[Seoul - Sadang] Cho Wa Bap - Great Fresh Sushi and Salmon

I can't believe I've never written about Cho Wa Bap on my blog before!

I have brought all my friends here on multiple occasions. It got to the point that the owners knew me and commented each time with bemusement when I brought a new friend with me on my visit.

Maybe this is a concept that may be difficult to understand for foreigners. In Korea, it's kind of unusual to bring together a group of your friends who come from different parts of your life at the same time. Like, for example, if I bring my school friends with my work friends with my adoptee friends, I often got some messages later from my Korean friends saying that it was fun, but they felt a little uncomfortable. So, I guess, keep that in mind for those of you who live and work in Korea, especially if some of your friends don't really speak English. They will probably feel the most uncomfortable, so maybe ask them if they're okay being in a mixed language group first.

Enough with my anecdote about how I made a few friends feel awkward and learned my lesson, which is how I ended up going to Cho Wa Bap about 40 times with different friends each time.

As a result of my multiple visits...like ridiculous amount of visits, the owners knew me (kind of like how the owners at Amma know me and recognized me even during my last trip even though I had been gone for a while) and started giving me a bunch of "service" [service is the konglish term used for free stuff that a restaurant or store gives you to thank you for being a loyal customer].

I'm trying to remember what exactly was the "service" I got with my first visit, but I can't really remember that far back in life, especially since I went here like once or twice a month. It was totally my "neighborhood spot" back in the day while I lived in Sadang.

This is odengtang with udon. It came with the meal. It is a boiling fish broth with fish paste cakes (?). It's super refreshing and is a good contrast to the cold and fresh flavors of the sushi since it is super hot and somewhat salty.

This is a quick shot of one of the other "freebies" you get with your meal. They give a small slaw salad with a few pieces of salmon on top.

(Not pictured, but also comes with your meal are pieces of the most tender salmon I've ever had.)

So, Cho Wa Bap specializes in salmon and tuna, so make sure you definitely add each to your order.

Since salmon is the specialty, I always order one order of the salmon sushi (연어 초밥). It comes with 10 pieces. The salmon is so fresh and flavorful. It never tastes fishy, so that's kind of what I use as a gauge of quality, so I'm so happy to have found this place.

This visit, we also ordered the 특선초밥 (12 pieces) - the menu translations are below, but this comes with tuna, salmon, live fish, halibut, shrimp, and eel. I really liked some of these sushi, but was medium about others. Everything was super fresh, so that wasn't the issue for me. For me, the issue was about one particular texture, which was totally just my personal preference, so my friend ate all of the particular fish I wasn't a huge fan of.

There are some instructions about how they recommend you eat your sushi. Your first visit, I'm sure the owner will explain and demonstrate how to eat it properly. They recommend soaking the ginger in the soy sauce and then kind of using it as a paint brush and brushing the soy sauce directly onto the fish. Never dunking the rice into the soy sauce.

Honestly, after I did it this way at Cho Wa Bap, it's how I eat sushi now. I don't know what's proper or recommended anywhere else, but this is how I enjoy eating my sushi now.

So, there isn't an English menu, so I apologize in advance for my very awkward translations since fish names are not totally in my vocabulary in any language I know.

Everything Sushi 모들초밥 (12p) - this includes tuna, salmon, live fish, shrimp, conch,  and egg custard.
Premium sushi 특선초밥 (12p) - (what we ordered), see above for translations.
Toro sushi 도로초밥 (12p)
Salmon sushi 연어초밥 (10p)
Live fish sushi 활어초밥 (10p) - This is the fish that is swimming in the tanks by the entrance.

A la carte:
도로 - Toro
장새우 - Jang sae-u - soy sauce shrimp
엔가와 - Engawa - halibut
연어 - yeoneo - salmon
초새우 - cho sae-u - shrimp
소라 - sora - conch
계란 - gyeran - egg
간장새우 (5마리) - ganjang sae-u - soy sauce shrimp (x5)
간장새우 포장 (15마리) - gangjang sae-u pojang - soy sauce shrimp for takeaway (x15)

Fresh Tuna Sashimi - sorry, so this is where my lack of knowledge about fish comes in...I'll just romanize the word for you and hope that you know Japanese and can translate it below for us!

가마도로 - gama toro - back cheek of tuna
오도로 - oh toro - fatty underbelly of tuna
주도로 - chu toro - slightly less fatty tuna belly
배꼽살 -bae ggop sal - tuna belly
머리살 - mori sal - tuna head
반코스 (2인) - ban course - 2-person course serving
풀코스 (3-4인) - full course - 3-4 person course serving

From Sadang Station Exit 10, walk straight and turn left at the IBK Bank and walk straight. It will be on your right. Just look for this building and sign. The restaurant will be on the second floor.

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