Mention “Soo-Min-Yee-Nae” to any Busan local and they’ll be sure to nod their heads in agreement that it’s hands down the freshest seafood restaurant in the city. 수민이네 or Sumininae is a famous local restaurant that specialises in grilled eel and clams with onions and cheese. Busan’s best kept secret nestled in a small fishing village located away from the Haeundae beach crowd, Cheongsapo, the restaurant has been featured on “VJ Special Forces”, a popular Korean restaurant review programme. Needless to say, I told myself that it’s a must to visit this local gem!
1. Getting There
The best way to get to Sumininae is by taxi. Simply tell the taxi ahjusshi to bring you to “Soo-min-yee-nae” and he’ll get it. If not, flashing the name 수민이네 works just as fine. In my case, I took a cab from Haeundae beach which costs less than 10,000 won for a 12-minute drive. For those of you who are more adventurous, you can also alight at the nearest subway station Jangsan (Busan Metro line 2), take Bus 2 till the last stop and walk for about 5 minutes. Trust me, taking the taxi would be much easier as the road is pretty steep and remote with little street light at night (Yes, I wanted to save on transport and walked up several hills at 9pm which I regretted).
Upon arrival, you’ll know you’re at the right place when a big orange signboard with the words 수민이네 welcomes you. Also, the green chairs and metal table reflects how a no-frills local Korean restaurant looks like. Oh and if you’re heading there during Summer, don’t worry about the heat as air conditioning is provided.
You’ll also be able to spot a ton of eels swimming around in a tank just outside the restaurant.
2. Foood! (the best part)
The entire menu speaks Korean but we’ve kindly added in English translations so you can save the hassle of Google translating it (You can thank us later by sharing this with your friends ;)). Because there were two of us, we ordered 2 eels, a mixed shellfish platter for 2, ramyeon and a dolsotbap (Stone pot rice). An english-speaking Korean local spoke to us and insisted we get the dolsotbap. But do allow 40 minutes for it to be served so meanwhile, enjoy grilling your eel. Also, you’ll be entitled to free flow sides that include lettuce, shiso, garlic, carrots and green chilli. Very typical for a Korean BBQ restaurant.
Fresh and delicious
We got too excited to dig in so I only managed to snap a few shots of the seafood. My bad! Here are some freshly sliced eels over a traditional charcoal grill and this picture definitely doesn’t do justice to its taste. The eel was grilled to perfection (a waiter helped us) and the meat was so succulent the flavour literally exploded in my mouth. Aye, I wish I could have another bite of it right now.. What’s more, they make an awesome combination with the Gochujang (red chilli paste) that’s served together with it. Wrap it all up with some rice, grilled garlic and lettuce and you’re good to go!
Here’s a snippet of what you can expect during your trip down to seafood paradise. Pardon me for the basic commentary skills, I was simply too hungry and had my eyes fixed on the grilled eels.
Now here comes the mixed shellfish platter which includes fresh enoki, abalone, scallops, clams and….giant clams??
Yes. These clams were really huge! Just take a look at how the size of the enoki pales in comparison. I had qualms trying them out because the ones I had along Myeongdong street didn’t live up to my expectations. But boy to my surprise, these giant babies tasted so good! The meat was extremely tender, not rubbery at all, and did not reek of any odour. The platter also came with raw onions and cheese cubes in an aluminium foil where you can grill them together with the shellfish. The best part? It only costs 30,000 won (approx. SGD35) for the entire platter for two. Definitely the icing on a cake.
Pro Tip: The charcoal grill is really hot so be sure that your seafood does not stay too long over the grill if not don’t blame us when it gets rubbery 😉
3. A Breathtaking View
The great seafood meal also comes with a (free) view of the beautiful Sea of Japan. To avoid the crowd, we had an early dinner at about 4.30pm and headed over to the jetty that’s just ahead. Sit along these breakwaters and you’re just in time to admire the changing hues of the sky as the sun sets.
The stroll along the jetty was somewhat therapeutic as you see families spending time together and local fishermen reeling in their fresh catch for the day. We guess that Sumininae’s seafood was probably reeled in from this mini fishing port which explains it’s freshness.
Not forgetting the gram, the picturesque lighthouse is indeed a tried and tested location to document your day by snapping a picture or two. Here’s one from us. 😉
Now if you’re seeking a localised experience, away from the typical tourists traps, Sumininae (수민이네) is definitely worth a visit. It was so good that we went back again within a span of three days. Share with us your experiences at Sumininae in the comments below and remember to spread the love by sharing this article to your friends and family!
Address: Sumininae (수민이네)
595-4 Jung 2(i)-dong, Haeundae-gu, Busan, South Korea
부산광역시 해운대구 중2동 595-4