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Donghae Blowfish Restaurant

ark Yoon-ha opened his own restaurant at Sanggye-dong, Seoul a decade ago because he really enjoyed eating and preparing blowfish dishes. Prior to starting his own business, Park traveled around the country seeking places that were good at making dishes using the balloon-shaped fish. Park and his wife both earned certificates to cook blowfish and launched their store the Donghae Bokjib (Tel: 930-5400) by Jugong Apartment block number three near Nowon subway station in the northern part of the capital. The couple proudly says they can offer the best taste of blowfish in Korea.

The actual difference comes from the effort the Parks put in their food. Most restaurants use imported frozen blowfish, but Donghae Bokjib insists on only buying yellow puffers caught in seas off Jeju Island. The vegetables and peppers they use are grown on contract at a farm in Gangwon Province.

A spicy hot stew of blowfish, "Maeuntang," is seasoned with red pepper and costs W18,000. The reason Park uses sliced red pepper instead of ground red pepper powder is to make the soup clearer. The Shabushabu costs W54,000 but is enough for two people to enjoy a full meal and recollect the taste of the soup with delight for a long time after.

There are 80 seats and business is open throughout the year without holidays. There is also a second branch in Bundang (Tel: 031-704-6666).

(Oh Tae-jin, tjoh@chosun.com)

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