It's my third time having grilled eel (장어구이) in Busan. Busan is well known for abundant seafood and especially famous with Eel. Don't miss to taste the fresh eel if you visit Busan. Eel is widely known as a stamina booster among Korean as eel contains the essential amino acids lysine and arginine, which help vitalize the body.
This time, we had grilled eel at ManiJu (마니주) - one of the matjib located at the end of Gwanganli beach, nearby Millak Waterside Park.
ManiJu is located at first floor and have a a good view of Gwangan-Daekyo (Gwangan Bridge) along the coastline. We arrived the restaurant right on time when the restaurant start their dinner operation hour. Mom in law told me that soon the hall will be full house especially on the weekend.
The window view at our table. We can see Gwangan-Daekyo (Gwangan Diamond Bridge) and Millak Raw Fish Town and Millak Waterside Park clearly from the window.
On the ground seafood markets can be seen everywhere. You probably only heard about Jagalchi Market since it is a famous tourist area. In fact, Millak Dong is Korea’s largest raw fish district with large scale raw fish centers e.g.: Millak Raw Fish Town, Gwangan Fish and Shellfish Market, Raw Fish Market, Sealand Raw Fish Center and Millennium Raw Fish Center. Fresh seafood are selling with cheaper price than Jagalchi Market.
Busan citizens will come to Millak Dong to buy fresh fish at the seafood market, and brings it to a nearby restaurant and ask for the fish to sliced as raw fish dish while the remains (fish head, fish bone and tail) often will be boiled as maeuntang (Spicy fish stew) at a reasonable price.
The menu on the wall. ManiJu Grilled / BBQ menu has 장어구이 Grilled Eel , 꼼장어 Grilled Hagfish and 조개구이 Grilled Shellfish. Besides grilled, there are also raw fish menu for 광어회 flatfish raw fish slice, 세꼬시 unboned raw fish slice, 전복회 abalone raw slice and 아나고희 Conger eel raw fish slice. They also have assorted / combo menu for 장꼼이 (Grilled Eel + Hagfish) and 장어모듬 (Grilled eel + eel raw fish slice).
Live Octopus Sashimi 산낙지 한접시 (Sannakji hanjobsi) is available in ManiJu too. Live octopus (small octopus) that has been cut into small pieces while still alive and served immediately with lightly seasoned with sesame and sesame oil. And off course, the cut nakji pieces are usually still squirming on the plate when served. Same goes to fresh eel or hag fish after skinned and served before grilled, some of it might still moving or wriggling.
We have grilled eel 장어구이 as our dinner. The side dishes served are 메추리알 장조림 Quail Egg Jorim and 찜 고구마 steamed sweet potato. Served along on the table are greens for wrap (lettuce and perilla leaf), seasoned chives, onions pickle, raw garlic, ssamjang, soya sauce and special red sauce for the grilled eel.
It's rare to see such a large charcoals use for barbecue. Normally what were use for barbecue were smaller piece charcoal than this or briquette (coal).
Dip the grilled eel with the red marinate sauce and place it on the aluminium foil at the corner, let it sit for a while (less than 1 minute) to allow the eel absorb the sauce completely, then it is ready to eat! The aluminium foil is often set on the side where the charcoal fire is less heat. We also place the garlic slice on top of the aluminium foil to grill it for better taste.
I love to eat the grilled eel wrap with a piece of lettuce, perilla leaf, some seasoned chives, roasted garlic, onion pickle with a small dap of ssamjang. Yummy! My father in law like to eat the grilled eel without the red sauce, just dip with some soya sauce. I found it smell slightly fishy without the sauce. So if you are first timer, recommend you go with red sauce first where the taste is more acceptable.
The main hall is full house during dinner time peak hour. Main hall is suitable for adults with no children. There are another separate area at the back with long tables (sitting on the floor type) suitable for many family members with children like us.
READ HERE for Millak Waterside Park.
ManiJu Grilled Eel (Restaurant) | 마니주 장어구이
Address: 110-22, Millak Dong, Gwanganli, Suyeong-gu, Busan
광안리 · 부산광역시 수영구 민락동 110-22