Hee-Ya's Grill: Baby Octopus & Mung Bean Pancakes
(희야네석쇠: 쭈꾸미 & 빈대떡)
(희야네석쇠: 쭈꾸미 & 빈대떡)
|Pros||+ Unique seafood place|
+ Addicting and healthy grilled Octopus
+ Customize spiciness and crispiness
+ Great downtown location
+ Explosive popularity
|Cons||- So expect to wait for a table|
- Alcohol is 4,000krw
- Relatively pricey meal
Best for: Small groups, dates, off-peak hours, spicy/seafood lovers
From the depths of Busan comes Hee-Ya's Grill, making some serious waves in Daegu. Two months ago it commandeered the prime real estate formerly held by Banyawol Makchang's downtown branch. While Daegu's beloved pig-rectum will be missed, a worthy restaurant has taken its place.
Hee-Ya's specialty is Jju-ggu-mi (쭈꾸미), which is a small species of octopus (not actually babies), a size or two down from the more famous San-nak-ji. They are marinated, grilled and dipped in mayonnaise.
To order, choose your level of marinade flavor:
- Mae-oon mat (매운맛) - Spicy. Very very spicy.
- Bo-tong mat (보통맛) - Average Joes.
- Soon-han mat (순한맛) - Don't go wild, keep it mild.
[See page on ordering in Korean]
You can eat them immediately upon serving (they are pre-boiled) if you prefer them mushy. Or grill them longer for crispiness and charred sauce.
Also according to a poster (not pictured here), are all the alleged health benefits of these octopus. The four categories are:
- Diet - Octopii are low fat, low calories and high in amino acids
- Recovery - They contain taurin, which detoxifies the liver, lowers cholesterol and repairs muscles. [Allegedly]
- Brain - They provide "eum" (음), whatever that means. Apparently I haven't eaten enough.
- Anemia - Pump some iron!
Hee-Ya's has a few other options, See the translated menu at bottom
Their secondary specialty is Bin-dae-dduk (빈대떡), or fried mung-bean pancakes. Seems like a random counterpart to spicy octopus, but still tasty and worth a shot. Sorry vegetarians, they contain pork.
Try some flavored makgeolli, such as chestnut (밤) and corn (옥수수).
The "shrimp salted and grilled" (새우소금구이) are dry and mediocre compared to their other dishes. I'd rather have a few at Clam BBQ around the corner.
Waiters will bring your first round of sides, then it's self service.
Despite squeezing in about 30 tables, finding one open can be difficult without a long wait. The photo below was taken on a lucky Tuesday. On another occasion we snuck in around 7pm on a Friday. But within an hour there were crowds of impatient people packed in the doorway.
Hee-Ya's interior is clean and modern. Despite being crowded, noise levels never seem high. The place must have great acoustics. Either that, or everyone's voices are muffled by baby octopus heads.
Or patrons just aren't drinking too heavily. At 4,000krw per bottle, and with the temptation to sample their variety, alcohol can really rack up the bill.
Hee-Ya's is downtown, just around the corner from Samduk Fire Station (삼덕소방서), in the store that used to be Banyawol Makchang.
The Address is: 대구광역시 중구 삼덕동1가 62-1
Open Naver map
|Octopus (spicy, medium, mild) 2 serving min |
Octopus Seafood Stew
Octopus and stir-fried rice (2-serving min)
Shrimp, salted and fried
|Ramen Noodle |
Order of Rice