Alien's Day Out

Sukkara in Hongdae

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I recently heard about a restaurant/cafe called Sukkara in Hongdae that has tofu cheesecake and other vegan-friendly dishes. So today I dragged my sister through the rain to check it out.

The interior is really nice with a bar in the middle, some folksy artwork, a huge bookshelf stacked with Japanese art books and magazines, indie music, and eclectic vintage furniture. However, what I thought would be an exciting new vegan experience, turned out to be not vegan at all.

First, I ignorantly ordered something called ‘Taramo with Soybean Pasta’ (9,500won) which was basically like a cream pasta, but with a slightly runnier consistency, and with bits of potato. I also went the healthier route and chose wheat pasta rather than regular pasta. The menu said the sauce was made from soybeans and soymilk, so I got all excited and didn’t even think to ask what the heck ‘taramo’ was. It tasted pretty good (although the wheat pasta was a little too el dente), and I ate the entire dish, fascinated with the soybean sauce’s unique taste. Then later, I went online and looked up ‘taramo’ only to find that it’s a type of fishegg!! Ack! And I thought those tiny specks of white were just bits of soybeans! Call me Stupid.

Oh, but it doesn’t end there.
After I ate my pasta with fisheggs (boo~) and my sister ate her ‘Olive oil vegetable pasta’ (which had bacon in it), we ordered a slice of their notorious tofu cheesecake. It looked awesome, and the texture was amazingly JUST like cheesecake. It even tasted like cheesecake. But here is where my ignorance and naivete got the best of me again. I was so thrilled at the fact that I was trying my very first tofu cheesecake, and in Korea of all places, that I didn’t even think that it actually might NOT be vegan. My sister immediately tasted egg in it. I could taste the egg too, but I was in complete denial because I wanted to believe that yummy vegan cheesecake is possible in Korea! But she was insistent, and sure enough, the waitress confirmed that it is made with egg. ACK!! Again!!

Why, why, why would someone go the distance to make tofu cheesecake, only to contaminate it with chickens’ eggs? Am I the only one who sees how illogical this is? Do I just put too much faith in these kinds of health oriented, supposedly progressive restaurant-cafes here in Korea? I must’ve expected too much after seeing online photos of their menu board with the word ‘vegan’ on it. *sigh* I think their menu is a bit deceiving because even for my sister’s so-called ‘Vegetable pasta,’ the description mentioned nothing about the chunks of bacon in it. In the end, the only truly vegan thing I ordered there was a soy chai latte….

But to end on a positive note, the atmosphere is wonderful, they have wireless internet, and they serve cafe/tea lattes and hot chocolate with soymilk. Also, I saw a ‘bean salad’ on the menu that looks good, and I doubt that has any animals in it. If I ever go to Sukkara again, that’s what I’m getting! :) The end.

3 Comments

  1. Hey there, I stumbled upon your blog when i was searching for some information about Hongdae, and i would really like to know where to find this Sukkara place. I’ve only been here in Korea a few months, and Hongdae seems to be the place for me, though i live an hour or so south in Pyeongtaek.

  2. if you could please e-mail me any information i would be beyond appreciative. I’ve been dying to go to a decent cafe.

  3. Hi Cameron,

    I can’t seem to access your profile, so I can’t send you an email.

    I don’t know Hongdae well enough myself to give you proper directions. And it doesn’t help that Koreans don’t use street names, but give directions by landmarks instead…

    There is a simplified map on the cafe’s website: http://www.sukkara.co.kr/
    look under the ‘About’ tab. I will also attach a copy of the map image on this blog entry.
    If you’re walking on the main road from Hong Ik university, you probably have to walk about 5-10 minutes. It’s on your left, before you reach the overpass bridge.

    If you get lost, maybe you could ask someone in the area? It’s quite a well-known spot.

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