I’ve always considered myself to be fairly experienced when it comes to Korean cuisine, considering I am not Korean nor do I have many Korean influences in my life (i.e. Korean friends, etc). My trip to South Korea proved me to be quite the noob. I tried so many different Korean dishes I never even knew existed. I delighted in the great diversity and deliciousness of Busan’s seafood oriented cuisine. My visit to Busan was full of many “firsts,” Korean style sashimi, or hwe included. Hwe is comprised mainly of raw white fish. Sam Sam is not your typical hwe place, being a little more clean and upscale than most. It is just a stone’s throw away from Haeundae Beach, Busan’s and maybe Korea’s most famous beach.
I’ll refrain from too much commentary on the banchan since it’s pretty standard at every meal. I would note that Korean sesame leaf or “kkaennip” is served more commonly here than I’ve typically experienced in Korean American restaurants. I do not enjoy kkaennip too much, but still found the salad (a mix of lettuce, cabbage, and kkaennip) a nice accompaniment to the sashimi. The kimchi was notably salty from some sort of seafood essence, which I found distinct. Maybe it contained more oysters or fish sauce than usual.
The Annoyer praised the addition of these little sushi rice balls to the meal, not being a typical accompaniment at hwe restaurants. I liked the added variety.
Hwe halibut, red sea bream, sea bass
Our trio of fishes were all fairly similar in taste being very clean and fresh. Texturally, they are much chewier than other sashimi I’ve eaten in Japanese restaurants. I am not sure if it’s particular to the fish or just the style of hwe in Korea. For that reason, I can’t say I love hwe, but I can appreciate it. I enjoyed the fish in various combinations of sauces, with/without salad, with/without rice, or wrapped in a leaf of lettuce, and sometimes rounded out by a bite of radish or cabbage kimchi in between bites.
We finished off the meal with this soul warming fish soup. This non spicy version had a hearty amount of fish and unavoidable fish bones. Eaten carefully, it served as a strong finish to a what The Annoyer felt was one of his favorite meals in Busan.
My opinions should probably be taken with a grain of salt given my inexperience with hwe, but I would recommend this place. It was bright and clean. The fish was fresh. The accompaniments were balancing. The Annoyer and Segway Everywhere enthusiastically enjoyed the meal here.
10 – You NEED to eat here
9 – Awesome
8 – Very good*
7 – Good
6 – OK
5 – Average
4 – Not bad
3 – Not good
2 – Terrible
1 – Do NOT eat here
*Not likely friendly to tourists. Not exactly sure how much English is spoken and there is no English or picture menu.