▲ Obunjak Ttukbaegi, a seafood stew, served with an array of side dishes at Su Hui Sikdang in central downtown Seogwipo. Photo by Kimberly Comeau
In Korea it is said that when a name is repeated many times it will bring that person good luck. Su Hui Sikdang is a restaurant in central downtown Seogwipo that is named after the owners first daughter. Established in 1992, it targets both tourists and locals. It is run by the husband and wife team of Kang Sung Young and Kim Deok Ja, who are both Jeju natives.
The establishment was brightly lit and very inviting when we arrived, and we were greeted with big smiles and friendly eyes. The restaurant was extremely well-kept and clean with plenty of room for comfortable sitting whether you wanted to sit on the floor in traditional fashion, or on chairs at a table. The restaurant has two levels. The first is more of a social setting, while the second offers a more quiet and relaxing atmosphere. Both had a scenic view overlooking the Saeyeon Bridge.
To begin we were served delicious side dishes including kimchi, dried anchovies with hot green peppers, steamed spinach with sesame seeds, sliced dried radish in a red pepper sauce, soy bean paste, miyeok (seaweed), mushrooms and salted jaridom — a Jeju fish. All side dishes are prepared fresh daily at the restaurant and their variety depends on the season.
Bak Jeong Suk, the manager of the establishment, accompanied us while we were served the main dish to answer any of our questions. This was Obunjak Ttukbaegi, a seafood stew served in an earthenware pot. Obunjak is a type of abalone and Ttukbaegi means “hot stew in an earthenware pot.” The stew came out literally boiling hot with a rich mixture of seafood: crayfish, abalone, clams, and sea urchin. Many other ingredients: onion, green pepper, garlic, and red pepper powder added to the unique flavor. The pot keeps the stew hot for the length of the meal.
All ingredients are gathered locally from the waters around Jeju, with only the crayfish and clams coming from other parts of Korea. The cost for this treat was 13,000 won per person.
When I asked why their restaurant was so popular, the proud manager replied that is it because of the good food and great customer service. After my lunch experience I would have to agree. (Interpretation by Kim Jung Lim)
Su Hui Sikdang 447 Seogwi-dong, Seogwipo City, near Hotel Sunbeach Hours: Every day from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. Phone: 064-762-0777
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