Korean Food Highlights – Jeonbokjuk (Abalone Porridge) & Godeungeo-gui (Grilled Mackerel) at Korean Restaurant near Cheonjiyeon Falls22 June, 2014
One of the must-try Korean food in Jeju is Abalone Rice Porridge (or known as Jeonbokjuk in Korean) 鲍鱼粥. Jeonbokjuk is not only a delicacy in Jeju but also as a nutritional supplement and digestive aid for ill patients or elderly people. Abalones are also commonly harvested in Jeju island (by fisherwomen (or haenyeo) who dive to deep depths to harvest them) so this makes this dish quite common and popular here on the island.
We tried our first abalone porridge at a small Korean restaurant beside the carpark of Cheonjiyeon Waterfall. Since Cheongjiyeon waterfall closes late at about 11pm, we grabbed dinner at a random Korean restaurant beside the carpark (anyway parking is free for Cheonjiyeon waterfall). Our bowl was rather pricey at 12,000 KRW (about 12 USD) but it comes in a very large serving (enough for 2 adults). The abalone porridge was quite good and there are small slices of abalone with almost every scoop of the porridge!
Next up on the menu was Braised Mackerels (Godeungeo-gui) – 烤鲭鱼 (15,000 KRW or about 15 USD). This is what you will typically find mentioned as “Saba Fish” in menus of some Korean restaurants in Singapore. Again, the Koreans love the mackerel fish because it is healthy – mackerel is a great source of nutrients such as omega 3 fatty acids, proteins and vitamins. While it is mentioned as “braised mackerel”, it is actually pan-fried or grilled – thus making the whole fish crispy on the outside and yet the meat inside remained tender and very tasty.
As with any meals in South Korea, there are many many small plates of side dishes provided for free – kimchi is one of the side dishes that are always present; here at this restaurant, we had some TTeokbokki 떡볶이 (Korean rice cakes), ikan bilis (though i am quite sure this is not what they called this dish in Korean) and some other salty vegetables.
Satisfied diners at this restaurant which I cannot name (It is not I don’t want to name them but I just can’t read Korean! And they don’t have an English shop name). The menu is in English and Korean but everything in the restaurant is as Korean as it can get – from the seat on the floor dining style and the big Korean menu on top of the shopfront.
Well – if you want to try this Korean restaurant, just look out for this signboard. For Korean GPS users, you can key in the phone number 7331966 for directions to the restaurant. Park at any available lot at the Cheonjiyeon waterfall carpark and you will see a row of restaurants, cafes and souvenir and snack shops beside the carpark.
When you are done with dinner, you can walk off the calories with a kilometre-long walk towards Cheonjiyeon waterfall. If you are driving to Cheonjiyeon Waterfall (last entry at 10pm), the phone number to input into the Korean GPS to reach the waterfall is 7331528.