Haeundae Smokehouse

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Food to savor:

I eat out a lot, so when I do find a restaurant that I truly cherish, it gives me a sense of satisfaction that’s hard to match. I found one last night.

I had heard a lot about Haeundae Smokehouse, the restaurant just off the beach which has been generating a lot of buzz locally. It opened five months ago, about the same time I arrived in Busan. It was high time I checked it out.

The interior is tastefully done. Dark wood, warm lighting, and a bar stocked with top shelf booze makes for an appealing eyeful when you first enter. We were seated right away, and given a simple, concise menu to peruse. Having heard a number of recommendations from friends we ordered quickly, plumping for the Brisket (18,000 for 170g), some Mac N Cheese (6,000) Jalapeno coins (5,000) and a house salad. We were just about to top off our order with some Pulled Pork (15,000 for 150g) when a voice piped up at the table next to us. ‘I highly recommend the Pork Belly (15,000 for 150g) it said, ‘It’s new from us and it is awesome’. The voice turned out to belong to Yuni, the owner of the restaurant and a nice guy to boot. We took him at his word, and ordered the Pork Belly. We added some drinks, including a glass of my favourite IPA from Galmegi brewery (Website here), and sat back to await our food.

Whilst we were waiting Yuni told us a little bit about how the restaurant had begun, and his ethos and work ethic. He made a promise to a friend back home in Brooklyn, that he would always, ALWAYS produce the best BBQ he could, regardless of the time and effort it took. Inspiring stuff. After hearing his story, I couldn’t wait for the food to arrive.

When it did, it didn’t disappoint. Let’s start with the Brisket. Firm, charred flavoursome crust, check. Beautiful, melt-in-your-mouth tender meat, check. Feeling of sadness when we had eaten it all, check. It was superb, and I will be back to have it again. The pork belly was just as sublime. It was SO moist and tender that it was hard to get on the fork. The flavours were rich and meaty, and the accompanying sauces spot on. The smoky BBQ sauce especially was excellent.

The sides were also up to scratch. The house salad was fresh and crisp, and provided a nice juxtaposition with the richness of the meat. The Mac N Cheese was gooey and generous with the cheese with a satisfying crunch on top from the breadcrumbs. The only slight let down was the jalapeno coins. They were pretty good, but for me the batter they came in was just a little oily, and they weren’t seasoned generously enough. The cheddar cheese dip served with them was delicious however.

All told, the bill came to 57,000. A total which I’m absolutely happy to pay, given the exceptional quality of the food on offer, and the obvious care and effort that has gone into making it. As we were leaving, I complimented Yuni on the food, telling him it was excellent. His response, “I know. I only wanted to make the best BBQ, the best quality. That’s how it’s so good.’ The guy isn’t short on confidence, but with the quality of the fare he’s selling, he’s got every right to be proud.

Directions:

Haeundae Smokehouse is located on the ground floor the Pale de CZ building, at the east side of Haeundae beach. Walk along the promenaded until you see the Pale de CZ building, then begin to go under the entrance, the Smokehuse is on your immediate left, opposite Sam Ryans bar.

Address: 부산시 해운대구 해운대해변로298번길24 1층 1-8호.

Website: The website is under maintenance at the time of writing, but should be up shortly: (Website here)

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