Haeundae Busan Hoetjip

When in Busan, it is a must to have at least one seafood meal by the beach. The 2nd most populous city in Korea, Busan is located along the coast and is a popular weekend destination for Seoulites to visit the beaches and relax from the city life

Busan is 2.5 hours away from Seoul by train and Heungdae Beach is one of the favourite destinations with lines of seafood restaurants, barbeque restaurants and bars for diners to hang out

One of my to-do lists in Busan was to enjoy grilled seafood next to the sea and when I finished my Sky capsule ride, we walked around the port area and got attracted to this seafood restaurant with multiple tanks filled with live seafood

The restaurant was spilt into different sections, with one section of the tables catering for grilling and other sections more for general dishes without the need for a stove. We initially sat at the centre area where there was no charcoal stove but were shifted to this section when the staff heard that we were ordering grilled seafood

There were simple English descriptions next to the Korean menu but not many explanations about the dishes. We somehow managed to order based on pictures and the recommendation of the staff who could speak Mandarin. Most of the offerings on the menu are seafood dishes; steamed, grilled, fried or boiled into stews or soup.

Our table had the perfect view of the beach and it was the perfect weather while we waited for our meal to be served. It was warm and sunny outside but a warm breeze was blowing combined with the cool temperature as we visited in November

Firstly, we were served a bunch of side dishes, butter cheese corn which was heated on a hotplate, sliced octopus, seasoned seaweed, edamame beans, white kimchi and seasoned pupa. The side dishes were all very fresh and nice, especially the corn and the seaweed which are not commonly served as side dishes. The one dish I did not try was the pupa but my nephew claims it is very mushy and salty

As it was the first trip for both of my travel mates, trying the live octopus is a must. It was served together as a side dish and still wriggling amongst the generous serving of spring onions and sesame oil. I am not going to describe the taste since everyone going to Korea should really try this dish. The only thing I would say is that it is really not scary at all

We ordered the small sashimi platter which has 4 different types of fish at KRW 70,000. Since we can’t read the menu, we cannot tell what fish were served but they were extremely fresh. Unlike salmon, these are deep-sea fishes and come with a chewy texture and crunchy bite. More like sea bream and tai fish ordered in Japanese restaurants, the fish has that same crunch. Personally, I love the fish texture that has a crunchy bite and the Koreans eat them with spicy chilli paste which I quite like as well. We were also served soy sauce with wasabi for those who prefer Japanese flavours. There were also perilla leaves for diners to create fish wraps. As my friend prefers the melt-in-your-mouth type of sashimi, I pretty much had half the plate to myself and it was fantastic

Our medium live shellfish set was served and they were humongous compared to the ones we are used to in Singapore. This was the medium-sized serving priced at KRW 60,000 and the staff will help you do all the grilling. The clams are lightly grilled before being put into the cheese and butter plates to cook further. The scallops were sweet and full of umami flavours from the sea

You can see the scallops popping as the staff grills them for us

When we were almost done, the staff served us this fish soup heated by a portable stove. We finally understood why he refused to take in an order of soup when we were trying to add soup to our meal. The restaurant actually provides this soup for free for any order of sashimi as this is cooked with fish bone from the sashimi, bean sprouts, leek and spring onions. The soup was clear and clean in flavour but the chilli powder gave it a nice peppery flavour which help to wash down the meal perfectly. The sprouts added a light earthy taste to the already very sweet fish soup

Overall, I am satisfied with the meal and the cost is quite reasonable at KRW130,000 for 3 of us. The amount of sashimi is also very generous. Although I have seen videos of other Heungdae beach restaurants serving grilled seafood, I think this restaurant is worth a visit based on the multiple celebrity signatures on the wall. I believe Running Man visited them as well. There are also reviews saying they are expensive and since I have not visited any sashimi restaurant in Korea, this price is still acceptable for me

On a side note, as seen from my photos, I did not get a perfect picture of the restaurant signboard and it took me a long time to find the English name of this restaurant as there was nothing showing up on Google except for some Trip advisor reviews which I realised was the older restaurant in the same location. I used my limited Korean reading skills and searched in Naver and found the new name being 해운대부산횟집 which translates to Haeundae Busan Hoetjip. Hoetjib basically means Korean sashimi restaurant and there are many Hoetjib in Busan so even the Naver search turns out many Busan Hoetjib.

To find this restaurant, you can walk down the slope from the Mipo Blueline park station and turn left where you will see the Mipo Oceanside Hotel with the restaurant located on the 1st floor of the building. You do not see many reviews on google as this is a restaurant visited mostly by locals only and they do have many reviews on Naver

Update: My Korean colleague managed to help me find the restaurant on google maps thus the map link below – I have also read through some of the comments and seems like most Busan locals don’t really like the restaurant due to the price and freshness of the fish as they prefer to get their sashimi from the market direct at more affordable prices. There are also good reviews from some other Korean visitors so I guess it is a situation of mixed reviews

Address: 1st floor, 28, Dalmaji-gil 62beon-gil, Haeundae-gu, Busan

Google map link

Operating hours: 11.30 am to 10.30 pm

Author: elizbeartravel

A human bear who loves travelling, eating and cooking

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