Editor’s note: On April 1, Mr. Mun made changes to the menu. He will keep the dishes discussed in this review, but phase out the pasta selections.
Gun’s Seafood Bistro is the product of Mun Seung Gun, a born-and-raised Jejuite who left for Australia, and, through a chance circumstance, came back to the island with some fresh ideas on Western cuisine. After being a chef in Australia for nine years, Gun uses what he learned abroad, five nights a week, to create fare that truly satisfies.
The restaurant is located a short walk from the Jeju Grand Hotel, and, as guests walk downstairs to the location, they will be greeted by a good uplifting selection of music including ska, rockabilly, or rock from the house speakers. The restaurant layout itself is about the same as most Korean restaurants, with tables sectioned off from one another to create an intimate experience. Our server, Zak, was very entertaining and attentive, and I’ll admit it was refreshing to have an American waiter to joke around with and ask questions about the dishes.
As far as the menu is concerned, there are several spaghetti concoctions and salads, a decent list of imported beers, and more than a couple good wines to pair with your meal. Looking at the “fried” section of the menu, my friend and I dove right in with an order of the fish and chips and the pork parmigiana, each 15,000 won.
▲ Photo by J. Ari Sindel
“Holy ----,” I exclaimed when the plates arrived. The portion sizes are pretty big. My friend’s plate featured three heaping fried pork cutlets topped with marinara and mozzarella. My plate had five golden crispy fish fingers almost as long as the plate itself with some in house made tartar sauce and a tossed green salad with cherry tomatoes. Both dishes of, course, were stacked with as many fries as we could handle.
The fish was crisp outside and moist on the inside. I was told that Gun uses a type of flat fish, like flounder. The pork cutlets were equally good, and there wasn’t a hint of sogginess or unpleasant texture in anything that I sampled. The mozzarella was of a stiffer variety, and not the gooey kind I am used to. The food did take a few minutes to arrive, but it seems that the time that the chef put into his preparation was worth every minute.
Even without the food, this place is very friendly and plenty of people will come in just to have a drink. When we arrived the other customers were enjoying some beer, cigarettes, and the snack trays that Zak was more than happy to keep refilling.
▲ Photo by J. Ari Sindel
After speaking with the owner, I had a real appreciation for the place and the story behind it. It seems that, while living in Australia, he had needed to get knee surgery but didn’t have an insurance plan there, and he ended up coming back here where he was able to get everything taken care of. Now, although his former boss has told him time and again that he should return, he has decided his place is here on Jeju.
Step into the Bistro and I’ll bet you’ll find Gun is more than willing to step out of the kitchen and join you in a drink or for some conversation. For now the place does not seem to be terribly busy, but every week things are picking up as the word spreads.
If you want to find this place, you can start from the Jeju Grand Hotel in Shin Jeju, walk between the Shilla Duty Free Shop and Family Mart, go straight for a few paces, and it’s on the right.
Gun’s Seafood Bistro B1, 262-25 Yeon-dong, Jeju City Phone: 070-8900-3759 Hours: 6 p.m. to 11 p.m. (this closing time is flexible depending on the wishes of the customers), Tuesday through Saturday
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