Japanese Sushi Restaurants in Seoul: 별스시 (Byeol Sushi)

If you’re looking for an amazing Japanese style sushi experience, I high recommend 별스시 (Byeol Sushi). Byeol means “star” and I was left with the impression that I was among the stars after eating here. I had the pleasure of going to this Japanese sushi restaurant after volunteering in Junggok area. It’s in a rather unpopular neighborhood, but it’s totally worth it. You can get there easily by going to Junggok Station (중곡역) and heading out of exit 1.

Star Sushi Map

They have outside seating as well.
A small, but well designed space.They have outside seating as well.

The restaurant is quite a humble little establishment with enough seating for about 50 tops, but the interior feels very modern and comfortable. I’ve never had sushi outdoors, but their outside seating looks very enjoyable on a nice spring day.

Small sushi bar with adjustable seats.
Small sushi bar with adjustable seats.

The sushi bar seats 5 where you can see the magic. The seats are even adjustable!

별스시 Star Sushi fish storage
The fish is wrapped in what looks like a cheese cloth and not left in the refrigerator.

The fish is left outside in cheese cloths(?) with no refrigeration. I was a bit surprised as I’ve never seen it stored like this in the U.S., but given that I didn’t get sick it should be okay. In fact, I think this method added to the experience.

별스시 Star Sushi Interior
Subtle, but modern and simple interior.

Appetizers

별스시 Star Sushi Starters Miso Soup Congee
Congee and miso soup. Also note the garnishes behind full of pickled garlic and gingers.

The appetizers left a good impression. Each person gets their own congee (죽) and miso soup. Both tasted amazing and I was somewhat surprised to be served the congee as I’ve never had that before. The congee felt very light with semi solid rice bits every now and then. The miso tasted very clean and not overly salty. I think both have a very well made stock base, but I can’t be sure. On top of that, the garnishes included pickled garlic!

연어 (Salmon Sushi Plate) 

별스시 Star Sushi salmon set 연어 set
Salmon set – Various cuts and arrangements of salmon.

Usually, I find salmon sushi to be just okay. I’m not a big fan of salmon sushi because it usually lacks creativity and is poorly executed. The taste and flavor is usually pretty subtle and nothing too special when compared to tuna. However, after seeing this platter, I was pleasantly surprised at the arrangement and all preconceptions of salmon sushi went out the door. This was by far the best salmon sushi I’ve ever had.

별스시 Star Sushi Salmon 연어 normal cutThe salmon was prepared in different ways. There were multiple cuts, some with no marble and others that looked more standard. There was a pair covered in a mayo-based sauce and onions as well.

별스시 Star Sushi Salmon 연어 no marble
The slice with minimal marbling was easily my favorite.

The fish slices were so much longer than the rice that you could roll it up and dip it hassle free in soy sauce. It was absolutely perfect. The fish was so tender and the it seemed to just melt in the mouth. The temperature of the fish from leaving it out made it taste so much better than refrigerated sushi. Every slice was perfect. Even the traditional slices felt atypical. The mayo-based sushi was good as well, but the sauce may have been a bit overpowering.It definitely had an interesting blend of textures with crispy onions and the soft fish and rice.

별스시 Star Sushi Salmon 연어 Nigiri rolled up
I rolled it up for easy dipping.

I believe even the wasabi was real. It was more subtle than your typical cheap, fake wasabi. You can tell the chef went through a lot to make everything perfect.

별스시 Star Sushi wasabi
Much more pale and grated looking than your fake wasabi.

Zaru Soba (소바/모밀) – 6000 won

별스시 Star Sushi zaru soba

These cold buckwheat noodles served with a refreshing broth are perfect for a warm day. The soba had a nice chewiness and was cooked perfectly. The soup may have been a little weak for my taste, but it had a very light flavor. It was still very delicious.

별스시 Star Sushi zaru soba sauce

Everything was absolutely spot on here. Byeol sushi has that rare, subtle attention to detail that will leave a lasting impression. From the restaurant interior to the food execution, you will notice the differences immediately. Most of flavors are subtle, but pack a punch in their own way. It’s much like traditional Japanese cuisine that focuses on light, delicate flavors. I can’t praise this restaurant enough!

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Author: Ryan Mar

Just a guy simply making the most with life abroad. Love travel, photography, food, and just enjoying life. Currently blogging about beautiful places in Seoul, Korea, along with food, culture, and observations at findingtheseoul.com.

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