Live Octopus Experience – A Meal Not for the Faint Hearted
The Octopus Experience in Korea has been highly raved about by many. In Korea, you can find restaurants selling live octopus practically anywhere you go. However, the freshest catch can be found around the area of Incheon and Busan where fishermen dock their fishing boats before sending their catch to the various regions in Korea.
This gem of a restaurant that we found (Ho Nam Odong-do Sashimi Place) was located at Wolmido Island in Incheon. Before entering the restaurant, what was waiting was a warm smile and a warm welcome by this nice ahjussi at the foot of the entrance.
At the restaurant itself, you’ll notice that there are long tables spread across the rooms for you to sit comfortably or you can also opt to sit on the chairs too. Most patrons would usually sit on the floor following the tradition in Korea.
For starters, you’ll be served a full range of appetisers to get your appetite going. Korean Cheesy Corn, Mussels, Kimchi and many other sides, it’s best to make sure that you don’t overeat and make room for the main course.
The highlight of the full course dinner would have to be the live octopus! Mixed with slices of cucumber and soaked in soy sauce, this dish comes along with the aforementioned list of starters. It was quite intimidating when I first saw it but after overcoming the fear, I was too distracted with the fresh flavours of the octopus, that I totally forgot about it moving because I was too busy munching on it!
These suckers are pretty stubborn when you’re trying to pick them off the plate so it’s best to be a little more patient. We also managed to capture these suckers in action in the video of the Live Octopus Experience that you can find at the top of this post! When put to the test, besides being slimy, the octopus itself is actually crunchy and has a clean taste to it. The mixture of the soy sauce helps bring out the freshness and the flavour of the octopus itself. Doesn’t taste that sucky at all!
As for the mains, you’ll be served ‘Saengseon Hoe’ or also known as Sashimi (사시미). This freshly sliced raw fish is usually dipped with spicy gochujang-based sauce called Ssamjang (쌈장), After dipping it in sauce, wrap the slice of fish in perilla leaves and eat it as a whole. The taste of the perilla leaves is really strong and has a minty taste to it and the Ssamjang makes the whole mouthful a little more spicy. A savoury meal that tastes great when mixed together with any sort of sauces or just as it is.
Finish the whole full course with a bowl of spicy fish stew also known as maeuntang. This fish stew consists of the fish head and the other remains of the fish and not to mention, a plethora of vegetables mixed together. If you have yet to finish the whole platter of sashimi that was served previously, you can dip the ‘Saengseon Hoe’ into this soup. The soup gives out so much flavour and the freshness of the fish paired together with it is amazing.
At the end of the meal, you’ll be served a plate of fresh grapes that are quite sour. This is to cleanse your palate.
After the meal, take a walk down the stretch of shophouses or you can opt to buy some fireworks and have some fun by the seaside of Walmido Island.
A perfect way to end the night with your friends and family after a good meal.