This was a great (two) week(s) for food. Now, I know there are some people out there who like to eat, so I thought I might do a nice little post about that thing that we all do from time to time, but with Busan food.
Ddaekgalbi with Cheese, PNU area (aka by my house) 7,000 원 per person
So, this was really tasty, and one of the first things that I ate that I was really excited about. If there’s one thing that’s true about Korean food, it’s that they really know how to do chicken. Chris wouldn’t like it – there isn’t always a discretion between breast and thigh meat, but it’s delicious! It’s savoury and juicy and delicious! Normally, I think you’re supposed to cook it yourself but the woman who owned the store knew that my friend and I would have no idea what we were doing, so she did it in the back so we didn’t have to.
Frozen Strawberry Maekgoli, PNU area (by my house) 4,500 원 for 500 mL
Like regular maekgoli, which is this delicious Korean rice wine with a soft fermented rice flavour, but frozen like a slushie. I kind of think it’s Korea’s answer to cocktails, since those are few and far between. It’s so yummy. And strawberry flavoured! I’m such a fan.
Eggs Benedict, Café Primo, Gwangali Beach area, 13,000 원
Seeing as how it’s my one of my favourite foods, I was beyond delighted to find eggs benedict – with SALMON and AVOCADO – in a place that I can reach without a plane. It was good, although the hollandaise with a little weak in flavour and richness. Nevertheless, it was still very good and I would go back.
Taiwanese Bing Soo, Gwangali Beach area, around 6,000 원
This served 3 people, and it was SO GOOD. There’s a milky sauce that’s poured over Taiwanese Bing Soo, which made it a little different but in a great way. It was otherwise known, at the time, as “Friendship Bing Soo.”
Hwe, Millak Hwe, Gwangali Beach area, probably about 20,000 원
So, this stuff is legendary for Korean food. It’s pretty unique. You go into a fish market downstairs and you just point at a fish and they kill and chop it in front of your eyes. It’s a bit gruesome, but it all goes back to that same thing: if you can’t see where your food comes from, and understand the life you take with your consumption, then you should not be eating it. Things get eaten, and that’s a part of life, but the sacrifice made to eat deserves to be recognized and understood.
Anyways, they sit you upstairs on a table covered in a thin sheet of plastic and then they start bringing out your freshly cut-up raw fish on platters, along with a bunch of side dishes and sauces. One of the sea creatures we got was octopus. This was crazy, because the octopus were still moving. This is quite a famous thing to eat here, and apparently some people are very gung ho about it and will actually eat the octopus while the head is still on and it is still conscious. This is not what we did. The octopus was cut up, but, like a chicken with its head cut off, it was still moving for quite some time after it was placed, pre-sliced and pre-diced, on the table. We ate that with a sauce mixed with wasabi. I was the biggest fan of the white fish which I ate with some side dishes and wrapped in a leaf.
Squid on a Stick, Gwangali Beach area, 7,000 원
I had been wanting to try this for a while, so I did. It was tasty! There was a spice mix that the squid was rolled in which tasted a bit like paprika. I would eat it again, but it was huge. This is half the squid, and I couldn’t finish it.
Fried Chicken, Dongnae, 13,000 원 for two (or more) people
Fried chicken is amazing in Korea. It’s not at all like it is in Vancouver, where it’s usually very greasy and unpleasant. Here it’s light and crispy and perfect. I love fried chicken in Korea more than I’ve ever liked fried chicken before. And it’s quite cheap! Shared between a few people a huge serving is only 13,000 원.
Dakgalbi with my co-workers, near Dusil Elementary School, no idea how much it cost
So, for a dinner that I had with my coworkers we were treated by the school to dakgalbi, which is different from ddakgalbi (which is chicken). It sounds exactly the same to me. I have no idea how people can hear the difference. Languages, eh? Anyways, it, too, came with a bunch of side dishes. The meat was tasty and tender, and it must have been very high quality beef to have been featured like that. It was especially nice to eat because I missed cow meat. It’s a bit expensive here, so it’s a little harder to find than chicken, pork, or squid.
Grape Chip Ice Cream, Gamcheon Culture Village, 3,000 원
So, the woman put this packed cup of ice cream into this machine, and out in this beautiful swirl came this delicious grape-flavoured ice cream. Normally, I don’t like grape, but I was inspired to try it anyway and it was so good. The chip part is also not a lie, there are little chips. I’m not sure if it was grape or something else-flavoured, but it was so exciting and tasty. I loved it, and I’m definitely going to get it again if given the opportunity.
No Idea What This Is, Gamcheon Culture Village, 3,000 원
I saw this and had to eat it because it looked like a bouncy ball. This one was flavoured with mango, and it’s made with agave syrup. There’s a powdered nut on the side, and your choice of sauce on the other side. The taste was very delicate, but it would be a great light desert choice.
Takoyaki, PNU area (by my house), 3,500 원
There is a tiny little hole-in-the-wall takoyaki place near Busan National University Station. Every night there is a 10-20 person line-up outside of it. I decided to finally take the plunge and wait in line for the takoyaki. It was so worth it. The octopus inside the takoyaki balls was fresh and delicate, the takoyaki was hot and melt-in-your-mouth, and the sauces and flaky bits on top were perfect.
Japanese food is pretty common in Busan because of it’s proximity with Japan, and the relationship it has. I don’t know too much about the details yet, but it’s something I want to look into.
Takowaki (Or Something), PNU area (by my house), 3,000 원
So, this untraditional take on takoyaki had the takoyaki bready bit on top with either shrimp, bacon or cheese in the middle and sauce on the top. And rice. And egg. It was a bit weird tasting. Probably good if you’re drunk, but not so drunk that eggs aren’t a good idea. I didn’t love it, but I wouldn’t avoid it either.
Chicken Mayo Bap Burger, Jangjeon Station area, 2,500 원
Delicious! I’ve heard that this was a thing, but I hadn’t tried it until now. Korea’s answer to the burger, basically, there’s rice on the outside, and a beautiful, tasty surprise on the inside. Some of the other options included beef and cheese, ham, chicken and curry, egg, and kimchi to name a few. The best part is once you take a few bites, you find this…
It might not look amazingly appealing, but it tastes great! Savoury with a delicious sauce and mayonnaise. I am not entirely certain of whether or not it’s healthy (it’s probably somewhere in the middle), but it’s definitely better than a burger or fried vegetables. Right by my house and for only 2,500 원, I am definitely getting this again.
I hope that the food update left your mouth watering, or, if you’re planning to come visit me, very excited and keen to try things!