Let's continue with our Jeju Island trip! I spent almost the whole day to trek at Hallasan, a shield volcano which happens to be the highest mountain in South Korea. With Pikachu and Melon sleeping in my bag, too exhausted to look around for a nice restaurant, I decided to have a quick dinner at the Food Hall in E-Mart after shopping for snacks and stuff.
Oh, I only ate a cup of instant noodle for lunch at the Witsae-oreum shelter at Hallasan. Anyway, bibimbap (비빔밥), which literally means 'mixed rice', was my choice for the day. Well, as I said, it was the biggest one I've seen so far, but I have to admit that it's actually meant to be shared with another person haha...
Bulgogi / Octopus Rice Bowl Set - 2 Servings (불고기 / 낙지덮밥 - 2인분) ₩12,500 (~S$13.65)
The portion wasn't as big for two people as I'd expected it to be, but not bad, eh? I didn't mind that day because I'd bought lots of nice stuff to be eaten once I got back to the hotel. Anyway, let's take a look at the individual items one by one.
Miso Soup (미소 스프) (Set Menu)
I found that the Korean miso (Japanese fermented rice, barley and/or soybean) soup served wasn't that different from the Japanese version, although it was actually my first time having it with clams and cucumber slices, in addition to tofu. It was only slightly salty and the clams didn't make it taste fishy.
Bulgogi / Octopus Rice Bowl (불고기 / 낙지덮밥) (Set Menu)
The rice had a combination of bulgogi (불고기) - barbecued marinated beef in this case and nakji bokkeum (낙지볶음) - stir-fried baby octopus marinated with red pepper paste known as gochujang (고추장), topped with gim (김) (lit. seaweed). The beef was pretty tender and sweet, while the octopus was slightly spicy, savoury and not overly chewy. In my opinion, the rice was a bit overcooked, but it by no means severely reduced the enjoyment of gobbling down the dish. Pika's advice: Before stirring all of them together, do try to taste the beef and the octopus separately before the flavours get mixed up.
Kimchi (김치) (Set Menu)
It was a decent one, I guess: garlicky, slightly spicy, but perhaps it was a tad salty to be eaten on its own.
When I got back to the hotel, the very friendly hotel owner gave me two sweet hallabong (한라봉), what someone says to be 'funky-looking oranges' with the protruding bump on top of it. Not surprisingly, these oranges are named after Hallasan, where they're primarily grown. Terima kasih banyak (lit. 'thank you very much'), Mr. Park! Yes, he can speak Bahasa haha... I hope he'll see this post one day! :)
Food Hall @ E-Mart Jeju
1259 Samdo 2(i)-dong
2/F E-Mart Jeju
(Daily: 10.00am - 11.00pm)
*Prices quoted are nett prices.
Have a nice meal,