Alien's Day Out

Jirisan Restaurant & Cafe Bello

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Had a great Saturday yesterday where I got to catch up with lots of friends and eat scrumptious Korean food. One of my friends, Mike, introduced us to a fab Korean traditional restaurant called ‘Jirisan,’ nestled in one of the alleyways of Insadong. The quiet alleyway that it’s in is filled with very traditional han-shik restaurants, that seem to be very veg-friendly.

Jirisan Restaurant @ Itaewon
Jirisan Restaurant @ Itaewon
Jirisan’s entryway. When you walk in, it’s like a courtyard, and there are plenty of tables and rooms for groups of all sizes.

Jirisan Restaurant @ Itaewon
I originally wanted to get their 영양돌솟비빔밥, which is their ‘nutritious hot stone pot bibimbab,’ but they said it would take a while to come out, so then I just ordered their regular bibimbab (not hot, and I guess less nutritious??). It normally comes with egg, but I specifically asked them to leave that out. Most of my friends ordered the jung-shik menu, where you get a ton of different banchans, soups, and rice for 14,000won. Most of the banchans were vegetarian/vegan, except for some pieces of fish, the jjigye (fish broth), and then the red kimchi that probably had fish sauce in it. There were so many different banchans, but here are some of them that I believe were vegan:

Jirisan Restaurant @ Itaewon
chives & tofu

Jirisan Restaurant @ Itaewon
nokdumuk

Jirisan Restaurant @ Itaewon
cold kimchi soup

Jirisan Restaurant @ Itaewon
three different namul banchans

Jirisan Restaurant @ Itaewon
oyster mushrooms

Jirisan Restaurant @ Itaewon
Ginseng root. My friends didn’t enjoy the bitterness of this one and compared the taste to soap. Ginseng root is supposed to be really healthy for you!

Jirisan Restaurant @ Itaewon
Sweet lotus root

Jirisan Restaurant @ Itaewon
Japchae! This one was a hit.

Jirisan Restaurant @ Itaewon
Savory pancakes & oyster mushrooms

Jirisan Restaurant @ Itaewon
Eggplant

Jirisan Restaurant @ Itaewon
And finally, here’s my bibimbab all mixed up. Favorite food of all time!

Jirisan Restaurant @ Itaewon
For ‘desert,’ we each got a refreshing bowl of shik-hae, a sweetened rice drink.

T’was a delicious lunch and I would definitely go back to Jirisan. Actually, this restaurant is directly opposite ‘Dimibang,’ another supposedly veg-friendly Korean restaurant that I have heard quite a lot about, so I plan on trying that one out too!

Directions to Jirisan Restaurant: Anguk Station, Line #3, exit 6. Walk down Insadong road and turn left into the alleyway at the ‘Insadong-3-gil’ signpost. Keep walking until you reach a T-intersection. Turn left and walk a short distance. Jirisan will be on your right.

Insadong & Samcheong-dong
After lunch, we all went for a stroll through Samcheong-dong. Since it was a busy Saturday afternoon, we had some trouble finding a cafe that could fit all 11 of us, but finally settled on ‘Bello Cafe’ which was rather empty (bad sign?). Their menu was really expensive (6000 won and up), which probably explained why they didn’t have many customers. Well I’m sure they made a nice profit from my friends’ orders!

Insadong & Samcheong-dong
Insadong & Samcheong-dongInsadong & Samcheong-dong
Insadong & Samcheong-dong
Here’s my ‘Bello Americano’ with store-bought soymilk. You can see my friend’s patbingsu in the background.

Insadong & Samcheong-dong
After chillaxin’ at this cafe, some of us returned to Insadong, where we checked out some artsty trinkets at Ssamzie-gil.

IMG_2052
I bought these two cupcake postcards for 1000won. Sweet, eh?

3 Comments

  1. Ahh, Insadong.

  2. We'll try Jirisan this Fall, when we visit Seoul again! ^^ Thanks for the recommendation, their banchan looks amazing!

  3. Pingback: Alien’s Weekend Off, in Seoul | Alien's Day Out

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