Hamdeok Seobong Beach is one of the island’s most popular beaches, but this restaurant is located just off to the side. The ingredients for its dishes are sourced from the ocean in front of Hamdeok.
How can I be so sure about that?
The reason is the women divers (haenyo) go right into the water and bring their catch back to this restaurant where other women divers prepare the final dishes.
The food is so fresh.
Plus there is no merchant middle-man meaning prices are lower too.
I tried the sea urchin and seashell porridge. The portion was huge. However, it was so delicious you end up feeling like you didn’t eat much as all.
You can see the octopus in this photograph which was recently caught. It is cooked in boiling water and is good to taste along with chojang, which is a red chili pepper sauce.
As I said before the restaurant is not right next to the busy beach. It is found in Hamdeok Port where the local boats moor up. From the main beach follow the coastal road for two to three minutes in a westerly direction. You need to be on the coastal road, because the interior highway does not swing by this way.
The restaurant’s name borrows from the Jeju dialect for women diver. ‘Jamnyeo’ is the local word for them.
These are big octopi.
There are 22 women divers in the Hamdeok association. They made five different teams. They catch, cook, and serve. Remember they are not professional chefs, but they do pass on a true sense of home-made cooking. The youngest is 53 and the oldest is 79.
Just watch out. Due to working under water for long periods the pressure has affected their hearing. They do like to shout at other while cooking.
This is sea urchin. It was frozen after the women divers caught it yet the scent is still alive.
After defrosting you should eat with seaweed. The dish is recommended at the restaurant, but curiously, not on the menu. So be sure to ask.
This is the sea urchin noodles.
Now we see the sea urchin and seashell porridge which is the bestselling dish.
Another dish called Gunso is only available from spring to July. The taste is excellent.
In this fish tank we see sea life from the Hamdeok ocean. It is not transported from anywhere else and it is the freshest and best quality.
Address: Jeju-si, Jocheon-eup, Hamdeok-ri, 3150-2 (New Address: Johamhaean-ro 410)
Holiday: Closed only during Chuseok (Korean Thanksgiving) and Seollal (Lunar New Year)
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