* This magazine is in collaboration with Busan City and Busan Tourism Organization.
The spectacular transformation of âmentaiko,â which was only eaten as a side dish for rice, is exciting. Recently, more and more restaurants are offering a variety of dishes using mentaiko. Mentaiko has become a new trend in the restaurant industry, not only food that brings out its natural flavor and flavor, but also unexpected and unique menus such as mentaiko pork cutlet and mentaiko sushi. What kind of mentaiko dishes are being offered in Busan, known as the city of mentaiko? There's even a mentaiko baguette presented by a famous confectionary and bakery in Busan, and a mentaiko potato display that is even better when paired with traditional sake! Let's take a look at 5 of Busan's best mentaiko restaurants that are as charming as their popping texture.
1. Patented Busan specialty baguette, 'Lee Heung-yong Confectionery Munhyeon Main Store' in Munhyeon-dong
Image source: mingky010's Instagram
Image source: kim_hee_young_'s Instagram
'Lee Heung-yong Confectionery Munhyeon Main Store' is run by CEO Lee Heung-yong, who was selected as the first bakery master in Busan. It first opened its doors in 1995 and has established itself as Busan's leading bakery by showcasing bread that has spared no ingredients until now. The signature menu is âJagalchi Mentaiko Baguette,â which is a crunchy baguette mixed with salty mentaiko cream. Olive oil, basil, and garlic were added to mentaiko and went through an aging process to perfectly capture the unique fishy flavor, and even received a patent. âHaeundae Squid Ink Bread,â where the color combination of thick ink bread and yellow cream cheese appeals to the palate, is also a popular menu item at this restaurant. The texture of the chewy bread blends harmoniously with the sweetness of the cream cheese that fills your mouth.
â²Location: 2-1, Suyeong-ro 3, 9beon-gil, Nam-gu, Busan
â²Business hours: 08:30 â 22:00
â²Price: Jagalchi mentaiko baguette 3,500 won, Haeundae squid ink bread 3,500 won
â²Testimonial (Shikigami Gourmet): It's a place I've been going to since I was a kid. I really like that the bread here feels comfortable even after eating it. There are so many types of bread that I'm not sure what to choose, but I always don't fail no matter what I choose! Among them, I recommend the mentaiko baguette made from Busan mentaiko and the basil crocant, which has a nice basil scent!
2. âKatsu Anâ in Jangjeon-dong, presented with healthy ingredients
Image source: sna0ju's Instagram
Image source: im__juuuu's Instagram
'Katsuan' is located in Pusan National University Youth Street. I can enjoy pork cutlets that are good value for money, so students from nearby universities can't stop walking. This place carefully makes food with health-conscious ingredients such as the antibiotic free handon certified by HACCP and Himalayan rock salt. The signature menu, âMentaiko katsu,â wraps the mentaiko in thick meat, deep-fried until crispy, and served with mayonnaise sauce. I made batter batter with clean carbonated water to further enhance the crunchy texture. The mild spicy flavor captures the feeling, so you can eat it without getting bitten.
â²Location: 59-8 Geumjeong-ro, Geumjeong-gu, Busan
â²Business hours: 11:00 – 21:00 every day
â²Price: Mentaiko cutlet 9,500 won, cheese cutlet 7,500 won
â²Testimonial (Gimbap addict): I tried pork cutlet with mentaiko for the first time, and it was a completely unique flavor! The liver also fits perfectly, and I like mentaiko, but it was nice to be able to enjoy the flavor. Also, the menu where you make sushi with pork cutlets is unique!
3. The world of diverse mentaiko dishes, Jungang-dong's âMentaiko Famous Placeâ
Image source: heee_ill's Instagram
Image source: heee_ill's Instagram
âMentaiko Myeonggaâ is a restaurant specializing in mentaiko dishes located on the 10th floor of Lotte Department Store near Nampo Station. You can find a variety of foods such as stew made with mentaiko, bibimbap, sweet and sour pork, and dumplings. The signature menu is the âMentaiko Dinner,â where you can enjoy mentaiko dishes as a course, and consists of a salad that enhances the taste, seasonal porridge, and dishes that fill the filling (omelette, sweet and sour pork), meals (soup, sundubu, kimchi stew), and dessert. You can choose one menu for each dish and meal according to your preferences, and it comes with kamameshi that you can enjoy warmly until the last bite. Note that the mentaiko dinner can be ordered for 2 or more servings.
â²Location: 2 Jungang-daero, Jung-gu, Busan
â²Opening hours: 10:30 â 20:30 every day, closed on department store holidays
â²Price: Mentaiko dinner 15,000 won, mentaiko steamed ribs set meal 13,000 won
â²Testimonial (Shikigami Flower Glass): It was newly opened recently, and the interior of the store is clean. OMG! Were you able to cook so many dishes with mentaiko? It's fun to pick and eat as much as you want. If you're unsure, I think it's a good idea to try this and that with a course meal!
4. How far has Mentaiko collaborated? âMido Restaurantâ in Gijang-gun
Image source: mido_gijang's Instagram
Image source: mido_gijang's Instagram
âMido Restaurantâ is a place where you can enjoy a meal while looking out at the cool, open sea. The modern interior and colorful plating make it a favorite destination not only for local residents but also for tourists. The signature menu, âMentaiko Mayo Rice Bowl,â is topped with plenty of scrambled eggs and koshirai, and added mentaiko mayonnaise and mentaiko. Starting with the popping mentaiko, the crispy egg, and the crunchy seaweed, the various textures make it fun to chew. âAbalone shrimp fried riceâ with whole abalone and shrimp on top of fried rice stir-fried with abalone entrails is also a popular menu. You can enjoy the rich yet rich aroma unique to abalone entrails. Please note that groups of 6 or more are not allowed to enter.
â²Location: 441 Munoseong-gil, Ilgwang-myeon, Gijang-gun, Busan
â²Business hours: Weekdays 11:30 â 19:30, weekends 11:30 â 20:00, B/T (weekdays) 14:30 â 15:30, B/T (weekends) 15:00 â 17:00
â²Price: Mentaiko mayo rice bowl 11,000 won, abalone shrimp fried rice 13,000 won
â²Testimonial (Fat Rabbit): I found this place by chance during a trip to Busan, and I'm very satisfied. I ate fried rice with the savory flavor of abalone entrails and the mentaiko mayo rice bowl, which has a strange combination of aroma and saltiness, but I really want to eat it again now.
5. Perfect for traditional sake, Gwangan-dong 'Sake Brewery'
Image source: cherish__s2's Instagram
Image source: 7star_1224's Instagram
The âSake Breweryâ is famous as a mecca for lovers because it offers about 150 types of traditional sake, including sake and distilled spirits, including makgeolli produced from all over the country. âTiger belly makgeolli,â which is the most popular here, is made from Pyeongtaek's finest rice and barley sprouts without artificial additives, and boasts a smooth texture. The aroma lingers softly, and the aftertaste is refreshing, making it easy for people who are new to makgeolli to drink. The signature snack menu is âMentaiko Potato Zen,â which is made by cutting potatoes into slices, browning them with mentaiko, and finishing them with mayonnaise sauce. Mentaiko, which is salty yet adds umami, is gently wrapped in mayonnaise sauce and blends harmoniously together.
â²Location: 98 Muhak-ro 21beon-gil, Suyeong-gu, Busan
â²Business hours: Tuesday to Saturday 17:00 to 03:00, Sunday 17:00 to 02:00, closed on Mondays
â²Price: Mentaiko potato chips 15,000 won, tiger belly makgeolli 12,000 won
â²Review (Shikigami Hanayuri): If you like makgeolli over soju or beer, I recommend this place! It's nice to be able to get recommendations for makgeolli to suit your taste~ If you put a cup of makgeolli on a hot, freshly made mentaiko potato, you'll be relieved of your tiredness.