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Everything You Need to Know About Ulsan


Good, wholesome Japanese comfort food at moderate prices. If this restaurant had a tag-line, that’s what it would be.

Clean and well-lit, NatsuDong (나쯔동) is a comfortable open restaurant with quality food . The menu is filled with tasty rice dishes, noodle entrees and steak cutlets. Owner  YoungJin (Brian) Son has made a living out of serving up delicious Japanese style dishes in Ulsan. And if the name sounds even remotely familiar, that’s because Brian is also owner of one of Ulsan’s most authentic Japanese sushi restaurants, Sushi Bar Haru.

Brian’s newest entry into the already crowded Ulsan restaurant community is a welcome addition, bringing lovingly prepared Japan style food at decent prices. Menu items start at 7,000 won but even the most expensive dishes won’t break the bank.

We had one of the set menus at NatsuDong – a bowl of GyuDong, similar to Korean bibimbap but with generous slices of tender beef and without the red, spicy bibim sauce. That in itself could have been a meal for some. However, the set also included large shrimp fried tempura style, a bowl of soup brimming with noodles, seafood and vegetables and a crispy cabbage salad with a tangy ginger dressing.

Gyu Dong, noodles, fried shrimp and cabbage with Japanese ginger dressing

NatsuDong’s decor, although seemingly simple, is all imported European stone and brick giving it the comfortable, well-worn feel of a French cafe. The front patio has a few tables for dining outdoors when the weather permits, thus completing the European  touch.

Brian stays busy with his two restaurants, but even that is not enough to keep this man tied up for long. He is also a part time professor at Ulsan University and teaches Japanese cuisine. You know when you eat at NatsuDong you’re getting quality first-rate, Japanese dining without the cost of going to Japan.

NaSu Dong is located in Samsandong just across from the owner’s famous sushi restaurant, Sushi Bar Haru. Go around the corner from McDonalds towards Young Plaza parking garage, then go one block north. NatsuDong will be on the left while Sushi Bar Haru is on the right.

Natsudong's front patio dining should be a big hit in warmer weather