Food & Drink

BinHaeWon: Oldest Chinese Restaurant in Gunsan

Gunsan is a city were a lot of historic events took place. Because of this, it is no surprise that there are many buildings that are defined as cultural heritage. And BinHaeWon, is one of these, as it is the oldest Chinese restaurant in Gunsan.

Due to this, it has become a major attraction. No to mention that even some famous Korean movies were filmed here. One of the reasons to why many people line up just to be able to eat here.

Now, let us introduce you this place! So you can learn what other reasons make this place popular.

Cultural Heritage

As we mentioned before, BinHaeWon, is the oldest Chinese restaurant in Gunsan. Founded by Wang Geun-seok, an immigrant from China who settled here after the Korean War (1950 – 1953). And started his business in Jangmi-dong ㅡ the original center of Gunsan ㅡ in the 1950s. Which was moved to the current building in 1965, and expanded in the 1970s.

Another reason to why this place has become famous, is that some scenes of the movies ‘’Tazza’’ (2006) and ‘’When a Man Loves’’ (2014) were recorded here. Due to its unique look that made it into the perfect scenario to decorate as an illegal gambling place.

When a man loves (남자가 사랑할 때)

Because of that, this place turned into a cultural asset. Which is difficult for a restaurant in business to receive that title.

If you are a big fan of korean movies, then do not miss the chance to visit this place! As you can recreate scenes from it. Or just see how it looks in real life.

Menu

They sell vast of Chinese dishes. And some of these, are a must try of the city. For example, Jjampong (Korean Spicy Seafood Noodles). Which is one of the representative foods of Gunsan. No wonder why the name of the area, where this place is located, is called ‘Jjampong street’.

However, this place is famous for its black bean noodles. Which are pretty cheap in price. But delicious as no other place.

In general, the prices of the dishes are fair. If you take in consideration that this place is famous.

Review

Atmosphere

This place is a two-story building stacked with reinforced concrete and bricks. Which has a strong internal structure that makes it look open.

Actually, from the outside it seems to be small. But once you enter, you get surprised of how big and spacious it is.

Although is is a big place, do not take the opportunity to eat there anytime as granted. Because believe it or not, there are days where it is so crowded that let alone the chance to eat.

Entrance

As expected, once you enter you will find a table to fill your details due to COVID.

And beside, you will come across with the first section of this place. Where they have some tables and menu in the wall.

Interior

The most surprising part comes once you enter the first door. As there, you will come across to realize how immense it is!

Not to mention that the colorful decorations make it pleasing to the eye!

When I first went, I felt mesmerized by its traditional looks. Despite being an old building, it looks beautiful from wherever you see it.

It kind of gives a unique vibe. And honestly, I could understand how those gangster type of movies were recorded here. As it makes you feel in China.

BinHaeWon might be the oldest Chinese restaurant in Gunsan, but it is well preserved for sure.

The tinted skylight was indeed a nice touch! Since it makes the place look colorful. Although it can get pretty dark when the sun is not pointing directly at them. I thought it was pretty dark while I was eating. However, that does not ruin the experience.

Every little detail of this place, makes you realize that the owner in fact wants to show us a bit of his own culture. The gold and red combination of the decorations, the lanterns, the paintings, absolutely everything makes you feel in China.

Private rooms

There are some private rooms in which you must take off your shoes to enter. It is not necessary to do reservation in advance. If you are lucky enough that there is not many people, you can just choose a room.

As seen in the picture below, you eat sitting on the floor. They have some pads for it. Which is a great experience for those who are still learning about Asian countries’ culture.

They have the menu on the walls as well.

Something that I really liked, is the round structure that is above the table. Because you can rotate it. So that everyone can share their food without having to ask someone else to pass it.

Food

As expected, the food did not disappoint! Everything was so delicious. And I instantly understood the reason to why this place has its fame.

Not to mention, that the prices are cheap. Therefore, if you go by yourself, you might even be able to order two dishes depending on your budget.

For the side dishes, they gave me radish kimchi and yellow pickled radish. And believe me, it will help you a lot if you do not tolerate spicy food. As some sauces have a little spice on it.

Of course, I ordered the representative dish from this place. Which is the black bean noodles. And let me tell you, that they were perfect! The flavor was on point, for sure.

Not to mention that the size was big. Because of this, it was a bit difficult to finish it on my own. But if you have a great appetite, then I assure you that this is filling.

I ordered fried dumplings as well. Which were really crispy and not oily at all. Due to that, it was satisfying to eat them.

As for the size, they were bigger than I expected. So that, summed to the black bean noodles, was more than enough to make a person feel full.

As you might already know, the black bean noodles stains are really hard to remove! Due to this, I recommend you to ask for an apron. They will kindly hand you one.

As for my experience, I did not really asked for one. But they notice how much I struggled to eat since I was wearing white. That is the reason to why they came and gave me one by themselves. Which made me think on how good is the service of this place.

Location

This place is located in Gunsan, North Jeolla Province.

Address: 57 Dongnyeong-gil, Jangmi-dong, Gunsan-si, Jeollabuk-do

How to get there:
From Gunsan Station, you can take bus no. 17, 18 and 19. And wait for 26 stops. Then, you must get off at the bus stop named ‘근대역사박물관’. Where you will need to walk back to the corner and cross the street. From there, you must walk straight. And at the second street, turn to your right.

Schedule: 10:30 ~ 21:00

Conclusion

Conclusion
5 5 0 1
BinHaeWon is a must visit in Gunsan, since it is the oldest Chinese restaurant. It is cheap, the food is delicious and what it is better, it indeed is a place with history. That even some known Korean movies were filmed there.
BinHaeWon is a must visit in Gunsan, since it is the oldest Chinese restaurant. It is cheap, the food is delicious and what it is better, it indeed is a place with history. That even some known Korean movies were filmed there.
5.0 rating
5/5
Total Score
Amazing

If you had already gone to this restaurant, what are your thoughts? Let us know in the comments!

Also, don’t forget to visit my profile to continue reading interesting posts about South Korea! Click here.

🇲🇽 Fernanda L. Negrete

Fernanda is an integral designer and korean language student. Who wants to share about her travel experiences and korean history.