Jason Kim is a Korean-American foodie with a passion for cooking, eating and photographing. He currently lives on Jeju Island and updates his popular blog, mykoreaneats.com, where this article originally appeared.
Although I’ve been on Jeju a fairly short time, I can say, hands down, that Jeju has some of the best seafood restaurants that I’ve ever experienced. From fresh jeonbok (abalone) and hoe (raw fish), to huge muneo (octopus) and various sora (shellfish), Jeju can’t be beaten for quality, freshness and choice.
One of my favorites is an oceanfront restaurant on the outskirts of Jeju City called “Jeju Haemul Bap,” which, as per the name, sells various local seafood and rice dishes.
Personally, I love it when restaurants specialize in a few dishes because it means they’re confident in selling just a few items, and this no-fuss restaurant is no exception.
Its three quality signature dishes are: Jeju Haemul Bap (seafood in a stone pot), Seonggye Bap (sea urchin in a stone pot), and Ureok Haemul Jjim (sweet braised rockfish and seaweed).
The Jeju Haemul Bap is packed full of fresh seaweed species, shellfish and seafood varieties, and, of course, rice. All this goodness in a sizzling dolsot (stone pot), allowing the ingredients to cook on the spot, makes it the most heavenly meal.
▲ Photo by Jason Kim / MyKoreanEats
The dish is not heavy on seasoning (nothing more than a light soy-sauce combination), allowing all the fresh ingredients to shine and provide the flavors.
The same goes for the Seonggye Bap (my girlfriend’s personal favorite), except you have fresh sea urchin and abalone in place of all the seaweed and shellfish. If you’re a fan of sea urchin and abalone, this dish is just for you.
Lastly, the Ureok Jjim is their most famous dish for foreigners who love a medley of seafood. The fish and seafood are braised in a sweet, savory, tangy, and super-addictive sauce that was a big hit with our group. So good!
There is so much more I’d like to include in this review (the history of the restaurant, the cool owner, the old-school music, etc.) but it would leave no space to talk about the food. Nevertheless, they say a picture is worth a thousand words, so I hope these suffice!
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