Kimbabcheongug (Kim-bab-cheon-gug) is a local franchise, Korean-style restaurant that serves all kinds of easy-to-make food for affordable prices.
The menu is huge (at least 50 items can be selected!) and includes a variety of hot, cold, spicy, non-spicy, rice, noodle and soup-based dishes.
As the name already implies, the shop primarily sells Kimbab, the Korean-style rice roll, wrapped in sheets of dried seaweed and filled with a variety of vegetables and/or sauteed meat. The cheapest roll of Kimbab comes for 1,000 KRW and is usually called *nude Kimbab*.
Korean people mostly order a dish for each person and one or two rolls of Kimbab that is placed in the middle of the table and shared. Each dish can also be ordered as take-out.
Prices range from 1,000 KRW to around 5,000 KRW.
The picture shows the typical outlook of Kimbabcheongug. While walking through the streets of Seoul or Busan you will notice a couple of other chains that look very similar and sell exactly the same kind of food for identical prices. It's very popular among Koreans and foreigners (especially budget travelers) should give it a try.
The only hurdle might be the missing English menu. As mentioned in my Tourist Trap tip, I suggest to either learn a couple of Korean letters or simply point at pictures that usually line the walls. An experience you won't forget...!
Paradise Restaurant on Gwangalli Beach serves the freshest and best seafood I have tasted anywhere in the world. On the ground floor of the building is a small fish market, where you select your live seafood. You then take it up to the third floor restaurant, where it is prepared and served. The speciality is raw fish and live seafood. This includes nakji, live baby octopuses, which move around on the plate and offer quite a bit of resistance! With the seafood the traditional drink, as it is with most Korean meals, is soju.
From street level, Firenze looked like a cozy, candle-lit Italian bistro. In actuality it is a gaudy and sacharine attempt at a romantic atmosphere. Perhaps I shouldn't be so harsh right off the bat, because it did have a lot of private spaces. The service was mediocre at best and negligent at worst, but that was before Ciara and I discovered the function of the table buttons. This is for another tip, but at Korean restaurants there are often buttons to push to hail a waiter or waitress. We waited around for a long time before someone came to take our order, and although the restaurant was almost empty it was quite a while before our food arrived. I felt a mild irritation at us, perhaps because we couldn't speak the language.
Favorite Dish: I had pasta. It was okay.
When you arrive at Ganga's, it's like stepping into a colonial restaurant. The decor is amazing, and the great Indian music adds to the ambiance. The servers are friendly and attentive, and make you feel very welcome.
The selection on the menu is incredible: tandoori BBQ, curry, nen bread, soups and salads, it's all there. Everything we tried was spicy and delicious.
The only downer was the price. All the selections were quite expensive for a Korean restaurant. The prices won't be shocking if you're from the west, but we've been in Korea for a few months, and it seemed a bit steep to us!
Favorite Dish: We had the Ghost Vindaloo, which is a lamb curry dish... the curry was thick, spicy and delicious. Another really neat menu feature was the Butter boiled saffron rice. Just a little hint of saffron to give it that bitter raisin flavour... yummy.
Breakfast Buffet, now there's something you don't see everyday in Busan. Koreans don't eat the same style breakfast as Westerners. Most have kimchi and rice for breakfast: not exactly the same as pancakes and sausages. As a result of this, there aren't very many (read: only 1-2) places that serve Western style breakfast.
If you are really desperate for a Western breakfast, you can check out the Marriott hotel's buffet. They open the buffet sometime between 8-9 am, and it closes around 10:30. The food's not bad, they've got fresh fruit, cereal, hot dishes like pancakes, omlettes, sausages, etc.
Favorite Dish: I think the best thing was the scrambled eggs. There's something about someone else making eggs for you that makes them taste better.
One warning: when we went, the bacon wasn't that great. You might want to pass. Also, the sausages are very different than traditional breakfast sausages that you might be used to. They aren't as fatty, and are pretty thick.
floor seating, gas cooking...
you get a soup pot (size depends on the number of people eating)...it has green vegetables and broth in it. It boils...you put sliced pieces of beef in...when the beef is finished you put the noodles in the pot...when you've finished eating the noodles most of the broth is gone...then the rice is added (this is my FAVORITE part)...and you leave with a full belly...and it's cheap. SHABOO SHABOO is the name.
Red Mango isn't really about the ambiance, the service, or even the price. It's about the yogurt. That's right - YOGURT. Basically, the shops are ice cream parlours dedicated to yogurt. You can purchase cups or dishes of yogurt, and eat it plain or with fruit/nut/cereal toppings.
It is a little difficult to converse with the employees, so take a Korean friend, or learn how to order in Korean.
Favorite Dish: Um, yogurt. I can't describe to you how delicious it is.
Busan is experiencing a new wave of micro-breweries like what Australian and European cities experienced in the late 1980s. These make a welcome change to the dull Korean draught beer on tap which is really crap quality. Atmosphere however hasn't much improvement with generally uncomfortable kitsch saroundings and music you have to ask the management to "please turn down".
There is as it appears two varieties of beer available, going under various psuedo European names. But there comes a light / cloudy coloured and a dark malt coloured beer on tap. No fancy "Hemp Beers" or meads found here.
Favorite Dish: House Beer! These establishments all use similar equipment and have the same two varieties of house brew - light and dark. However the quality really varies from place to place as does the atmosphere.
"Charlies Brua Hus", is in a good Nampo-dong location, but has truely bad quality flat and sometimes warm brew reflecting the unprofessionalism of the place jumping onto the house-brew-bandwagon. While "Lee's Brew House", located near Hadan subway station on the main drag and upstairs, is not in a great location. However they have importantly put great care into their beer quality and have a hospitable service. See picture, one can view all the working equipment.
There are a number of other variable establishments in the Seomyeon area, centrally located and very busy of an evening.
Coffee houses are seldom visited in the morning time in Korea, as most people are busy at work. On weekends this applies also and even on a late Sunday morning, unlike the Italian tradition, they are quiet. Perhaps this gives rise to my obvious activity when having my morning coffee. Reading a book and drinking coffee is not always a comfortable activity in Busan. "Look at that foreigner, he's reading a book...and he's drinking coffee". This reaction to my customary habit had been noted more than once. I can't understand Korean yet, nor alot of the people either, but the idea of reading a book at a cafe is looked on as something a little odd! Reading in Korea is generally considered a study activity, so this is confined to the home or university.
In Busan I frequented the Yongdusan Hill establishment called "Say-jeng Tea House", since the closure of "Seattle's Best". This place boasts typically a take away coffee counter. However it is much more pleasant to sit on one of the plastic tables out the front or in side and enjoy the tranquility of the space. Good temple music is piped here.
Another excellent establishment is the "B & C Bakery", down stairs section in the corner at the window is best for peace of mind. Here they are fortunate enough to have a real barista working the espresso machine so quality coffee is made at a sensible price. Also the best quality bread and cakes in Busan are made at this professional establishment.
Please if you come to Busan start a "new" trend and do what I have done for a while - relax and read a book, over your coffee.
Favorite Dish: "Say-jeng Tea House", up the out door escaltor on Yongdusan Hill in Nampo-dong - cheap espresso coffee, ask for a real cup!
"B & C Bakery", on Nampo-dong Street opposite corner to KFC - excellent cappuccino and apple pie.
"Caffe Lungo", small modern establishment 100m up left hand side street when facing the entrance gates to PNU (Busan National University) - excellent espresso and iced fruit juices.
This is not really a restaurant tip so much as a food tip. In the summer time, Busan is HOT! The folks of this city of made an art out of staying cool, and one of their favorite methods is eating ice cream.
The last few days, since it has started getting really hot, I've noticed several vendors serving up foot high soft-serve ice cream cones! How fabulous. So far, I have only seen these vendors downtown, but I imagine that you can find them all over the city. I will keep my eyes peeled, and will update once I find out more: price, location, etc.
There are many restaurants that serve this delicious meal, BoKimBap. We have found two very reliable ones!
Get off at Jagalchi subway stn (#9, orange line). Take the Gukje Market exit. At the top of the stairs, follow the sidewalk to the first car-worthy street. Cross and take a left. The restaurant is the 4-5 building, quite large.
Go to the back of Lotte World Dept. Store. Facing away from Lotte, turn left and walk through the alley markets. The next block over is a major thoroughfare. Take the underground tunnel to cross under the street. On the other side of the street, turn right and head away from Lotte. Look for Judie's Taewah, a smaller dept. store. Turn left at the corner and walk for 2 blocks. Restaurant has a happy looking 3 ft. plaster chicken outside.
Favorite Dish: BoKimBap is chicken fried rice, as far as I can tell. You may want to ask for chicken to clarify. It consists of chicken, scallions, rice and a spicy sauce all fried together. The meal usually comes with the usual side of kimchi. It is really tasty! If you are not adept with chopsticks, no worries, no one will be offended if you use a spoon.
Buffet for Vegetarian:
Only Open 11:30~14:30 and 17:30~20:30
Price 8,000Won, about US$8.00
Tips: Restaurants for Vegetarian
1. SM ChaeSik HanSang [051-581-9993]
Located next to CheongSuTang(Public Bath), the opposite side of GeumJeongGu Office near Guseo Subway Station
2. JaYeonSaengWhoal ChaeSik Buffet [051-625-9289]
Located the 2nd Floor of certain building through Wayout No.1 of Daeyeon Subway Station
And branch is located at the 4th Floor of Goryo Building, opposite side of Busan District Court
3. JangSuChae SikDang [051-504-9934]
Located at the back entrance of the Public Prosecutor's Office, GeojeDong, YeonjeGu
Favorite Dish: BulGogi made of Bean. It's Great.
We visited this restaurant near our hotel (Pusan tourist hotel) and enjoyed an inexpensive and tasty Korean meal. Had a few inexpensive beers as well.
In Korea,you must eat grilled beaf!!
Once you ordered beaf,then various kinds of side dishes automatically as you see in this photo.