When it comes to island life and cuisine, seafood naturally comes to mind. Whether at high-end restaurants and special occasions — or just the everyday dinners served in Jeju homes — chances are that locally sourced marine products are at the heart of the meal.
For visitors to Jeju who hail from inland areas, there’s something special about enjoying a seafood meal within sight (and sometimes the smell) of the ocean. And as you might expect, there are hundreds of restaurants (and cafés) that line the Jeju coast and cater precisely to these lucky individuals.
How, then, do Jeju proprietors differentiate their restaurants in the face of all this competition?
One such seafood restaurant in the trendy restaurant/café area at Aewol-eup, west of Jeju City, has come up with a rather unique Jeju-style solution – and the photos from the meal say it all.
The reservation-only seafood restaurant Red Jeju (붉은제주) serves a main menu platter of seafood lettuce wraps in three sizes (serving between two and four people).
The iron skillet is quaintly shaped like Jeju Island, as is the volcanic cone shaped dome on which right in front of your eyes a shellfish appetizer is flamboyantly seared with the flame of a chef’s torch.
Did you know? In 2014, Jeju’s fisheries caught about 78,600 metric tons, or about 680 billion won, worth of fish, crustaceans, shellfish, seaweed, etc.
After the show, the meal consists of making lettuce wraps of seafood, vegetables and Jeju black pork. Mixing and matching to taste is a strength of Korean cuisine, so don’t be shy and chose freely.
We found the ingredients to be fresh and the “show” certainly a nice talking point and good opportunity for memorable photos and video. It’s pricey (running between 65,000 and 105,000 won), but definitely worth a try.
How to get there: From Jeju Intercity Bus Terminal buses 966, 950 and 702 all stop at the Handam-dong bus stop, which is more or less right at the restaurant’s door. Please remember that the restaurant only takes customers who have made reservations, so call well ahead of time (064-744-9123).
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