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Home-style meals with rice are so very nice

[Recommended Local Eateries] Home-style meals

 

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 What would a Korean meal be without rice? An incomplete one, that's what. 

 Rice has been throughout history an incredibly important source of sustenance for Koreans. It's intertwined into the culture. So much so, Koreans often refer to whole meals, from soup to side dishes to, yes, rice, entirely with that one word. Because, without rice, it really wouldn't be a meal, would it?

 

■ Happy Jipbap (행복한 집밥) 

 

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 Rice for Koreans is not just about that white, brown or, sometimes, purple-tinged grain found in those ubiquitous metal bowls. Rice is cul-tural. When someone says they want "jipbap," they don't just mean a bowl of homemade rice. They want a homemade meal. Happy Jipbap, in Mangmi-dong (neighborhood), is more than happy to provide.

 The dongjang (community head) recommends this humble establishment for those craving something as close to homemade Korean food one can get at a restaurant. It has remained a regular dining destination for the dongjang because of its reasonable prices and wide range of tasty home-style banchan (side dishes).

 

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 Happy Jipbap is located in a residential area down a small alley, with a green exterior and entire wall of glass, which give off a sense of simplicity and cool. It's a small restaurant, but more than big enough to enjoy a delicious meal. 

 About a dozen side dishes are made fresh daily, including kimchi, grilled fish, gyeran mari (rolled omelet) and tuna tail boiled in soy sauce. A healthy and hearty selection of these is included with each 7,000 won combination meal. 

 A passion for food lead the restaurant's owners to open Happy Jipbap. That passion is evident in every bite, which is planned weekly, with ingredients bought fresh daily. The dongjang has been happy to be a regular customer at Happy Jipbap; perhaps you might be, too.

Address: 7, Yeonsu-ro 310beon-gil, Suyeong-gu

How to get there: Mangmi Station (Metro line 3), exit 7. Walk straight five minutes. Find Yeonsu-ro 310beon-gil between a piano shop and furniture shop, then turn left. Walk until you see a green building. 

Hours: 11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. Break time is 3 to 5 p.m. Closed Sundays. 

 

■ Yongshim Jaengee's Kitchen (용심쟁이 Kitchen)

 

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 The Jeonpo-dong Cafe Street area continues to get hotter. Many folks on many days flock to the small dessert cafes, coffee shops and restaur-ants located in this section of town near Seomyeon once dominated by humble industrial repair joints.

 One restaurant starting to dominate Facebook and Instagram feeds is Yongshim Jaengee's Kitchen, roughly translated as a kitchen that serves meals with all of my heart.

 This relatively new restaurant specializes in home-style dishes, including its signature "Soul Gumbo," a 12,000 won cultural culinary fusion of chicken, crab, dried prawns and vegetables boiled daily to create a rich, complex and inviting stew. Okra, tomatoes, fresh vegetables, seafood and more are also added, creating a New Orleans-inspired feast right here in Busan. 

 

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Another popular dish, for 9,000 won, is "Yongshim Curry," recommended for those who want a blend of vibrant spice and the softness of coconut milk in their hearty meals.

Address: 14-2, Jeonpo-daero 223beon-gil, Busanjin-gu

How to get there: Jeonpo Station (Metro line 2), exit 7. Turn left and then the next right onto Seojeon-ro 46beon-gil. Walk straight six blocks, turn left, then turn left again. You will see a restaurant made of white bricks. The alley to the restaurant is across from a parking lot.

Hours: Noon to 10 p.m. Break time is 3:30 to 5 p.m. Closed Mondays. 

Information: Instagram @ysim_kitchen