Delicious Beef Soup at Naju Gomtang Bongsungwan

Professor Oh February 3, 2014 4

First question: what is gomtang (곰탕)? Gomtang is a soup that contains various parts of beef simmered under low heat. Some people use just one portion of beef, such as oxtail or ox’s head, while others combine various parts. Gomtang tends to have a white, cloudy look to it. But not always.

Next question: Where do you get the softest gomtang in Korea? Let’s get real. No one ever ate at every existing gomtang restaurant. However Naju Gomtang Bongsungwan (나주곰탕 봉선관) in Gwangju serves the some of the most memorable beef soup your taste buds will encounter.

Watch KWOW episode 128 to see Professor Oh and her buddies deliciously eat suyuk gomtang.

During peak lunch hours, the place gets packed. My friends and I waited 10 minutes for our seats. You will most likely end up sharing a long table with strangers. Everyone minds their own business so no worries if you’re introverted or in a hurry. Just remember to take off your shoes! :)


We ordered three bowls of suyuk gomtang (수육곰탕) by the recommendation of our friend, who is a resident of the neighborhood. Word is: the regular gomtang is likeable, but the suyuk gomtang far tastier.

The minute you have your first bite, you’ll wish to rewind time and experience the moment all over again. The meat used in the suyuk gomtang is so soft that it melts in your mouth. The restaurant uses female cow head. They say it’s softer than the male cow head. It may sound sexist, but biologically it works.


Another element to love about Naju Gomtang Bongsungwan: self-service kimchi. Eat as much as you want or as little. Saves the server’s time from refilling your dishes and limits waste. Or at least that’s the goal.

The napa cabbage kimchi was better than the average restaurant kimchi. The radish kimchi tasted sweet like candy.


Suzy from Miss A eats here. After all she’s a native of Gwangju, Korea. The owner gave me a copy of this photo after seeing me film in his restaurant. Smart choice. You scored yourself some brownie points, Monsieur. I shall go to your restaurant every time I visit Gwangju. Actually you don’t have to be a YouTuber to receive a photo. Simply ask the front desk for a copy.


The menu is simple. Soup and drinks. There’s no need for anything else here. If you’re known for one thing, why muddy it up with too many options?


The storefront of Naju Gomtang Bongsungwan. There are many restaurants with a similar name. Make sure you go to the one at the address below.


naju gomtang bongsungwan map

Address: 광주 남구 봉선동 494
494 Bongseon-dong (127 Bongseon-ro) Namgu, Gwangju, South Korea

Phone number: 062-675-8250

Where did you try the tastiest gomtang in your life? Let us know in the comment section :)


  1. 마이카 February 10, 2014 at 11:39 am - Reply

    Great video!!! I’m living in Korea now. And Naju Gomtang is the best! I’ve visited Naju a few times and have enjoyed every time. But when I don’t want to drive all the way there, Naju Gomtang Bongsungwan is the next best thing. I actually work very near the restaurant. ^^ Thanks for the videos! I hope you enjoyed your time here in Gwangju. Safe travels and I look forward to your next video. Thank you for helping me to improve my Korean and my understanding of this wonderful and beautiful country and it’s culture.

  2. Sandra February 7, 2014 at 8:08 am - Reply

    I love your restaurant videos, especially when it’s at small hometown feeling places with a great specialty dish. So disappointed with the Little French place you went to, style over substance!

  3. MissA February 4, 2014 at 4:42 pm - Reply

    This was a cool video! i am a pescatarian that will have chicken once in a blue moon if nothing vegetarian/pescatarian is on the menu (especially when i go to Korea), and even then i will request 순살 if it is available. i’d like my fiance to be able to try this, but from my very POOR Korean language skills I can see that there would be nothing on the menu that I could eat. Are there any tasty veg/other restaurants around? Or would my best bet be eating 밥 and 반찬?

  4. Gabe Santiago February 3, 2014 at 10:36 pm - Reply

    Never had gomtang (곰탕), suyuk gomtang (수육곰탕); nor until your most fascinating recommendation, have ever heard of Naju Gomtang Bongsungwan (나주곰탕 봉선관), in the Gwangju district of Seoul. But I’ve certainly heard of what I would describe as “beef stew”; even tried some, at one point, or another, in my life. *Note:[You're probably right about the female head being "softer" than the male head.] Just stubborn, I guess. LOL. *Note #2:[Somehow "Introverted" is hardly the word I would have chose to describe you!] Ha-ha-ha. In any event, you are no one in which I have to inquire as to “Where’s the beef?!” Looking forward to “KWOW” # 127. Well done, Professor Oh, or should I address you accordingly, as “Miss National Geographics” of the culinary world. I’ll bite. ;;)

Leave A Response »