For those of you who care, I apologize for the pause in blogging. I wish I could say that I’ve been mad-busy with other priorities and responsibilities, but in all honesty, I don’t have any excuse to give you besides good ol’ laziness. :P
One thing that I’ve been meaning to blog about is that last week I went to my very first ‘Seoul Veggie Club’ event! I’ve been living in Seoul for about 2.5 years now, and always meant to participate earlier, but for some reason, it just never happened. Maybe it was the fact that it’s called a ‘club’ and I feel too old to be in any ‘club’! I’m not in High School anymore! But yea, I finally decided to be brave despite my social awkwardness when it comes to meeting new people, and join the dinner event at Sanchon restaurant, in Insadong. And ofcourse, dragging Chris along with me helped too. :)
Not only was this my first ‘Seoul Veg Club’ event, it was also my first time to the one and only Sanchon, which serves Buddhist temple food, which is animal-free. This place has gotten reviews from lots of notable sources, including an ancient review from the New York Times, which the restaurant likes to flaunt whenever/wherever they can. It has long been on my list of restaurants to check out, so I was thankful to SVC for an excuse to finally check it out for myself.
As soon as we took off our shoes and walked into the restaurant, we were hit with this amazing scent of cinnamon, mixed with what seemed like ginseng and ginger. The atmosphere of the restaurant is very calming. I especially liked the beautiful lotus flower lamps hanging from the ceilings. It was all quite peaceful and relaxing.
Once all 17 of us were seated, the food started coming out…. and kept coming out. We would start eating, and then the servers would bring out more dishes. The table was covered with all kinds of different greens, fried veggies (like tempura), mini pancakes, and soups. Everything looked really beautiful and delicately prepared.
However, in all honesty, the taste of the food didn’t blow my mind like I was expecting. Once the novelty of eating vegan Korean food wore off, I was kind of like, ‘meh~’. Don’t get me wrong, the dishes were great (aside from a few strange cold soups), and I did appreciate the simple, clean flavors of each dish, but the meal itself didn’t seem to warrant its 39,000 won price. This was definitely the most expensive meal I’ve had in Korea (clearly, I’m no gourmet foodie).
What made Sanchon [more] worth its price was the traditional dance performance that followed the meal. About 4 different performers, decked in old-school hanboks, one by one came to the center stage and did their thang, whether it be dancing with a Korean hand-fan, or drumming. Others might have thought it was boring, but I enjoyed it, especially the part when they invited audience members to join them in a drumming/dance session and Chris actually participated! Drummer boy~~ haaa~
Anyway, so my final review of Sanchon is that, yes, the bill is more expensive than your neighborhood Kimbab Nara, but just think of it as paying for a meal AND a dance performance, as opposed to just a meal. The ambiance and abundant food are good, and vegetarians should check this place out at least once, if not for the food, then for the unique cultural experience.
I also had a good time with the Veg Club, and met some interesting folk! Since then, I’ve gone to a second dinner event, which was also great fun (two meetups in one week!). For those of you veggies who are hiding, don’t be like me and wait 2.5 years to make your Veg Club debut. Come out and join the parray! It’s not so much a ‘club’ as it is just a gathering of like-minded people, eating good food, and supporting eachother in a non-veg country. Unfortunately, the best way to keep up with events and meetups is to find the group page on Facebook (FB is the devil). There is a blog, but it’s hardly ever updated anymore. Anyway, check it out. Who knows, maybe I’ll meet you at the next gathering!