Baekbun Garden 백번가든 (Aewol, Jeju City)

Thanks to my foodie girlfriend, I got to enjoy another awesome meal in the form of Nakji Kimchi Jjim 낙지 김치찜 (Spicy Braised Kimchi and Octopus) at a restaurant named Baekbun Garden in Aewol. Known for its BBQ pork and spicy braised dishes, we choose the latter because it was lunchtime, where in Korea it is slightly frowned upon to eat meat so early in the day (I have no problem with it). Anyways, the dish was full of robust flavors mainly from the mugeunji kimchi 묵은지 (super ripe kimchi) being boiled down for a good while with chunks of pork spine bones, blue crab, and octopus. It’s been a long time since I made noises while eating, but the food (specifically the invigorating broth) had me grunting and groaning in delight throughout the entire meal. For more specifics, I couldn’t get enough of the sour kick of the kimchi that went perfectly with the tender pieces of pork and chewy octopus. Needless to say, we cleaned house on all the food (and banchan) and definitely made dishwashing easier for the workers.

Besides the delicious food that we thoroughly enjoyed, we got to speak at length with the ajumma/owner who was very friendly and eager to tell us the history behind the restaurant. In short, she said that things weren’t always a success, enduring years of frustration and angry customers not satisfied with her food. To make things worse, her husband was diagnosed with stomach cancer during the same period. Through hard work and determination, she worked even harder and stayed optimistic despite the burden of running a restaurant by herself and caring for her husband. Fast forward 7 years, she now has—in her own words— a “successful” restaurant and a fully-recovered husband. Her gratitude and optimism was clearly evident on our visit as well, and she did something that no other restaurant owner has done before: flat out refuse my money. Although I’ve had plenty of “free meal coupons” being a food blogger, I’ve always made it a point to pay for my meals in order to be objective and fair. However, this ajumma would not budge despite my repeated attempts, and with a motherly stern look on her face I knew that it would be pointless in arguing with her (I have to respect my elders, right?). As I mentioned earlier, the restaurant also specializes in good ol’ Korean BBQ like Yangnyum Galbi 양념갈비 (Sweet Marinated Pork Ribs) and Heuk Dweji Ogyeopsal 흑돼지 오겹살 (Black Pork Five Layered Pork Belly), meaning a future visit was going to be had regardless if we paid or not. 🙂

“If you really want to make a friend, go to someone’s house and eat with him….the people who give you their food give you their heart.” ~ Cesar Chavez 

Food: ★★★★ out of 5 stars

Service: ★★★★ out of 5 stars

Ambiance: ★★★★ out of 5 stars

Value: ★★★★ out of 5 stars

 

Baekbun Garden 백번가든

1584-4 Aewol-ri, Aewol-eup, Jeju City (제주시 애월읍 애월리 1584-4)

Phone: 064-799-6900

Hours of Operation: Open every day from 12pm~10pm with break time from 3~5pm

Click here for directions: http://me2.do/567qu6C3

 

 

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