Cycle 13 – Item 93
8 (Fri) April 2022
at Haeundae Mil Myeon
-Jung, Haeundae, Busan, Gyeongsangbuk, Republic of Korea-
with the Family
Spring Break Holiday in Busan (Day 2)
In Busan. My first time ever. Our first family trip in 2 years and 5 months (previously to UAE in 2019 (see 10.301 Fish Harra)).
I did zero restaurant research for the trip, leaving everything up to W.
Haeundae Mil Myeon is a Korean restaurant. Specializes in mil myeon. Established 1995.
One of two items on my food request list for the trip was mil myeon While mul naeng myeon is my favorite dish, I had never tried its southern counterpart.
W’s 1-minute phone research on the way into the city returned Haeundae Mil Myeon as a reliable venue, favored by locals.
Mil Myeon is a Korean dish. Essentially the same thing as mul naeng myeon, the key difference in the noodles: while the name of the dish is usually translated into English as “wheat (mil) noodles (myeon),” the noodles are actually made from refined wheat flour (standard cooking flour is called “mil (wheat) + garu (powder)”), plus potato starch, resulting in white noodles, in contrast to the darker buckwheat noodles found in MNM. The broth is derived from pork. Busan’s signature dish.
The noodles were developed in Busan during the Korean War, when refugees fleeing the North were pushed to the southern end of the peninsula. To make MNM, buckwheat was scarce, so a new-fangled noodle was developed from flour provided by UN humanitarian support.
Pretty good. The broth was on the tangy side, with a dollop of a garlicky gochujang-based sauce for kick. The noodles were pleasantly light in flavor, pleasantly chewy in texture, somewhere between the rubberiness of Hamheung-style and the mealiness of Pyongyang-style. A fine lunch dish, especially on a balmy spring afternoon near the beach.
Busan Metropolitan City is Korea’s 2nd biggest urban center. Population around 3.6 million, about 1/3 of Seoul.
Haeundae-gu is a district in northeast Busan. It became a part of the city only in 1976, undergoing rapid development during the 1980s. Nowadays, Haeundae represents the modern glitz and glam of Busan, akin to Gangnam in Seoul. The district includes Haeunda Beach, one of Korea’s most famous beaches, certainly Busan’s most popular tourist destination.
Goraesa is a Korean restaurant chain. Specializes in eomuk. Established 1963, according to the sign (I doubt it).
The other item on my food request list was Busan odeng.
Another 1-minute phone search by W returned Goraesa as the go-to venue, especially for tourists.
I was disappointed to find that the fish cakes were overly fancy.
The original destination for dinner had been a restaurant specializing in galbi. On arrival, the waiting list had 107 parties ahead of us (remarkable that 171 parties would be willing to wait). Estimated waiting time of 2 hours (remarkable that 107 parties could be served in 2 hours). Though somewhat tempted to see if the food would be worth the wait – my hot take is that Busan doesn’t have a lot of good BBQ restaurants, so the yokels are insane about this one – we declined.
Instead, we went to a restaurant serving dweji gukbab, another beloved dish in Busan. I won’t bother to explain.
(See also GLOBAL FOOD GLOSSARY)
(See also RESTAURANTS IN KOREA)