|▲ Heocham Galbi / CEO|
On a corner of Bulam Mountain in Byeollae-dong, Namyangju City, is Heo Cham Galbi (galbi means rib in Korean). It has become famous from mouth to mouth who stopped by while coming and going. Heocham is a TV personality and he opened the restaurant with Kim in April 2005. Around the restaurant stands 10 of about 60 year old metasequoia trees and a group of about 40 year old zelkova trees and pine trees. Some diners who finished eating the rib are seen under the trees sipping a cup of tea.
“A 250g of port rib is only 13,000 won and some diners curiously ask whether it is too cheap. Then I answer of course it is too cheap compared to the price now but it was the price 15 years ago and we cannot disappoint our regulars who are willing to visit us from all over the place to appreciate our unique pork rib” says Kim.
What makes Heocham Galbi unique? It is tender texture, ripening and juiciness. Of course using the freshest ingredients and a variety of side dishes cannot be missed. More than 10 kinds of ingredients are used and the ripening takes more than 48 hours while the charcoal and briquette cooks the meat in speed with deliciously permeated charcoal smell in the smoke.
“You can instantly know the difference of the texture even if you are a first timer. Once in your mouth, you are guaranteed to be surprised for the juicy and sweet taste” one regular says.
Taeneung, where the athlete’s village was built for the Asian Game 1986 and the Seoul Olympics 1988, was famous for pork rib. But those heyday restaurants were forced out of the area on the order of the the then president Chun Doo-hwan for a clean and nice look around of the area. Many including Kim regretted losing the very taste of the Taeneung pork rib very much and Kim joined hands with Heocham to bring back the very taste to the table.
While Heocham Galbi has secured its fame and reputation, Kim has been actively engaging in donations to schools and neighbors. Also as the chairman of the Gyeonggi Federation of SMEs Convergence Dasan Exchange Meeting, he is helping children with rare diseases in cooperation with local companies.
“Sharing is one of the most valuable things we can do in our life. I will keep doing this good deed while keeping up our unique and delicious pork rib taste” says Kim with determination.
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