Blogging is awesome because it has the power to bring people together. Case in point, today, I had the pleasure of meeting up with one of my readers from LA who is currently visiting Korea. Her name is Janice and she took the leap from vegetarianism to veganism about a month ago! :) She emailed me way back in February with just some wonderful compliments about this blog, and then she recently contacted me again to let me know that she would be visiting Korea and to ask if I wanted to meet up. She didn’t sound like a psycho-killer in her emails, so I agreed. Haha. Naw, I was actually really excited for the opportunity to make a new friend!
We met up at Itaewon and initially wanted to eat at Zelen since Janice has never tried Bulgarian food before, but we found that they do not open on Tuesdays until dinner service. So after that, we decided to go for Indian at Taj Palace, across the street from the Foreign Food Mart. I had never been there before, so we were both in new territory. After letting the waitress know that we were vegan, we were then greeted by the manager/owner who was very helpful in pointing out the vegan dishes, as well as letting us know which ones could be modified to be vegan. I think it was a first for him to serve two Korean vegans, as he seemed pretty surprised. Represent! Anyway, here’s what we ordered:
Aloo gobi (10,500 won). This was flavorful, but it was actually a bit too oily and heavy for my taste. I couldn’t eat much of this because too much oil sometimes makes me feel nauseous (you know, that ‘neukki’ feeling). The potatoes were yummy though.
Dal Hariyali (9,500 won). This was milder in flavor compared to the aloo gobi, and I enjoyed it a lot. I love dal because it’s nice and thick so you can pile it high onto a chunk of roti and shovel it in your mouth. Mm.
It was quite a yummy and filling lunch! We couldn’t finish the roti so we ended up wrapping them up to take home. It was also really wonderful getting to know Janice. And just as I suspected from her emails, she was super kind and genuine in person. Not to mention far too generous! Check out all these incredible goodies she brought for me, all the way from LA!!:
Yes, apparently, I’m now getting pressies from people I hardly know. In her email, she did imply that she would bring something for me, but I just thought it would be one small item. But noooo, she had to go above and beyond with an entire collection of vegan loot. Ahhh! Two bars of extra dark chocolate, a jar of almond butter, two larabars, and a little container of raspberry-flavored sugar! Aside from the chocolate, I’ve never had any of these other products before, so I’m beyond thrilled. I can’t wait to taste that almond butter. I just know it’s gonna be dangerously good. Between all the PB & Co jars that my sister brought, and now this almond butter, I’m all set in the nut butter department. And I’m also excited to try the larabars, which I have only ever seen on American bloggers’ sites. It seems like the It energy bar these days, so I suddenly feel very ‘in’ and hip right now.
Oh, and the raspberry sugar just looks too sophisticated and precious to use. Seriously, I’m beyond thankful and I feel so blessed to have met someone who can be so generous to a total stranger like me. Thank you, thank you, thank you, Janice!