3 hours with soy beans from Hong Kong. When an order comes in, the boiled porridge is cooked with toppings, as ordered, for two to three minutes before it is finally served.

The most expensive topping is shark's fin (W25,000) served separately and one can add oyster sauce when mixing the porridge with it. Mushroom porridge (W12,000) is cooked with frozen pine mushrooms and clam porridge is even softer with fresh clams inside.

Another delicacy offered at Ching is sizzling rice soup (W25,000) with seafood. The ingredience of the soup are pine and shitake mushrooms, corn, pepper, sea cucumber, abalone, shrimp, cuttle fish and other seafood.

The restaurant is open for early breakfast, and is located behind the Hyundai Development Building at Yoksam subway station. Ching opens from 7:00am to 10:00pm throughout the year except on New Year and Thanksgiving holidays. Parking is available for all customers and credit cards are accepted. (02-561-5551)

Those who interested in Korean-style porridge can try Jangsu-chon (meaning 'longevity town'). Jangsu-chon offers chicken soup and porridge at the same time and is located near the Driving Licence Authorisation Office in Ansan, Gyeongggi-do. It offers chicken soup (W25,000) with ginseng followed by chicken porridge.

A variety of Korean side-dishes are offered with the menu as well including radish kimchi, freshly mixed kimchi and many others. Cold noodle mixed with vegetables and hot Korean pasted, known as Makguksu (W10,000), is another dish served in the restaurant. One chicken soup is more than enough to be shared by at least 3 persons. Some 120 seats are available inside the restaurant. (031-483-2314)

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