Hyangokjeong, a restaurant specializing in freshwater eels that have been passed down by three generations of a 40-year tradition

Winning 2021 Gimhae Restaurant, and 100 Year Store Award from Ministry of SMEs and Startups 강영훈l승인2022.10.20l수정2022.10.20 14:53







Eel that is good for the body during the changing seasons

Hyangokjeong, a three generation family-run restaurant with its 46 year tradition

Freshwater eel is a stamina food that people often look for whenever they need to nourish their body. It is a food that has been eaten since ancient times and the book ‘Jasaneobo’ writes, “It has a sweet taste and is beneficial to people.” It is known to help prevent adult diseases such as high blood pressure and obesity, and to have anti-aging, anti-cancer, and skin-beautifying effects. It is rich in vitamins A, B, and E. Vitamin A in particular protects eyesight while vitamin B plays a role in regenerating the body and relieving fatigue. Hyangokjeong (CEO Oh Chang-won), located in Bulam-dong, Gimhae, is a freshwater eel specialty store that only handles domestic freshwater eels. Bulam-dong is where the freshwater eel village of Gimhae is located. It was a part of the area called Seonam Village in the past, and Seonam Village was the place where there was a representative freshwater eel street in Korea. Hyangokjeong started in 1977 with the hands of the first president, Gong Soon-ja, and has maintained the position for over 40 years, continuing the tradition of that time. Following the first president Gong Soon-ja, the second CEO Oh Chang-won and Oh Chang-sik have been succeeding, and Oh Chang-won’s eldest son Oh Tae-geun and the second son, Oh Tae-gyu, are continuing the family business. 


‘The more we spend, the happier the customer’

A bowl of delicious and hearty eel

At the eel village in Bulam-dong, you can taste domestic freshwater eels in any house. This is the result of the efforts of the residents to protect the eel street, which was once almost lost. If you cheat imported eels with domestic eels, you will be kicked out of the village. In the eel village, all houses use only domestic eels. Nevertheless, what differentiates Hyangokjeong from other eel restaurants is the recipe that has been passed down along with its history. 

The plump eel has a lot of fat in its body, so some people may feel that it is greasy. Most of the oil from eel is made up of unsaturated fatty acids, so it is good for health, but to some extent it must be removed to an appropriate level. Hyangokjeong uses a cooking method that removes enough oil by roasting. The eel, which has been lightly oiled in this way, is grilled with seasoning directly over a briquette fire, giving it a deep flavor by sticking to this old method. “Do not spare. The more we spend, the happier the customers.” is the teaching of the previous president. Therefore, a hearty table setting with generous herbs, side dishes, and cooked turmeric rice will satisfy your eyes once and your mouth once more. With such taste and heartiness, Hyangokjeong has been designated as a famous restaurant designated by Dadamhoe, and won the Gimhae restaurant 2021, and the 100 Year Store Award from Ministry of SMEs and Startups. 


Human hearts served as generous as the food

Donation of 100 bags of 10 kg rice and 100 boxes of ramen

The first president, Gong Soon-ja, was famous for her cooking skills, but she was also famous for her generous heart. Continuing that mindset, CEO Oh Chang-won is giving generously to his neighbors. Recently, Hyangokjeong donated 100 bags of 10 kg of rice and 100 boxes of ramen to low-income residents at the Bulam-dong Administrative Welfare Center. The donated items will be used as private resources discovered by the Bulam-dong Community Security Council and delivered directly to low-income families with the hands of the council members. CEO Oh Chang-won said that he made donations in the hope that it would be of some help as the difficulties of the low-income class were greater than ever due to the prolonged corona virus and rising prices. He said that he would continue to carry out various sharing activities for the more marginalized neighbors. As such, Hyangokjeong is contributing to the development of the food service industry by giving back the love it received from the local people as a local leader and maintaining the tradition at the same time. Following the 40-year history, let’s support the development of Hyangokjeong, which will be loved even after 100 years.

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