Located next to Toyoko Inn and in front of Prugio City around the Pale de CZ in Haeundae, Namdo offers tasty Jeolla-do cuisine from ingredients to recipes at relatively reasonable prices.
In November 2016, the owner/chef Jeong, who is from Jeolla-do, ventured to branch out with a new offering in Busan with the same name after a successful seven years in Ulsan.
Upon entering, their friendly, uniformed staff let us choose from western style tables with chairs or Korean-style tables sitting on the floor in rooms. We chose the Korean-style table for more comfort and private dining, which has a hole under the table for your legs to sit comfortably so it was almost the same as sitting on a chair. There is a also service button on every table, which you can use to call for order or refill.
We wanted to try the lunch course, which was 15,000 won per person, the most basic one, but after their explanation, we decided to try a little fancier course, the Namdo Hansang for 23,000 won per person.
Starting with sunghyung, a traditional Korean infused drink made from boiled, scorched rice, the course started out with small servings of various side dishes to sample, including those in the two photos above, and then the main course in the lead photo.
All of the dishes were fresh and homemade and the doenjang-jjigae was exceptional; I could taste the deep flavor of the carefully made and fermented doenjang, or homemade bean paste. They also served gat kimchi (mustard leaf kimchi), a specialty from Jeolla-do.
The bulgogi in the photo above was a bit salty but the meat was very soft and it went great with rice.
The six course meals to choose from range in prices from 15,000 won to 70,000 won and it is necessary to be ordered at least for two people. And, depending on the course, you can enjoy many different kinds of authentic Jeolla-do specialties such as ganjang-gejang (soy sauce marinated crab, and yeonpotang (Jeolla-namdo style stew with small octopus).
Korean alcohol is available at prices starting from 2,000 won up to 30,000 won, and anju (side dishes for drinking) from 20,000 to 120,000 won including pajeon and hongeo-samhap (fermented thornback and boiled samgyeopsal with aged kimchi).
According to the owner/chef, dishes are a bit more compromised than pure Jeolla-do style since they do not yet have enough regulars, but they will shift more towards a true authentic taste with time.
Reservations are recommended for bigger groups. Parking is free for one hour at the Haeun Oncheon parking lot (해운온천 주차장) on the other side of the restaurant building.
Namdo Hanjeongsik (남도 한정식)
Open: 11:30 – 21:30 daily (last order: 20:00)
(except Sundays, need to check for Seollal and Chuseok holidays)
Address: 4F, Dalmaji-gil 16-16, Haeundae-gu, Busan