Saturday, 19 May 2012

South Korea, Seoul (Insadong)

I've always wanted to go to South Korea and I've been planning for the trip for 2 years. I still remember how influential Korean dramas are to me when I was in uni. It was a lifeline to break away from the monotony and stress. I'm not sure why but the dramas were totally addictive, and so at that time, the Korean wave did hit me very hard.

Having said all these, I finally went there last June and the most unique experience in Seoul for me is dining at Sanchon. Tucked in one of the narrow alleys of the street in Insadong, Sanchon serves Buddhist temple food, which is strictly vegetarian.

At the entrance of Sanchon here, I seriously did not know what to expect for lunch. 

Until now, I find the ambience superb, relaxing and calming. It was all zen; the music, furniture and the crockery. 

The food that Buddhist monks eat in their temples.

Steamed rice cooked with vegetable. The dishes came to our table non-stop until all 22 dishes were served. For the first time in my life, this was a feast full of vegetables, and nothing like the vegetables, which I usually ate.

Tofu, forest herbs and roots in the soup. Not sure how to describe the taste. It's not exactly tasteless; it has strong herbal taste but still quite bland. Not sure whether salt and pepper is added. 

6 different types of wild vegetables served on a bamboo tray. Some were seriously bitter, but it's good for health so I swallowed them down my throat. 

We were so full at the end of the meal, although Jas had a pained look on her face. My word of advice - refrain from bringing a friend, who does not really eat vegetables to Sanchon. For me, this was the best experience.