Lunch @ Ttungbojib 뚱보집 (Busan, Korea)

October 6, 2017 in Korean by thywhaleliciousfay

I honestly love Korea. For their culture, fashion, celebrities (keke) and… Yes, food! I am always watching an episode (at least) of my Korean variety shows or Korean dramas no matter how tired I arrived home. Even when I am dead tired, I would let my show run in the background as I fall asleep. Haha.

One of my favourite Korean food shows is ‘Baek Jong Won’s Top 3 Chef King’ (백종원의 3대 천왕). And for my recent trip to Korea, I relied heavily on it since anything that Mr Baek recommend must be good. Keke. But it’s also because I wanted to try the local’s real favourites and not what’s mentioned by bloggers who are tourists to Korea.

However, it wasn’t a easy feat because the show didn’t mention the restaurants’ name. But… My determination and some internet-savviness paid off. =p

For our first meal in Busan, my crossfitters and I were off to Ttungbojib (뚱보집) which appeared on episode 45 of ‘Baek Jong Won’s Top 3 Chef King’. We dropped by for lunch as the restaurant was said to be very busy at night. And to arrive at the restaurant, one should alight at Jungang metro station. It’s a 5 minutes walk from exit 1.

Located in a small alley, we arrived to a fairly empty restaurant at 2pm. And our real challenge was ordering the food. Since the restaurant don’t receive many tourists (or at least it seemed so), there was no English menu. But we easily overcome that by showing the staff pictures. Haha. I literally showed the staff all the pictures from Naver to order every dish from the menu. Keke.

And with that, my crossfitters and I commenced our lunch with:-

1) Banchan, Complimentary (above) – There’s a side dish of soybean puree which Mr Baek recommended adding seasoned soy sauce. But my crossfitters and I didn’t really know how to appreciate it. Oops. And it’s to note that napa cabbage is only served complimentary with the more pricey dishes. Yes, one wouldn’t get it if one only order simple dishe like tofu.

2) 두부정식, ‎₩3000 (above) – Tofu. This was also served with a bowl of bean sprouts rice (but without the meat within).

3) 록빈, ‎₩12,000 (above) – Onion pancake.

4) 쭈꾸미구이, ‎₩12,000 (above) – Grilled spicy baby octopus (jjukkumi gui). One of the restaurant’s signature dishes and a must order. And it’s from the show that I got to appreciate this dish better. The restaurant drains the webfoot octopus with a spin-dryer after cleaning it with salt. Yes, spin dry! Apparently it’s said to make the octupos chewier and tastier. Interesting! Marinated with sugar, sesame oil, chili pepper powder, crush garlic and broiled over briquette, I loved this dish. And one shouldn’t have the octupos on its own. One should also eat it with the restaurant’s other signature dish (bean sprouts rice).

5) 보쌈, ‎₩17,000 (big) (above) – Boiled pork (bossam) with Daejeon-style kimchi. Again, it was shared on my favourite Korean food show that the restaurant owner learned the Daejeon-style kimchi 30 years ago when she was working in a restaurant in Daejeon for a month. And her intention of rolling the salted seafood with the salted napa cabbage was for diners to see and taste each and every of the 9 ingredients together. Brilliant. A must order.


6) 콩나물밥, ‎₩3000 (above) – Bean sprouts rice with beef. Another signature dish of the restaurant. Unfortunately, it was only after I re-watched the episode that I realised the meat mixed with the (wet) rice was beef. Oh, oh. I am not supposed to eat beef because of religious reason. But this was really good. When this was served, we were told to add seasoned soy sauce before enjoying. But one of my silly crossfitters added the entire bowl of soy sauce into her bowl of bean sprouts rice. Gasp. That got the auntie staff pretty flustered. Thankfully we ordered 3 bowls which the staff assisted to mix everything up. Else her share would have really salty. Keke.

It was a very good meal for us. We thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. So while the dishes served at Ttungbojib (뚱보집) are not food that Busan is famous for, I would still strongly recommend one to check out the restaurant. However, if one isn’t able to visit the restaurant as a big group like us (there were 6 of us), one should at least order the boiled pork, grilled spicy baby octopus and bean sprouts rice. Too tasty to be missed.

1-18 Jungang-daero 41beon-gil, Jungang-dong, Jung-gu, Busan, South Korea
부산 중구 중앙대로41번길 3. [지번] 중앙동1가 21-1
+82 51 246 7466, Naver
Overall: 7
Opening hours:-
Food/Beverage: 8
Mon – Sun : 10:30 – 22:50
Ambience: 6
Value: 7
Service: 6
* Closed on 4th Sun