Moo bong ri

Went to moo bong ri in Oakland tonight. Seasonal blues and a hangover called out for soup. Koreans have a wide repertoire of healing soups but I’ve never had sundae guk before tonight (or soon-dae. This ain’t no ice cream!). I ordered the spicy soup set which came with a side of mostly sweet potato starch noodle stuffed blood sausage and two pieces of pork sausage and a pile of…offal?

Condiments include saeujot, or fermented briny baby shrimp, salt with chili flakes, green onions, ground perilla seeds, and some chili paste. Also kimchi, radish kimchi (good) and a Chinese chive salad.

The soup was delicious. Spicy with chunks of the sausage and offal bits, the nutty flavor of the perilla seeds, and I believe some shredded perilla leaves, too. The sausage might be texturally challenging for some. Sticky. If you get it by itself find the chili salt to flavor it.

The very friendly server suggested their galbi tang or yukkaejang for the faint of heart that can’t deal with the blood and bits, as I plan to bring some folks over here.

I love me a Bloody Mary, but this soup put me on my feet again! Think East Asian menudo.


Moo Bong Ri Korean Restaurant
4390 Telegraph Ave Ste K
Oakland, CA 94609

between 43rd and 44th
Streets in the Temescal District, about 4 blocks from the MacArthur BART Station

(510) 654-4606,-122.2652942,17z/data=!4m5!3m4!1s0x80857de25703fe99:0xa9a078d44f969ccf!8m2!3d37.8321167!4d-122.2631055

when i went, the offal seemed like stomach / tripe, liver, and tongue.

on the translated menu, they call it “cheek meat” :thinking:

If you click on the photo link,below, there is an optional automatic slideshow view by clicking on the options menu top right at the 3 vertical dots, and then the ‘Slideshow’ as the first choice in the drop down menu.

Based on 'augustiner’s recommendation I had an early, filling lunch at Moo Bong Ri in Oakland. It’s on the AC Transit 6 Telegraph Ave line which connects downtown Oakland with the Cal campus and it’s also about an 8-10 minute walk from the Macarthur BART station, past the ongoing construction of hundreds of housing units at 40th Street.

There are 50 seats or so and I saw about 2 take-out orders and 5 diners-in while there. in a well-maintained space. The food was served about 10 minutes after ordering from a hospitable waiter. I wasn’t courageous enough to try the blood sausage or offal and so got the beef rib soup

Condiments already on the table were a chile oil, salty tiny shrimp, ground perilla seeds (I think) and a salt/chile flake mix along with tongs and scissors for banchan cutting.

The cabbage kimchi had depth, not the bubbly minerally flavor some have while the pickled/soy sauce jalapeno with onion was my favorite. Refills on the banchan, but not the steamed rice, are complimentary.

The beef short rib stew ($16.99 plus tax) has two large ribs, one beefier than the other, glass noodler, green onion and a few shreds of perilla leaf or seaweed at the bottom.

The beef was easily gnawable off of the bone, not gristly nor was the hearty broth overly salted. It made me wish that I had a dog to share the leftovers with.

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I finally made it back here the other night, largely prompted by your photos of that dinosaur bone galbi soup. It is a very flavorful soup, generously seasoned with salt but just right for me. The bowl looks quite impressive with those two large ribs and thankfully there are those scissors and tongs provided to make eating this easier. I love how often scissors appear on a Korean dinner table, whether to snip apart whole slabs of meat for bbq or impossibly chewy and elastic naengmyeon noodles. I shared this and the same spicy sundae guk as before from my first visit with a friend, as well as the bossam, which was tender with soft but chewy skin still attached, with Napa cabbage leaves softened and pliable from salting, but thoroughly rinsed so it wasn’t unpalatably salty, with a nice spicy radish relish.

My friend does have a dog, and he got the last of the slices of offal we were too full to finish as well as the very last bite of sundae. But not the leftover rib, which i shaved free of its meat into the rest of the soup this morning for my breakfast. I really like moo bong ri. I’m glad i made it back. Thank you for reminding me of it.


Katherine Hamilton in this week’s East Bay Express:

The soondae guk, listed on the menu as traditional sausage soup, is a soup made with a milky-colored bone broth, full of slices of soondae, pork meat, and pork stomach. The soup arrived unsalted; at the table, condiments included spicy salt, tiny salted shrimp, perilla seeds, and sliced green onions. Even the addition of plain salt woke up the broth, transforming it into one of the tastier bone broths I’ve had in recent memory. The soondae combined the chewy texture of glass noodles with the savory-sweet, slightly minerally flavor of the blood. The stomach, meanwhile, had a crunchy texture that provided contrast to the blood sausage.

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Katherine Hamilton must have gotten hungry reading about your meals here. :slight_smile:

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