Must try eel at Somunnan Chamsutbul in Namcheon-dong, Busan
As with many traditional seafood restaurants in the country, the exterior of Somunnan Chamsutbut may not exude any sort of particular wonder, but inside, tastes and smells abound of various kinds of eel.
Run by a middle-aged couple, the husband prepares eel and fish right after the order while the wife mans the kitchen, including a wide variety of kimchi.
We first ordered pike eel, which price varies from 35,000 won to 80,000 won depending size and seasoned or not. The freshly prepared pike eel, with red chunks which still look alive, may be disturbing, but the simultaneously crunchy, yet tender pieces of eel exude freshness. While even the uninitiated might not choose eel as their first choice for dinner, the health benefits include a great assortment of vitamins and minerals and helps with digestion and metabolism.
We next ordered normal eel, which I like more than pike eel because its look and texture is relatively closer to fish. You can enjoy it with two kinds of sauce; ganjang with ginger julienne and gochujang.
Raw eel is also served during summer for 50,000 won to 100,000 won. Eel soup with rice and side dishes is for 7,000 won.
Eel is considered as highly healthy food and is a popular dish, especially in summer in Korea for different reasons. Eel is known to be rich in protein, vitamin A, B, E, and lecithin, and good for eyesight, skin, and stamina with many more benefits.
Korean soju or beer is served for 4,000 won, and Korean wines made with mulberry, black berry or plum are from 6,000 won to 12,000 won.
Reservations are recommended so that they can prepare fresh ingredients ready for you. It gets really busy during dinner time, especially for summer.
Somunnan Chamsutbul (소문난 참숯불)
Open: 14:00 – 24:00 daily
Address: Namcheonbada-ro 19, Suyeong-gu, Busan
Parking: Not available