Wednesday, August 10, 2011

"Enter the Dragon" Hwei (sashimi) House in Jeju Island, Korea

I recently have been to Jeju Island  for a vacation with my family and friends. I had an unforgettable meal at Yong-Chul-Hwei-Jib (용출횟집 : could be translated "Enter the dragon sashimi house"?) It is located near Yong-Du-Ahm (용두암: Dragon-Head-Rock) which is 10 minutes away from Jeju international airport by car. 
Indeed, formed by volcanic activity, the rock looks like a dragon head. The legend says that the dragon stole a jade marble from god of Mt. Halla in order to enter heaven, but unfortunately he ended up being caught by god just as the dragon started its ascent. Well, it is very sad that the dragon is still here in agony as a rock. However thanks to him, we have a magnificent view of the dragon head and other wonderful views from many great seafood restaurants in the vicinity, such as "Yong-Chul-Hwei-Jib".
I have been to Jeju Island numerous times. It didn't take much time to figure out that the local tour guide who also acts as a rented car driver and photographer is not our best friend. After some trial and error, despite our tour guider's own agenda, I spoke up for our right to eat better food. Yong-Chul-Hwei-Jib was introduced by my friend who is a semi local here. The place is humble and honest. The owner and staff are warm and generous. And oh my god!!! Despite having dined at many truly amazing places all over the world, this was one of the absolute best meals I have ever had in my life. The food here is beyond extremely fresh. The seafood is literally alive seconds before it is served. Not only are the main courses out of this world, plentiful side dishes are served that are delicious and constantly topped off without asking.
we ordered Sawedged Perch (다금바리). It came with all the side dishes below.
fresh sea conch, sea urchin, octopus
fresh abalone
I had never seen/heard this before. It is a shame that I forgot the name.
Every eatable part of the fish is served beyond just the flesh, respecting the sacrifice of life to sustain life.
 Even the bones are not wasted.  As they served soup made from the bones of the fish and seaweed,
 they said this soup is so thick your lips will stick together and not open.  While not literally true,
the soup was indeed incredibly rich and scrumptious.
This place manifests the truism: less is more. Why do we need to meddle with flavors when the raw ingredients are already perfect as is?

1 Comments:

Blogger Alex Min said...

Sounds so yummy!

August 11, 2011 at 3:30 PM  

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