Hamyangjip Bibimbap

Area Codes was the most generous host during our visit to his hometown. On top of providing us top notch accommodations at his waterfront condo in the heart of Busan, he took time away from his busy work schedule to cart us around the city. We ate only the best Busan had to offer. If not for him, we surely would have been shit out of luck because Busan is hardly a tourist friendly city. Few if any of the restaurants I’ll be blogging about had English or picture menus. Ironically, Hamyangjip Bimbimbap was in Ulsan and actually had pictures but we still would have been lost without Area Codes.

Everyone’s introduction to Korean food almost certainly includes bimbimbap, a mixture of rice, vegetables, seaweed, and meat brought together by the essential Korean condiment, gochuchang. Hamyangjip specializes in raw beef, or yukke bimbimbap, and to my surprise, whale bimbimbap.
Some notable standout is included the agar soup. I’m always a little plus/minus on agar. The unusual texture and bland taste doesn’t always work for me. This one wasn’t bad.

I quite enjoyed this though I wouldn’t be able to tell you what was in it.
Yukke Bimbimbap 
I can’t say I’ve had the Korean version of yukke as often as I’ve had the Japanese version. I’m going to have to give it up to the Japanese. However, the offering here wasn’t bad. Perhaps it just wasn’t as flavorful. As far as bimbimbap is concerned, I prefer the kind in the stone bowls.
Whale Bimbimbap 
I’m going to have to give this one a thumbs down. Whale meat looks like very dark tuna. I suspect the color must be related to a large amount of oxidized blood.  The meat has an unpalatable old irony taste to it.
Bimbimbap isn’t my favorite Korean food, but the offering here was satisfying enough. Props for being unique with the raw beef and whale meat.  In addition to not tasting all that good, I don’t think I would want to eat whale for ethical reasons.  This restaurant has been churning out bimbimbap for 4 generations so there’s no doubt they’re doing things right at Hamyangjip Bimbimbap.
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 but there is a picture menu.

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