We've come to the last part of the Jeju Island trip. It was time to go home (read: HKUST), but before that, a simple lunch before the flight would be great, I thought. Not surprisingly, Jeju International Airport is one of the busiest airports in South Korea. Oh, did you know that it was originally established in 1942 as a military facility, and then re-opened in 1968 as an international airport?
Since I only had slightly more than an hour before boarding, dropping by a restaurant wasn't a viable option. Thankfully, I spotted a cafeteria which serves mostly, if not all, Korean dishes. Pika's advice: Grab a seat and wait for the electronic queue gadget given to you upon payment vibrate, then look for the stall displaying your queue number to get your food.
Kimchi Fried Rice Set (김치 볶음밥) ₩7,000 (~S$7.65)
I love the overall colours of the food in the picture! While I understand that it's a common practice to use leftover rice to make fried rice (to me, using your usual cooked rice to make one won't give the right consistency), it's pretty interesting to know that over-ripened kimchi (Korean dish made of fermented cabbages) is preferred to make this popular South Korean variety of fried rice.
Kimchi - Taste: 7.5/10
Spinach - Taste: 7/10
Fish Cake - Taste: 8/10
The cabbage was pretty crunchy, garlicky and a tad spicy. The lightly parboiled spinach with garlic, sesame oil and soy sauce was pretty tasty, but the spinach was a bit too soft for my liking. The fish cake had a nice consistency akin to that of squid balls with the right degree of sweetness.
Miso Soup (미소 스프)
With a few strips of beancurd skin thrown into the boul, the miso (Japanese fermented rice, barley and/or soybean) soup I tried the other day tasted slightly different from the Japanese version. It wasn't bursting with flavours for sure; in fact, it tasted too mild. I guess it was the beancurd skin which gave it a different fragrance.
Kimchi Fried Rice (김치 볶음밥)
The fried rice cooked with ham and scallions wasn't exactly spicy, but it was sweet and only mildly salty. I believe a bit more salt would balance the flavour further. The rice itself was pretty fluffy, but I wish the yolk of the fried egg could be runny.
Sizzling Stone Pot Bibimbap Set (돌솥 비빔밥) ₩8,000 (~S$8.75)
That was another round of the mixed rice before leaving the island, as if I hadn't had enough of it haha... The side dishes and the soup served along were the same as the above set.
Sizzling Stone Pot Bibimbap (돌솥 비빔밥)
The meat-free mixed rice had a few variety of ingredients in it, such as spinach leaves, julienned carrots, cucumber slices, egg strips and shredded seaweed. When everything was mixed together with the moderately salty and spicy red pepper paste, gochujang (고추장), the sweet egg strips managed to balance the taste of the dish. The rice was acceptably fluffy as well.
Once again, I have to thank Mr. Park big time for offering a free ride to the airport in his private car. Oh, just in case you're wondering why I haven't reviewed any hotel breakfast, I actually couldn't find hotels offering buffet breakfast during my trip. In fact, I ate instant noodles every morning (not healthy, I know), but I was glad I could taste quite a few varieties which can only be found in South Korea itself. The 4D3N trip without any tour guide was a bit challenging, but I had lots of fun. There are still many interesting places I'd love to visit one day. See you again next time, Jeju-do! :)
Food Cafeteria @ Jeju Airport
4/F Jeju International Airport
(Daily: 6.30am - 9.00pm)
*Prices quoted are nett prices.
Have a nice meal,