Yangyang Beach~ A Snowy Start to 2017

I know it’s late spring now and this post is overdue, nevertheless, we proceed.

Yangyang is smack in the middle of the two larger and more famous coastal cities of Sokcho and Gangneung. It’s tiny and cute and frozen in the winter. We went there because the Pine Beach Condotel was pet friendly, beachside and turned out to be a nice, clean place. The snow fell the day before and the highway from Seoul was plowed and safe when we arrived at midnight to check in and take a dog walk.

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The next morning was bright and sunny, a perfect day for a naked scrub;)

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We headed for Sokcho’s most famous seafood shack: Bong-po Meoguri-jip. They specialize in weird seafood that I don’t recognize nor especially enjoy. But Jordyn might be a mermaid who sold her voice to a wicked octopus in exchange for legs by how much she loves the food from the ocean depths.

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The mul-hwe (물회) or fresh fish soup is not really fish nor really a soup. It’s sort of a mush of random sea creatures who fell into a fisherman’s trap and a few hours later found themselves shucked and in my bowl. Jordyn also ordered a sea urchin noodle dish which is distinctly mucus in both texture and taste if the mucus was marinated in salt water.

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The beer was cold. The squid rings (abayi-sundae) were filled with a tasty paste and there was a nice bit of real crab in the rice salad.

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We went to a beachfront temple, Naksansa (낙산사), to waste time before dinner. It was beautiful at sunset and very cold. There was a small museum with little trinkets, old ceramics and paintings from past dynasties.

We took photos of the beautiful scenery as the snow had settled and become part of the wintry landscape.

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It was getting dark and colder, and that means soju time with BBQ’d shell meat.

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The next day we rested in a coffee house looking at pictures, nibbling sugar cakes and chatting over Americanos. There were bronze statues frozen mid song on the beach.

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Hershey dog had made a friend. They ran around and chased each other all over the snowy beach freaking out dog-fearing Koreans. The tallest mountain in South Korea, Seoraksan is visible behind the beach.

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We ate a big fish lunch with some ginseng wine before leaving on the slow road home. I wanted to drive through the country roads instead of the boring old highway.

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Squid legs and weird red squishiness

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raw flounder

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It was a wonderful jaunt into the country to get ready for 2017.

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Conveyor Belt Dining at Sushi Hiroba ~ Seoul

In the posh backyards of Gangnam, there are probably hundreds of Japanese restaurants. We like this one with colored plates designating the price of the fish rotating on a conveyor belt. For the more expensive cuts, we order a fresh piece from the chefs. It’s a cool experience for people who don’t know exactly what they want when confronted by the Japanese menu symbols or even just what kind of raw fish they might want beyond the classic tuna and salmon. It’s not a place to show off sashimi knowledge as the plates offered are limited, but it satisfies the fresh fish craving yet doesn’t scare away a beginner. The plates range from 2$-25$. Most of the good stuff is around 4-10$ per plate. It’s a nice place, but your table can get overwhelmed quickly when you’re hungry.

“Oh, that looks good.”

“Grab it before it passes!”

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Tuna belly, just an outstanding mouth moment of tenderness.

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Salmon, soft and light.

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Two white fish, maybe mackerel, maybe sea bass, not sure.

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Eel roll, roe on top, crunchy inside, nice.

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This was some kind of salmon mash inside a crunchy fried egg rice outside.

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Potato croquettes, palate cleanser, comfort food.

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I didn’t eat this, but couldn’t imagine why someone would need only the fish head.

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