This isn’t a term I use loosely, but I think I have found my all-around favourite restaurant in Jeju, maybe even in the whole of Korea! Today I will introduce you to 자연스러운식당 (‘Ja-yeon-seu-reo-un sik-dang’), stylised as ‘The Natural Jeju’ in English. Stone’s throw from the beach, nestled in next to a tangerine grove, the Natural Jeju harnesses everything from natural ingredients to natural light, in creating its’ healing experience. Ready to chow down on fresh seafood in the Jeju sun?
My first thoughts when I walked in? I wish my house looked like this. Food served on wooden boards and wicker placemats, seashell candle holders, plants everywhere, and the warm, soft glow of hanging lanterns. They’d taken it right out of my dreams, right through to the smooth jazz. The palm trees outside lead the first welcome, a friendly wave with the sea breeze.
I was greeted warmly by the staff, including the manager, who remembered me from my last visit. Why? Well, the other vibe you will get from the Natural Jeju is that it is a date place. Or at least a place for parties of 2 or more. And it’s not just the vibe. The menu consists primarily of sharing platters and large dishes. As a dedicated seafood lover, I was not deterred on my first visit by eating alone. Furthermore, the manager kindly agreed to create a special small plate just for me, despite there being no 1-person menu item.
“Ah yes I remember you! You came here alone last year right?”
“Yep. That’s me!“
Also, as mentioned at the bottom of the Instagram post, there are native English speakers on staff! So don’t worry if you’re not confident at Korean just yet!
Thankfully, this time I came with a friend. It didn’t take long for us to decide what we wanted: ‘the natural platter.’ The natural platter features a crowded board of fresh, organic local seafood and meat, including prawn, abalone and Jeju black pork. Did I mention that the dishes have a Mediterranean theme? That’s right. The natural platter also comes with pita bread, grilled veg, Greek tzatziki sauce, and halloumi cheese! The manager explained that all of the seafood and meat were organic and fresh. Personally, I love eating local foods, not only because they’re special but because it is better for the environment too.
Drinks-wise, my friend and I went for the alcohol-free mojito. So light and refreshing, no matter what the weather.
The Natural Jeju is certainly not a restaurant to eat at every day but on special occasions. For our delectable seafood and meat platter, we paid 68,000 KRW. While this may seem expensive, what we ate could’ve easily exceeded 100,000 KRW in Seoul. It pays to eat local food!
My favourite restaurant in Jeju!My favourite restaurant in Jeju!
If you’re lucky you may just see the local cat that likes to pop by and enjoy the ambiance. Interestingly, the cat I remembered from last year had babies and now her tiny kitten has taken her place! I tossed her some discarded pork fat that she gobbled up. A lucky cat indeed.
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Location and Directions
The Natural Jeju Address: Orange Blue Pension, 8 Taepyeong-ro 92beon-gil, Seogwipo-si, Jeju-do Operating Hours: 11:00am - 9:30pm Mon, Wed - Sun; 5:30pm - Tues Directions: Take bus no. 281, 282, 521 or 652 to Seogwipo Girl's High School stop. Head down the lane on the right-hand side of the high school, past the tangerine orchard, until you reach The Natural Jeju on your right.