Craving some good Korean food with a Jeju Island flavor, we were recommended to visit Cheonjee Restaurant at Shilla Hotel for dinner. It was drizzling outside so it was nice to know that we had a quality restaurant within the hotel. Unlike Seoul, in Jeju Island you have to drive everywhere with limited street lights (everything got so pitch dark outside) and we were too tired to venture far out. Thankfully, the food was absolutely delicious and we got the Korean flavors we were craving.
The restaurant was very elegant with traditional Korean decor, and there were mothers with little babies eating and it seemed to be a very family-friendly environment:
We were not too hungry from our big lunch and so decided to order 4 main dishes for 5 people. Upon our request, the restaurant brought out an extra tray with side dishes and empty bowls so food could be shared together which was nice. After ordering, we were served with pumpkin porridge (not too sweet and quite savory) as an appetizer:
Then, maybe around 15 minutes, we were served with the following main dishes:
(1) Braised Mackerel with Ripened Kimchi, Sea Mustard Soup with Sea Urchin and Steamed Rice (41,000krw, around $35) ordered by my mother-in-law:
(2) Broiled Cutless Fish, Jeju Korean Beef Soybean Paste Soup and Steamed Rice (43,000krw, around $37) ordered by my grandmother-in-law:
(3) Char-grilled Jeju Black Pork Belly with Abalone, Abalone with Seafood Soybean Paste Soup and Steamed Rice (48,000krw, around $40), this was my dish and I LOVED it. The abalone was super meaty and fresh, they were not stingy with the quality abalone used. I was very content with both the ingredients and the rich flavor of the soothing soup. The pork dish that came with it was also soft and buttery with sweet and soft flavors.
(4) Marinated and Char-grilled Jeju Black Pork, Bibimbap with Salted Abalone and Sea Urchin with Sea Mustard Soup (45,000krw, around $38) ordered by my husband, he loved it and said it was very rich in flavor.
The food is not cheap for Korean food standards and I was worried that we would get ripped off for the name value of the Shilla Hotel, but thankfully the quality was exceptional and it was totally worth it. I get really angry when the price doesn’t justify the quality, so this was good! Anyways, after the main dishes were taken away, we were served chewy Jeju Island mugwort rice cakes with red beans (제주쑥 경단) and cold pomegranate tea which was sweetened and slightly tart to end our evening.
Overall, the elegant decor and traditional ambiance was nice. Not as quiet (noise-wise) as I had hoped (due to the small children that came with families) but it wasn’t too loud and the food was really good so I left a happy camper.
For more information: http://www.shilla.net/jeju/dining/viewDining.do?contId=CHE#ad-image-0