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Barazi - Japanese Inspired with a Korean Twist

On a cold and blustery winter night, we ventured out to the Bang Cheon Traditional Market (방천시장) to enjoy a wonderful new restaurant, Barazi (바라지). For those of you who don’t know where it is, it’s about a 10 minute walk from the Kyungpook National University Hospital (경대병원역) subway exit number 3. Just head straight after coming up from the escalator, and on you’ll see the market on your right-hand side about 5 minutes later. Go to the entrance where there is a huge square sculpture archway (the second arch way). Go under it and make your second right. Look down about 100 meters or so, and you’ll see their red sign on the left-hand side.

 

Enough about where it is, how about what it is! Well, it’s a Japanese inspired restaurant / flower shop (more about the flower shop later) that serves traditional Japanese food, but with a Ha Ik Jun (하익준) twist. Ik Jun opened this unique restaurant just a month ago because he was inspired by his Korean-Japanese girlfriend (Korean born, but raised in Japan) to do so. He loved the food so much, but wanted to make it with his own flare.

Now on to the ‘meat and potatoes’ of this place, the food! Barazi offers a small, but delicious menu of various types of noodle dishes, potato pancakes, egg rolls, and booze. The first menu item we got to try was the Bokum Udon (볶음우동). For the next month, this dish will be sold for only 6,000 won at lunch time (12-3 pm), so hurry on up and stop by! The long, thick noodles, topped with thinly sliced sesame leaves (깻잎), seasoned pork, and various vegetables are surrounded by a deliciously sweet, but slightly spicy sauce. The top layer is what I like to call ‘dancing fish flakes’ (가츠오부시 – Katsuobushi), which are a very thinly-sliced smoked fish flakes that moves from the heat of the food. At dinner time, the dish is served with the addition of seafood for the price of 9,000 won.

 

We also got to try the Barazi Soup (바라지탕), which is offered in two sizes – small for 15,000 won and large for 18,000 won. If you love fish cakes (어묵/오뎅), then you will absolutely love this one! It comes with about six completely different types of fish cakes, ranging from spicy to vegetable medley, and thick to thin. But that’s not all, there’s also quail eggs and a fried tofu-wrapped package of noodles (유부주머니) floating about. I’m probably the least excited person to eat fish, but I actually ate it and really enjoyed the plethora of flavors that awakened my taste buds!

 

Two side dishes were then served: a potato pancake (감자전 – 6,000 won/lunch and 8,000 won/dinner) and Castella egg roll (카스텔라 계란말이 – 6,000 won). Both were great, but the egg roll was so soft and delicious, especially with the tangy wasabi soy sauce to dip the pieces in. I’ve never tasted an egg roll so sweet and creamy before!

 

As an extra bonus treat to us, Ik Jun brought out a Flaming Sake drink (불타는) for 4,000 won. It comes in a beautiful clay cup and is set on fire as it is being poured out of the kettle. This warm drink is perfect for the cold nights we are enduring these days.

Now, I had mentioned in the beginning about the restaurant also being a flower shop. To explain this a bit more, Ik Jun is also a talented florist who has been in the business for eight years before opening up a restaurant. He has a pamphlet that shows all the different types of arrangements he can do – simple ‘I Love You’ bouquets, wedding bouquets, air plants, and grand opening displays. If you are interested, ask for the booklet and browse through them while you are awaiting your delicious food to be served, or just help yourself and grab it off the shelf.

 

Barazi is down a hidden street, but it’s not so hidden that you can’t find it! After strolling down the Kim Kwang Suk Road (김궝석 길), wander on over to Barazi and enjoy some warm noodle dishes, beautifully crafted traditional Japanese plates, and a nice warm glass of sake. In Ik Jun’s words, “Stop by for some flowers and booze with food.”

 

Written by Katy Babiarz / Photos by Ivan Broida

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