Sanggyo has recently undergone some major renovations, presumably to solidify their reputation as “the” top dog in the Damyang restaurant market. I try not to let fancy buildings influence my judgement of the food (it’s Korea after all…some of the best food in the country is found in some of the scariest looking restaurants), but it’s hard not to be impressed with this beautiful hanok inspired two-story restaurant. As a testament to the quality of the food, I can tell you that for the better part of a year, during the renovations, they had people eating in make-shift shacks and it didn’t affect business in the slightest. Be prepared to wait at least 45 minutes on the weekends…mind blowing when you see how big it is inside.
Like any good tourist restaurant (not a negative in this context) they provide, both floor and table seating as well as private rooms. The food comes out quick and servers are accustomed to obnoxious picture taking so snap away.
They offer two local specialties: ddeok galbi and Damyang style BBQ’d galbi. I’m sure you can find better ddeok galbi elsewhere in town, so stick with the galbi they’re famous for. The Damyang style of BBQ is a bit different in that the meat is brined and cooked in back and comes out piping hot and ready to eat. You have a choice between regular and spicy (it’s not spicy at all). Both are delicious.
The basic banchan will arrive almost immediately and consists of three types of salad, three types of kimche, three types of seaweed and a couple of other odds and ends. The server will recommend which salad or seaweed to eat with the meat, but after a decade of living in Korea I’m pretty sure that there is no rule about what goes in your lettuce leaf wrap.
Additional servings of meat are easy to order and encouraged by the staff. Refills of banchan are no problem what-so-ever. Basically, arrive hungry and ready to eat. Be sure to save room for the “shik-sa” portion of the meal…because it’s not dinner unless rice is involved! We, for some reason, always order the sujaebee and are always disappointed. One portion is more than enough for three or four people though so at least it’s not expensive. In fact our entire meal for three people, including five orders of meat (don’t judge), five beers, and an order of sujaebee was about 80,000…and I didn’t eat for the next 48 hours~
Not interested in galbi? Plenty of other options can be found here.