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Poutine Perfection in Ulsan: A Canadian Brunch Adventure at I.O.B.

On the edge of Ulsan, where the culinary landscape is often more associated with kimchi than Canadian cuisine, there exists a hidden gem that defies expectations. Nestled in the quaint enclave of Yulri, just a stone’s throw away from the hustle and bustle of Mugeodong, lies a haven for Canucks craving a taste of home: I.O.B., an acronym as understated as its unassuming exterior, standing for “I’m on break”.

Upon crossing the threshold of this unpretentious eatery, one is immediately struck by the warmth of Chef Casey Park’s welcome. A Vancouverite by way of culinary pedigree, Casey’s journey from the hallowed kitchens of La Crocodile to the innovative ambiance of the Cactus Club Cafe speaks volumes about the caliber of his craft. His culinary prowess, honed through years of toil and training at the Vancouver Culinary College, infuses every dish with an unmistakable flair.

But let’s cut to the chase: the food. Oh, the food! From the squeaky perfection of his handmade cheese curds in the poutine to the melt-in-your-mouth goodness of his burgers, Casey’s creations transcend mere sustenance, elevating the humble brunch experience to a gastronomic odyssey.


For too long, expats from the Great White North in Ulsan have languished in a culinary wasteland, forced to settle for pale imitations of their beloved fare or suffer through uninspired pub grub. But fear not, for Casey has answered the call, providing a sanctuary where maple syrup flows as freely as the conversation.

My advice? Start with a heaping plate of Casey’s signature poutine, a decadent symphony of crispy fries, rich gravy, and curds so fresh they squeak with delight. Follow it up with the pièce de résistance: eggs Benedict, flawlessly executed and served with a side of nostalgia. Feeling indulgent? Dive into one of Casey’s handmade pastas, each bite a testament to his dedication to excellence.


And here’s a pro tip: don’t be shy about sharing your love for Casey’s culinary wizardry. Despite his modest demeanor, he’s eager to connect with the expat community, so be sure to give him a nod of appreciation when you visit.

In a city where culinary surprises are as rare as a sunny day during the Changma rainy season, I.O.B. shines like a beacon of hope for hungry souls in search of a taste of home. So the next time you find yourself wandering the streets of Ulsan, do yourself a favor and follow your nose to this little slice of Canada in South Korea. You won’t be disappointed.

Here is how to get to I.O.B. and all the bus information

Jason Teale is a freelance photographer and writer based in South Korea specializing in travel, Cinemagraphs, food, and documentary photography. Available for assignments in Ulsan, Busan, Seoul, and nationwide.