Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Food: Raw fish ~ with class.

Sometimes, when raw fish on a cheap marble bench with water all over a market floor just ain't good enough, a visit to a raw fish house ~ Hoitjib(횟집) may be necessary.

Had a chance to ask a friend out just before Seollal. Since he's a good friend, and the occasion was more of a congratulatory New Year celebration, I couldn't be all cheap ass could I?

That being said, we dined at Sugung Hoitjib (수궁횟집) in the Jinwol/Hadong area. It's a fancy restaurant, which is famous for local delicacies of raw fish and side dishes. The good news is, the cost for something of similar quality, is nothing like that in Seoul or Pusan. A meal for the three of us, which you will see, cost only 80,000 Won (USD$80). Relatively cheap!

--- Savor the unlikely ---

Side dishes flow onto the table in abundance before the main event of sliced raw fish. Contrary to popular belief, none of the familiar radish and cabbage kimchis were present. Instead, we were presented with a selection of mollusks.

Among the lot, was this icky-furry-looking thing that you have to dig the insides out... the rest of the fur goes in the thrash. Sounds kinky doesn't it?

More shells and clams.

Spring rolls, fried fish and such...

Then there was this funky mushroom/roe assortment that tasted like... mushroom and roe?

I swear that this next dish ~ Preserved Fish A'la Hadong (name of this area), is one of the nastiest I've ever had. Since the meat is plain white/pinkish, it looks exactly like plain boiled fish to the unsuspecting eye ~ Guess again.

As the unsuspecting connoissuer samples the cleverly disguised morsels of death, a potent wisp of ammonia pierces through the nostrils in succession of every bite... and the stench does not back off easily. Not even after multiple shots of Soju!

OK, so I exaggerated. It DOES taste like ammonia, but the taste does grow on you, and I like it. It's an acquired taste. ;)

--- End of Entree ---

Yes... it's true, that was JUST the entree.

Here comes the main dish of raw fish ~ Hoei (회). Raw overload!

I guess the Koreans don't believe in ever believe that being skinny is a good thing. Along with the sliced fish, more side dishes are laid down. One of the funkier ones was an ingenious mixture of tuna and roe/caviar. Interesting...

--- Almost at the end! ---

To wash it all down, there was also the infamous fish broth ~ Maeuntang (매은탕).

Still believe that this whole meal, which really could feed four people, cost only $80? You bet'cha ;)


At February 21, 2006 10:30 AM, Blogger Jo said...

wow..thanks to share your good time to indulge in gourmet pleasures from Korea.
few of you really can finished all of these food? really big appetite...:P

At February 21, 2006 10:40 AM, Blogger domestic rat said...

Can fedex some over?

Maybe you can consider leaving behind the address of the eating place at the end of the entry so we can tap on the information next time when we do visit Seoul.

At February 21, 2006 4:20 PM, Anonymous Jason Jang said...

I love eating out in Korea. With a bunch of friends, it's so damn cheap. Galbi, and Samgepsal all the way.

At February 21, 2006 6:11 PM, Blogger Simon says said...

Now thats a meal! How was the stomach the next day, and did you wash all this down with a few beers and soju?

At February 21, 2006 7:05 PM, Anonymous Beck said...

Second leaving the eating place's information. Gee, all the glorious food you've showcased in this blog sure tempt me to pick up the korean language. Ha ha....so that I can order the food I really want

At February 22, 2006 1:58 AM, Anonymous smashpOp said...

ei u always eat raw food.. not good le..

At February 22, 2006 8:55 AM, Blogger Kurios1978 said...

Jo: In fact, we didn't quite finish EVERYTHING. Should've have had two more people there probably.

Domestic Rat/Beck: Eh... cannot lah. First of all, ADDRESSES DON'T WORK in Korea. Second, this shop is in a part of Korea that you will most likely NOT visit.

*Clarification: I am NO WHERE NEAR Seoul.

Jason: Yeah man. I'm surprised how cheap some food can be. Down here, it's like USD$6 per person for a hearty meal of samgyeubsal with all those side dishes!

Simon: Unfortunately, I had to drive, and we work real early the next day... A bit too level headed for fun maybe?

Smash: Eh, raw food is good for you lah. In Malaysia, it might be an issue with bacteria and stuff over-populating because of the weather (warm) and humidity. Here it's perfectly fine. :)

On a note though, we DO AVOID raw seafood in July/August when the weather is the hottest for THAT (bacteria/E-Coli) reason. Some raw fish houses even close for a month during that time.

At February 22, 2006 2:07 PM, Blogger Jo said...

consume raw food is fine, coz some r kinda healthy for us. basically raw food can be ready-to-eat can be high quality food tho... but have to be careful in handling the food preparation..like sashimi need to have designated cutting board, knife and temperature control. coz need to avoid the cross-contamination and food born illness. :)
as long as the raw food is safe to eat.


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