I love seafood and in Korea there’s plenty of variety throughout the year. Portions are huge with large tanks of live fish, shellfish, sea urchins and crabs on display on many streets outside the restaurants. Cooking your own shellfish is certainly fun too.
My local branch of the seafood franchise restaurant 바다사랑 (Sea Love) in Shinchon near Jamsil is a great place to go for seafood. The medium size set (modem or complete set) for 42,000 won gets you kijoe-gae (pen scallop), scallops, mussels cooked in a hot broth, oysters, and clams of various sizes and shapes.
Corkage is a polite asking if wine is ok then paying 5,000 for a beer. In Korea this is usually waived once you become a regular customer. It’s worth investing in a wine carry bag for 50,000won and proper glasses especially now the weather is getting better and picnic season is not far away.
Since the lovely Shin Kim, blogger, chef and food journalist from New York was in town, I decided to pull out a somewhat rare bottle from the cellar.
2009 Neudorf Nelson Chardonnay was brillant with elegance, intensity and lift. Peach, nectarine and subtle oak bouquet Subtle pepper and nuttiness on the finish, this wine is young and lively only revealing itself in the last few glasses. It would benefit from a gentle decant. Gorgeous creamy texture and elegance with a long sustained finish.
The kochujang chili sauce spice and scallions were a bit much for the elegance of the chardonnay. But the oysters, the oysters! Absolutely stunning pairing. Wonderful lift and harmony between the Chardonnay wine and grilled oysters.
Sadly Neudorf wines are not availiable in Korea. This bottle came via. Hong Kong and this Chardonnay is a very good excuse to visit the land of tax free wine!
However 2008 Kemeu River Estate Chardonnay is another beautiful wine from New Zealand that is in Korea. It goes for 110,000 retail at WineNara stores. (See our list of wine retailers) If you’re on a lower budget, the 2008 Hunter’s Chardonnay from Marlborough is reasonably priced at 65,000 at independent wine shops.
바다사랑 (Sea Love) is in Shinchon near Jamsil. shinchon, exit 3, turn left at McDonald’s then left onto the back street. Walk 100m and 바다사랑 is on your left. They open from 6pm-2am and it’s real casual. 바다사랑 신천 송파구 Ph 02 422 7138 Naver map link
By Joshua Hall