Joy Cook’s Italian food among the excellent eatery options near Camp Humphreys
Joy Cook, a recently renovated restaurant just outside Camp Humphreys in South Korea, offers a tasty array of Italian food with a smattering of Korean dishes.
Start by choosing from pastas, spaghetti, linguine, fettuccini, farfalle, cappellini, conchiglie, penne and fusilli. Then pick a sauce and meat or seafood. That will determine the price.
There’s also oven-baked lasagna, chicken parmesan and several types of risotto.
The main dishes come with garlic bread, and extra can be ordered for less than $1. Appetizers include salads, bruschetta and, of course, dumplings.
The menu is hardly fusion. But just like an Italian restaurant in the United States might have a cheeseburger on the menu, Joy Cook has bulgogi and sweet-and-sour pork or chicken.
Appetizers range from 4,500 to 5,900 won ($4.50 to $6), while main dishes cost between 8,400 and 13,900 won ($8.40 to $13.90).
The restaurant has a spacious, family-friendly atmosphere with quirky figurines as decoration. It’s conveniently located a short walk to the left after exiting the Humphreys pedestrian gate in the Anjeong-ri area, and is easily recognizable by the welcoming chef and hockey statues outside.
The Army garrison has seen an explosion of on-post restaurants as its population swells with the relocation of most U.S. forces south of Seoul. But so have the communities outside.
Hoping to draw more of the growing business, Joy Cook, which has been in business since 2003, knocked down some walls and created a more open space lined with a well-stocked bar.
Alcoholic beverages are reasonably priced at about 6,000 won ($6) for cocktails and 5,000 to 10,000 won ($5 to $10) for a glass of wine or beer.
The restaurant also stays open an extra half-hour, until 9:30 p.m., for takeout only.
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Location: 125-1, Anjeongsunhwan-ro, Paengseong-eup, Pyeongtaek.
Hours: Open daily from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. for table service and until 9:30 p.m. for takeout.
Prices: Appetizers range from 4,500 to 5,900 won ($4.50 to $6). Main dishes range from 8,400 to 13,900 won ($8.40 to $13.90). Beverages range from 3,000 won ($3) for soft drinks and 5,000 to 10,000 won for a glass of wine or beer. Wine is also sold by the bottle.
Directions: From Camp Humphreys, it’s a short walk to the left of the pedestrian gate or a short drive to the left of the Anjeong-ri gate for vehicles.