Busan is full of fun and excitement that the city calls itself “Dynamic Busan”. The beaches such as Haeundae and Gwangalli are popular tourist destinations. However, the old town near Busan Station is also filled with things worth experiencing. Nampo-dong, the district with famed Jagalchi Market, is a must-visit not just for its fresh seafood but for something unexpected–the Korean barbecue.
Baekhwa Yanggopchang, located within Jagalchi, was established in 1959. As the name says, Baekhwa offers fresh beef tripe BBQ at affordable price. But another reason that this place is packed with locals and tourists alike is its unique system. The restaurant is not operated by a single proprietor, but it works more like an indoor market with multiple vendors. Each little section of tables with open grills represent a vendor. They all sell the same menu but each joint obviously has their own recipe. The way tripe is marinated or how the dipping sauce is made differ from one ajumma to next.
Most first-timers would be confused as soon as they slide open the door and walk into Baekhwa. The place is packed with people and smoke. When you spot a vacancy you better hurry and grab those seats as they are taken fast.
Once you settle down in front of your own grill you’ll place your order. The menu is simple and straightforward: 300g of beef tripe for W25,000. You can have half-and-half; half marinated and the other half without the sauce.
The salted tripe and heart comes out first. The beef offal is marinated in garlic and black pepper to remove any unpleasant odour. The initial cooking is done on a grill over a briquette. When the sweet-and-spicy marinated tripe appeared, the grill is replaced with iron pan.
All the cooking is done by skilled masters, accompanied by friendly chat. Some vendors executed “fire shows” to fortunate audience. There is an option of stir-fried rice but minimum order is two servings and costs W12,000.
The downside of this unique experience is that your clothes, hair, and just about everything on you would stink with smoke by the end. But when it comes to Korean BBQ that is part of the fun.
Baekhwa Yanggopchang 백화양곱창
32, Nampodong 6(yuk)-ga, Jung-gu, Busan