Updated: May 8
Jeju Island lies in the Korean Strait, south of the Korean Peninsula, where it is famous for the stone statues called Dol Hareubangs. Jeju Island is also rich in agriculture and deep-sea fisheries.
In the wake of the K-Pop and K-Drama craze, Korean food has become popular worldwide. Tteokbooki, instant ramyeon and bibimbap, these main land's food, became householder names. It's not a Korean restaurant called Jeju Korean Fine Dining & Omakase's intention to promote those commonly-found dishes in Bangkok. Hence Jeju is in the restaurant's name. It is Jeju Island's unique and rich seafood cuisine that the restaurant wants to showcase.
Jeju Korean Fine Dining & Omakase or Jeju is located on the third floor of the Nikko Hotel Bangkok and offers three kinds of eating experiences: à la carte, fine dining and omakase. In addition to the invitation, Chomp was offered the pleasure of dining on a Jeju Premium Course Menu in a private modern Korean-style dining room.
The Jeju Premium Course Menu starts with Awabi Congee, an abalone porridge. The porridge was cooked perfectly, not too soft or too hard. The rice and stock were almost emulsified, giving a soft bite and texture. The stock gave the umami and seaweed tastes. The abalone was firm, crisp and chewy. It tasted salty and sweet, which complimented the stock.
For the second course, guests can choose Original Yukke, Yukke Avocado or Pork. Chomp chose the latter. After waiting for a while, the pork was finally served. It came on a hot plate, keeping the pork's temperature last longer. We put the pork on an oba leaf layered on lettuce, followed by the garlic, green pepper, and ssamjang, rolled it and put it in our mouth. The pork was tender. The vegetables were so fresh. Everything went harmoniously well. The oba leaf gave a different kind of spiciness and freshness.
The third-course options are Grilled Unagi and Salmon Sashimi. We chose Grilled Unagi served with sauce, julienned onion and mushroom. It didn't disappoint. The unagi meat didn't have the smell of mud where the fish usually dwell. The sauce was sweet and slightly salty, complimenting the unagi. The onion wasn't too pungent and gave a crunch and brightness. The mushroom was crisp, chewy and umami.
Wagyu or Iberico is the fourth course. We chose Iberico instead of Wagyu because why not! The Iberico was grounded and seasoned before forming into a big patty and later skewed with a big piece of bone and topped with chestnut. We found the meat was juicy and sweet with a hint of umami. The acorn, a staple character in this kind of pork, wasn't overpowered by the season and went nicely with the chestnut.
The notorious Korean Marinated Crab was the next dish. The raw crab was marinated in a soy sauce seasoned with sugar, Korean pepper, ginger, garlic, pear, sesame seeds and sesame oil. Chomp enjoyed sucking all the meat and devoured tomalley and roe from the crab. It was sweet, rich and juicy.
Tiny and simple-looking Tofu Kimchi was different from what we expected. The tofu was firm, slightly chewy and bouncy. The kimchi on top was well-seasoned and marinated for the right amount of time to develop the deep sour and umami tastes.
The seventh course was Galbi-Jim or a short ribs stew, served with rice. The Galbi-Jim came to us in a pot over a portable gas stove. The soup was salty and sweet, with a little kick of red Korean pepper. The meat soaked up the sauce perfectly. It was so tender it fell off the bone and almost melted in our mouth. Jeju keeps it traditional by serving the rice in a traditional bowl so the rice on top is fluffy while the rice at the bottom is crispy. We mixed the rice together, making it multi-textured. It went with everything.
Before ending the meal, Chomp had Uni Wagame Soup which was very comforting. We finished the meal with creamy white jelly.
Pair your meal with some sake or premium soju, and your experience will be smooth as silk.
Jeju Korean Fine Dining & Omakase Open: Monday - Sunday, 11:00 - 14:00, 17:00 - 25:00
Reserve: +6699 615 6999
Location: Thonglor, 3rd floor, Hotel Nikko Bangkok, 27 Thong Lo Rd, Khlong Tan Nuea, Watthana, Bangkok 10110