Although I’ve been on the island just over three months, I can say with confidence that Jeju has some of the best seafood restaurants that I’ve ever experienced hands-down. The seafood choices are endless and aplenty, from fresh jeonbok (abalone) to hwe (raw fish), huge sized muneo (octopus) to different types of sora (shellfish), it doesn’t get better in terms of quality and freshness. And with a recent visit to another oceanfront restaurant on the outskirts of Jeju City, I can say with confidence that I’ve found my new favorite restaurant (and lucky for me, it’s right next to my home!).
Jeju Haemul Bab, literally translated “Jeju Seafood Food/Rice,” is a simple, no-fuss restaurant offering the best of well-being, healthy seafood dishes. They have three signature dishes that are all terrific: Jeju Haemul Bab (Seafood in Stone Pot), Sung-gye Bab (Sea Urchin in Stone Pot), and Ureok Haemul JJim (Sweet Braised Rockfish & Seaweed). First the Jeju Haemul Bab. This dish 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. 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 Sung-gye Bab (my girlfriend’s personal favorite), except you have fresh sea urchin and abalone in place of the all the seaweed and raw 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-addicting sauce that was a big hit with our group. So good! Personally, I love when restaurants specialize in a few dishes because it means they’re confident in selling just a few items. Jeju Haemul Bab is no exception.
There is so much interesting information I’d like to include in this review (the history of the restaurant, the cool ajumma owner, the old-school music, etc.) but seriously it would take more than a few pages to describe other things beside the food. With that said, I will let the pictures do the “talking” and end with the famous adage: “A picture is worth a thousand words.” Enjoy the pictures! ^^
Food: ★★★★½ out of 5 stars
Service: ★★★★ out of 5 stars
Ambiance: ★★★★½ out of 5 stars
Jeju Haemul Bab (제주해물밥)
313-1 Oedo-dong, Jeju City (제주 제주시 외도동 313-1)
Hours of Operation: Open every day 10 am ~9 pm
Click here for an interactive map: https://goo.gl/maps/kk5bc
Follow Jeju Haemul Bab on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jejuhaemulbab