Arang 아랑 (Yeon-dong, Jeju City)

With my OCDish tendencies and somewhat anal criteria when introducing new restaurants for my weekly radio segment on Wonders of Jeju (if you’re interested about Jeju Island or Korea in general, check out the show), there are times I surprise myself and deviate from the norm. To be more specific, I generally like to do an extensive (and always exhausting) research on the restaurant being introduced. I need to know a little bit about the owners. I need to know their reasons behind the food they serve. I need to know the source of their ingredients. I need to know anything that will help me relate to the food. Anal right? Yes, I think so too. Anyways, this restaurant named Arang in Yeon-dong, Shin Jeju is the exception. I didn’t get to chat chit with the owners (too busy) and didn’t get much insight on the food (too busy eating). However, the food alone spoke volumes about the place and kind of had me thinking to myself: Do I need to be so anal with all the specifics before introducing a new place?  The answer is no, at least this time

So without any research or friendly recommendations, I did not have to look very far because it’s near my GF’s new workplace. I had noticed it several times when taking her to work and there was something attractive about the place – very rustic, quaint, unrefined yet homey, and inviting. We visited in the evening and the place was bustling with hungry patrons. We ordered the Kimchi Dongtae Jeongol (Spicy Kimchi & Pollock Hot Pot) on our first visit and made a follow-up visit for their Mugeunji Heuk Dweji Seng Moksal (Ripened Kimchi w Fresh Black Pork Steak). First up, the spicy hot pot. This mini-cauldron looking dish was just perfect and instantly warmed us up from the wind-blistering cold weather. Big chunks of pollock combined with the soft kimchi and invigorating broth had both my girlfriend and I slurping throughout our entire meal (slurping is not frowned upon here). Personally, I tend to avoid ordering any type of kimchi-based soups and stews when eating out because they skimp out on any protein (i.e. meat) but they don’t here. If that weren’t good enough, the bachan (side dishes) are top-notch with notables including kimchi jeon (kimchi pancakes), japchae (sweet glass noodles), ganjang gejang (soy marinated crab), and you guessed it, geotjoli kimchi (freshly made kimchi). All at a ridiculous 14,000 won total (7,000 won person). Next up, the BBQ pork. Really, what more can I say about Jeju’s famed black pork? We know it’s super soft, tender, juicy, the best that Jeju has to offer. But if you haven’t tried it with mugeunji kimchi, I’m pretty sure you’ll fall in love with it all over again like me. Cooked on a slanted griddle, the pork is grilled on top where it slowly releases its fatty juices into the awaiting kimchi and sprouts. Once fulled cooked, there are so many flavors and textures for you to choose from which make it a foodie’s paradise. With any traditional Korean BBQ, everyone has their own way of eating their meat. Here’s ours…..my girlfriend religiously does the wrap method: pork on red leaf lettuce, ssamjang (bean sauce), kimchi, wrap, eat, repeat. As for myself: pork on pajori (green onion salad), ssamjang, grilled garlic, eat, drink, repeat.  By now you probably get an idea of what to expect here and I’ve run out of things to say, so make sure to stop on by if you’re in the area. 🙂

It is a hard matter, my fellow citizens, to argue with the belly, since it has no ears. ~ Plutarch

 

Food: ★★★★½ out of 5 stars

Service: ★★★★ out of 5 stars

Ambiance: ★★★★ out of 5 stars

Value: ★★★★½ out of 5 stars

 

Arang 아랑

323-1 Yeon-dong, Jeju City

Phone: 064-745-2208

Hours of Operation: Open every day from 11am ~ 10pm 

Click here for their official webpage (in Korean): http://jejuvr.com/arang/

Click here for directions: http://me2.do/GDtZCqh5

 

 

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Mugeunji Heuk Dweji Seng Moksal (Ripened Kimchi w Fresh Black Pork Steak) @ 13,000 won per person (200 gram per serving)
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Mugeunji Heuk Dweji Seng Moksal (Ripened Kimchi w Fresh Black Pork Steak) @ 13,000 won per person (200 gram per serving)
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Mugeunji Heuk Dweji Seng Moksal (Ripened Kimchi w Fresh Black Pork Steak) @ 13,000 won per person (200 gram per serving)
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Dongtae (Pollock)
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Kimchi Dongtae Jeongol (Spicy Kimchi & Pollock Hot Pot) @ 7,000 won per person. Say what?!?
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Kimchi Dongtae Jeongol (Spicy Kimchi & Pollock Hot Pot) @ 7,000 won per person. Say what?!?
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Japchae (Sweet Glass Noodles w Vegetables)
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Banchan (Side Dishes)
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Ganjang Gejang (Soy Marinated Raw Crab)
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Kimchi Jeon (Pancake)

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