Gangneung is one of the top three cities in Gangwon Province alongside Wonju and Chuncheon. The city is one of the hottest tourist destinations nestled alongside east coastline of the Korean Peninsula for blue and emerald sea in front and the green green grass rocky mountains behind.
Gangneung Poongnyeon Galbi
Opened in 1998, this small restaurant has grown to be a must-visit restaurant in the city today for its unrivalled handmade taste of pork ribs. The handmade ribs alongside the raw pork ribs is made by nothing but less than 90 day old native female pigs.
The meat are ripened in low temperature and seasoned with apple, pear, garlic, ginger, starch syrup and soy source to give tender texture and clean taste. To keep the maximum freshness possible, only 150 portions are sold a day. Visitors are highly encouraged to try a number of unmissable side dishes including cold noodles and steamed eggs.
Tables accommodate up to 200 guests at once who can enjoy the food in watching the pine trees outside. The cafe-like ambience of the restaurant has excellent architectural value and guests often shoot selfies with the building as the background.
It is notable that CEO Ahn never uses attached pork ribs as those who know know. Also, the charcoal used in the restaurant is bijangchamsoot that keeps the original taste of the meat without generating toxic gas.
CEO Ahn suffered from bankrupt when the financial crisis hit South Korea in 1997. He was only late 20s. Spending day and night with a heavy heart for the debt he had to pay back, he tightened up his belt once more and started a small pork rib restaurant with small capital.
"Of course it didn't go well as I have had not much experience in the field. But I had this fighting spirit and pushed forward myself hard and harder. It was about 10 years ago that my hard work finally started to pay back: I made a number of media appearances and VIPs overseas paid a visit during the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympics which raised fame of the restaurant a step higher."
The 3 billion won (2.5 Million USD) sales in 2018 jumped to 3.5 billion won the next year and Ahn is targeting 4 billion won this year.
"The success I have achieved today would not have happened without the hard work and cooperation of my staff. In return, I pay them bonus on a regular basis alongside 100 million won scholarship money to the most devoted part timer. I also share part of the profits for neighbors in need."
When asked about his future plan, Ahn said "I wish to create the first food village in the city where both residents and visitors can conveniently enjoy local foods in a single place. For this, I've already bought a 1,652 square meter land in Chodang-dong."
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