Norway Fresh

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A couple of friends from Seoul visited this week, and whilst strolling the backstreets in Haeundae spied a place they recognised from their fair city. An all you can eat sashimi joint called ‘Norway Fresh’.  A sign outside promised all you can eat salmon sashimi for 14,900, and unlimited Max for 6,900. Intrigued, and always lovers of a bargain, we went in.

The interior is nothing special. I like the fact that you can see the chefs at work behind the big open counter, and the fact that the place is spacious, with seats well spread out, to avoid feeling cramped. However, the ambience is somewhat ruined by a lack of attention to detail. Cheap, plastic Tupperware storing the sides are clearly visible, and the beers were served in a mis-match of glasses.

We ordered quickly, unlimited Max and salmon sashimi with included side servings of salad, green onion pancake, tempura fried squid and tteokbokki. The sides came first, and were a mixed bag. The salad was fine, crisp and fresh but underdressed. The tteokbokki was awful, watery and almost bereft of rice cake. The pancake however was delicious, thin and well cooked, and saved the day somewhat. As did the squid, which was crisp and not too oily, albeit a little light on seasoning. The issue was, our sashimi didn’t arrive until long after the sides had been eaten. I mean a good ten minutes. It would have been preferable to have it all served together, to give a little cohesion to the meal.

The sashimi when it arrived was of a reasonable quality. It had the smooth, glassy edges that show it has been prepared well, and it was pleasantly firm. A sign the fish is still relatively fresh. It was also plentiful, more sashimi arrived minutes after we requested it, and was always the same fresh, delicious fish.  The condiments were also pleasingly authentic. Pickled ginger and radish, small pickled onions, fish roe and thinly sliced onion were all welcome additions, and similar to what I have been served in Japan. The obligatory wasabi was also good, being the kind made from a fresh root as opposed to a powder. I love real wasabi, so this was a big plus for me. The inclusion of tartare sauce was a little strange, but all in all the condiments were a success.

The issue with the condiments was the quantity. They came served in small dishes, although there was four of us eating. When more was requested, it was slow to arrive, and quickly ran out again. This is inexcusable for me. When eating with friends it’s very frustrating to constantly have to be on the lookout for a passing waiter, as something needs refilling. This problem could easily be avoided by having the condiments self-serve.

When we left, the bill came to 87,200. Less than 25,000 each for unlimited sashimi and beer will always appeal, but the shortcomings of Norway Fresh are plentiful. The frustrating experience of ordering sides, the unappealing interior and unspectacular fish will ensure that, unless budget is key, I will probably look elsewhere for my next raw fish fix!


Norway Fresh is located in a back alley very close to Haeundae subway station. To find it, come out of exit 5, and walk straight down the road towards the beach. Take the third road on your right, and Norway Fresh will be on your left about 20 metres down.

Filed under: Food Tagged: japanese, restaurant, salmon, sashimi, sushi
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