Jinju, Korea - Traditional Seafood Diner
Jinju is this beautiful riverine city off the southern coast of the Korean peninsula. Its proximity to the waters guaranteed some of the freshest seafood I'd tried in Korea this time round.
Daewon Hanjeongsik ("hanjeongsik" basically meant Korean cuisine restaurant) was one such place. What we had during dinner last weekend:
- Selection of raw sea-squirt, squid and Korean abalone. The selection was ultra-fresh and super-slimy;
- Thick cuts of salmon, taken together with a creamy coleslaw and seaweed;
- Braised abalones. Tasty, but I really hankered for the Chinese versions as the Korean ones had a drier preparation style;
- Various raw fish (I couldn't identify most of them as I;d not seen these types of fish before)
- A very interesting "kujoelpan" (Korean spring roll) dish where, in place of rice-paper wrappers, wafer-thin pickled and sliced turnips were used instead to wrap around cooked pbeef and a colorful selection of raw vegetables;
- A nightmarish "Hongehoe" of "rotten" skate - I didn't know how my Korean colleagues could relish those infernal uric acid/ammonia-smelling/tasting morsels, usually eaten with deep-fried pork belly slices to temper the strong smell. Well, one man's poison is ...
- Boiled octopus
- Spicy cooked squid
- Pan-fried seabream
the list went on and one, I lost count at one stage. The food was fabulous. The lady who owned the restaurant looked matronly and very efficient. I didn't get the address but the telephone number is 853-8511-2. You'll need to get a Korean speaker as it's posh-local :-)