Review: Goraebul

29 January 2014

My last meal in Seoul turned out to be a massive surprise. As I mentioned in a rather poorly-written round-up of Seoul (yes, it was poorly written, and I am sorry for that), this was my last meal and this Goraebul experience was one of the most impressive I’ve ever had, anywhere. My body was re-invigorated after this meal…

A friend of a friend joined me for dinner, which was a wonderful surprise as I was tired of eating alone — and she helped with the menu. We were shown to a private room and once we decided on the medium tasting menu, we went for it. And with some soju and beer for me (she drove), we began one of the most amazing seafood tastings I’ve ever experienced…join me for this ride…

1-taro roots

The meal began very relaxed with some fresh taro root in a very nice tangy sauce. The seaweed was also very fresh and uncompromising. A nice start! Then we move totally to the sea on the next dish.

2-shellfish and seaweed

A wonderful serving of an unknown shellfish. I thought at first it was rock octopus, but it tasted more like a clam. Again, more wonderful seaweed, which really tasted of the sea, fresh and crispy. Excellent! It keeps getting better!


Now we have some fresh green barnacles, which was a pleasant surprise. I rarely get the chance to eat these things, so it was a big treat. They were processed by the waitress, and we enjoyed the meaty contents of these little wonders. Excellent! And this was just the start of the exotic richness…

4-giant oysters

Wow…this was an oyster. I wish I had a picture of the content, because the giant oyster inside this monstrosity was about 20cm in length. It was briny, rich, and fantastically complex for a giant oyster. Wow…it wasn’t tough or stringy, it was like a wonderful small oyster but several times bigger. Wow…

Then the main dishes began…

5-raw fish

This was a huge selection of raw fish, or hoe in Korean. Several species including red snapper and flounder. They were extremely rich and tasty, very clean and fresh. A good sized selection! Then of course there’s the shellfish…


Wow… I was speechless for a few minutes when this came out. I couldn’t even name all that was on this plate. The excellent seaweed of course, but a large selection of clams, sea cucumber, and even sea pineapple (the orange thing). This was one of the most fantastic dishes I have ever seen. We were told to take a seaweed, topped by sea cucumber, then scoop this on top…


Wow…this sea urchin was a “side” and it was super rich. It came from the cold waters on the east side of Korea. And together this was just bloody amazing… This was one of the most amazing dishes I’ve ever had…even if it was just the urchin. OMG…

The feast continued. The restaurant is best known for its whale (don’t…I’ve made my case about this whilst in Iceland), and here’s a small tasting.


The selection included belly, back, and fin. These pieces were rich and showed what the whale tasting (the restaurant’s name is actually “Whale Heat” and it is their main specialty) could have been. Very nice, rich and tasty. The fin was especially crunchy and interesting. Then the last course came, the abalone.


These were lightly cooked and just delicious. I also don’t need to say all of these dishes were plated beautifully. This was fantastic…

We were both totally full and the staff was actually wishing us to leave, because the mass exodus from Seoul for the Lunar New Year was happening. But we were full and appreciative of the wonderful food and the private room.

My now new friend headed south from Gangnam as I headed north by train back across the river, still enjoying this amazing seafood feast. This was the most impressive tasting menu I’ve had for seafood…just awesome.

If you are in Seoul, you really need to try this. If not in Seoul, you gotta go to Seoul for this!!!

Goraebul [고래불]
828-53 Yeoksam 1-dong, Gangnam-gu
Seoul, Korea


7 thoughts on “Review: Goraebul

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  3. It sounds indeed something not to be missed by a seafood afficianado like myself. however, as the website lists no prices that I can find, in fact the english translation buttion yields only a map, I would be grateful to know how much you paid per person for this feast, in won.



    • Sadly that’s prob with sites in Korea, they don’t have much details, and the English parts are faulty. In KRW it was under 100,000 certainly per person, I think it was 85,000. If you load the Korean page (it takes ages) here ( you will see the pricing.

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