Busan is well-known for their beaches, thus it is only natural that we try the fresh seafood they serve there and which other place to try it at other than their famous Haeundae Market?
부산광역시 해운대구 중1동 1394-111
Since we lived at Hound Hotel at Gwang-an, we went to Haeundae Market via the Busan subway. The train ride from Geumnyeonsan to Haeundae is 7 stops and took about 14 minutes to reach. When we came out of the subway station, we saw a cute shop filled with dogs’ clothings and Vivian went to buy some clothes for her dog, pancake. I could not buy for Xiao Ding Dang or Xiao Bing Bing as they are considered medium to big sized dogs and Koreans usually only keep small dogs, thus the dog shops only catered clothes meant for small dogs. After browsing around the shop, we had to walk for about 10-15 minutes before arriving at Haeundae market.
At Haeundae market, you are able to see seafood of all sorts and some of which, you will not be able to recognize. Consuming live seafood is a norm in Korea, especially at Busan and the most common live seafood to have is the live octopus and live eel. I have to admit that although I am a foodie and I have eaten cricket pizza before, I am still scared of eating live octopus as I almost choke on cooked octopus last April since the texture does not suit my palate.
After looking through the various seafood restaurants, we decided to settle at 섬진강식당. The Korean server is very friendly and tries her best to explain to us in English although it is not her best language. Even though the weather was quite cold because Busan is surrounded by the waters and it was spring, we had our lunch outdoors. Since both the BFF and I are sashimi lovers, we had to get the medium sized assorted sashimi for 50,000 won (USD$47.34 / SGD$62.75 / CAD$58.93). The restaurants at the market has such diverse types of seafood that their menu has choices if you would like the assorted sashimi that is raised by humans or naturally grown but of course the price range differs as well. Assorted sashimi raised by human / 양식 모듬회 costs 40,000-80,000 won and assorted sashimi grown naturally / 자연산 모듬회 costs 60,000-100,000 won. Perhaps my dad and grandma will be more particular of this but since we were not, we just got the assorted sashimi raised by human. We also got a bowl of abalone porridge / 전복죽 for 15,000 won (USD$14.21 / SGD$18.83 / CAD$17.68) to share since it was quite breezy outside.
Vivian commented that it is the best porridge she ever had and kept craving for it when we left Korea. I enjoyed the huge lunch spread we had as well, especially since we were always served with an abundance of side dishes at Busan. If you take a look at the last picture, those dishes were only the side dishes, mind you! We were shocked that the side dishes took most of the table and some of which, we have never seen before! I showed the picture to my Korean friend from Seoul and he did not know the names of some of the side dishes too. The entire meal was gratifying and the sashimi was very fresh! I love how abalones are readily available and not very overpriced like Singapore as well!
Overall, we had a great time at the restaurant since we could people watch and had great conversations over a delicious spread! There were some Korean guides bringing a group of students from Laos or Cambodia and they were so nice to take pictures of us and talk to us a little as well. It was amazing to hear the Laos or Cambodians speaking in Korean too!
Opens 24/7 daily (Uncertain)
Nearest Station: Exit 3 from Haeundae Station via Busan Subway Line 2
If I have a chance to explore Busan, I would try having their specialty local food at other markets as well! It was such a pity that we were too full from lunch and did not managed to taste hotteok since it is one of Busan’s specialized snacks and could be found at many stalls in Haeundae Market. 2D1N at Busan is definitely not enough and you need more than a week the explore this lovely and breezy city!
Busan is no stranger to Koreans as it is the second most populated city in Korea. Everyone who went to Busan before would probably know that they are famous for their beaches and seafood. When the BFF and I were there last April, she researched on the cafes to go to at Busan and after we saw the intricate architecture of Waveon Coffee residing by the sea, we knew that we had to head there no matter how far it was and so we did!
286, Haemaji-ro, Wollae-ri, Jangan-eup,
Gijang-gun Busan, South Korea 46037
Just look at the pictures above and be at awe at the day and night versions of Waveon Coffee! Located on a hill top overlooking the coast of Gijang, Waveon Coffee is designed using angular concrete blocks stacked on top of one another in order to optimize the sea views from within the cafe itself. Since coffee is one of the key items served at this cafe as symbolized by the cafe’s name, Waveon Coffee has it’s own roastery right beside it.
Once you enter the cafe, you will be able to see stairs leading to the second floor, which house more stone-flooring seating areas lined with glazing as with the first floor. During the early summer, having a cup of coffee at the decked rooftop terrace would be lovely! You can head up even higher from the deck rooftop to the top of the building so as to have a 360 degrees view of the sea!
We ordered two cups of beverages for 15,000 won (USD$14.13 / SGD$18.73 / CAD$17.53). Actually, we intended to purchase their delicious looking strawberry swiss rolls but because we arrived in the late afternoon, it was sold out. It is such a pity, really! Although there were nothing we could eat there, the times spent there was great as outside the cafe lies seats in the form of chairs, benches and cushions placed on stepped wooden platforms for customers to enjoy the breeze while sipping onto their coffee. In Korean terms, pyeong sang 평상 is the word used for describing these platforms since traditionally, outdoor decks will be used for small gatherings such as drinking tea. Pine trees are also scattered around the cafes to provide a more cozy ambiance since the outdoor deck would be used if the weather is not very cold. The surroundings, ambiance, structure and culture of Waveon Coffee is evident to it’s motto to “Relax, on the wave / 바다, 그리고 파도 위의 휴식”. Thus, you will be able to forget your problems while relaxing at the nicest cafe of the most rural area of Busan.
I would say commuting here from Haeundae is quite tough as you have to walk about 20 minutes to Bujeon Station and take the train to Wallen Station before walking another 11 minutes to Waveon Coffee. Since it was so tedious, the BFF and I decided to take taxi back and forth. The cost of the taxi to Waveon Coffee was 27,900 won (USD$26.27 / SGD$34.85 / CAD$32.59) and back to our hotel was 30,000 won (USD$28.25 / SGD$37.47 / CAD$35.04). If I have the chance to, I will try taking public transport the next time I head to Waveon Coffee.
Opens daily from 11:00am to 12:00am
Nearest Station: Wallen Station
Vivian slurp each time she drinks her cold strawberry flavoured beverage but I, on the other hand, found my hot chocolate to be average. It is only used to keep me warm from the strong winds and breeze. If only we could taste their in house desserts but I guess there is always a next time? The diverse and spectacular view of the seas surrounding Gijang made up for our loss though!