Jeju Island: [Food] Abalone Hot Stone Pot Rice
Travel Period : 30 May – 5 June 2017 (Tues – Mon)
7 DAYS 6 NIGHTS IN SEOUL/JEJU ISLAND
IN SEARCH OF ABALONE
Vin had read up on the food reviews of Jeju Island and “abalone” keeps coming up in the searches. “Abalone Hot Stone Pot Rice” or “Abalone Porridge”. With Jeju Island abundant in seafood, abalone seemed a “must-try”.
Therefore, he drove from Jeju City towards the coastal area, in search of the famous “Abalone Hot Pot Stone Rice” and it must be at this #1 recommended restaurant from trip advisor.
We reached and happily alighted in front of the shop, going up a small staircase, into a narrow entrance.
We decided on what to eat after browsing the menu (there were only 4 items). The staff wrote down our orders and we thought we would be led to our seats. Alas, she immediately say no. We were confused and after several language barriers, we finally realised that they would only re-open 1 hour later! We came at the wrong time, just when they were closing for a service break ( 3-4 pm. Should have read the online reviews properly) ! =.=”
Already, we were pretty famished after the long travelling time from Seoul and now this. I complained to Vin, that we should have just eaten at Jeju City as I didn’t have a full breakfast like them (couldn’t eat bread).
Disgruntled, we walked out of the place (the staff still ask whether we are keeping the order…*roll eyes. I guess it’s so popular that people often order and come back later)
SEARCHING FOR FOOD
Thus, Vin tried to search for another restaurant down the road and as we were driving, one came up! (very near to the previous)
Relieved, we stopped again and stepped inside this spacious restaurant, with full glass windows to view the coastal scenery. This time, we asked cautiously whether the restaurant was opened and they say, Yes! All of us were relieved.
We settled down at one table with my parents at another, because they couldn’t combine them.
While ordering, we were glad that one of the staff actually speaks Chinese (in fact, later we learnt that at least one retail staff in each place we went to on Jeju Island, speaks Chinese).
We ordered two abalone stone pot rice ( Jeonbok Dolsotbap) instead of three, as we found out from the waitress that for each table, they serve one whole grilled mackerel and some side dishes! Dar could eat the grilled fish and we could share the rice with Dar who has a small appetite. He isn’t too fond of trying new food and may not like it.
These were the side-dishes. The most delicious (in my opinion) is the side-dish which has some small, salty fish in red sauce. The kimchi was also good.
The Hot Stone Pot Rice with Abalone (Jeonbok Dolsotbap) that looks delicious! It’s piping hot, so don’t touch the stone pot! I had to be careful that my toddler doesn’t touch it.
Vin learnt from reading that we have to quickly scoop out the rice into a bowl, without scrapping the rice stuck to the pot. Then, add hot water to the stone pot (just enough to cover the rice) and cover the lid, so that it becomes a “soup” which has some flavours from the abalone rice.
After finishing the abalone rice in the bowl, uncover the stone pot and eat the charred rice, which was stuck and now softened by the hot water. (It’s like a crunchy porridge)
Taste Verdict: To me, the abalone rice was just “alright” because it has quite a strange flavour (not really a fan of abalone) and it wasn’t savoury nor sweet. I was surprised by that. I think there was only a slight sweet taste due to the pumpkin. In contrast, Vin likes it.
As for the abalone, I enjoy the fresh and soft texture. I had only ever eaten canned abalone so this nice texture was incomparable. The “soup” with the charred rice didn’t have any taste, except for a “burnt” taste. The grilled fish and side dishes were tasty and I guess those made up for it.
I love that we could see the coastal scenery right from where we were seating. As people occupied the seats beside the window, we didn’t have a chance to look at it nearer but the glass windows were big enough.
The scenery was a good start to our scenic sight-seeing in Jeju Island over the next few days. With a full stomach, we were really excited about starting our first nature trip to Manjanggul Lava Tube!
[ INFORMATION ]
Address: 4-28 Pyeongdae-ri, Gujwa-eup, Cheju, Jeju-do, South Korea
Phone: +82 64-783-0304