Earlier this week, I met up with Fiona (super Seoul Veggie Club member, and vegan bake sale friend) to catch up over lunch. Since Fiona is a well-seasoned vegan in Korea, she knows a lot of great veggie spots and suggested we go to ‘Bao,’ an Asian cuisine restaurant at Noksapyeong. It’s apparently a pretty popular place, but this was my first time hearing of it! I’m so glad she took me there because now I can add yet another vegan-friendly restaurant to my ever-growing list.
So the way the menu works is that you can pretty much “create” your own dish. Think of it like Subway sandwiches or Chipotle. First, you pick your starch, which includes different types of stir-fried noodles or rice, and then you choose a sauce (Chinese, Thai, Singapore, Malay, or Korean). The Thai sauce has fish sauce in it, but they can omit that upon request. All dishes automatically come with various veggies which you can select or omit, based on your preference, and for a little extra cash, you can throw in some protein too (tofu, cashews, meat, etc…)! One thing to note is that the basic entree also includes egg, but you can just ask them to leave it out, no problem. The great thing was that the waitress even asked us if we were vegetarian/vegans to make sure they did not accidentally include any animal products. :) I like.
Here’s what I got: Thin rice noodles with Singapore sauce and tofu for protein (+1,000 won). No eggs, and all veggies included. Regular size. (8,000 won total) It was surprisingly spicy and had heaps of tasty curry flavor. It could’ve maybe used a bit more salt, but overall, I thought this dish was pretty awesome! The regular size was also perfect for me- just enough to satisfy, but not overstuff.
Fiona got the flat rice noodles with Malay sauce, no eggs, all veggies, and cashews for the protein. As much as I enjoyed my dish, I thought Fiona’s was better. haha. She’s obvious a pro at ordering here cuz she knows what’s good! The Malay sauce, which is a delicious blend of peanuts and coconut milk, was definitely what ‘made’ the dish. I know what I’m ordering next time.
Directions to Bao:
658 Itaewon-2-dong, 140-861 Seoul, South Korea
Oh, and we did a vegan cookbook swap! I lent her my copy of ‘Vegan Brunch’ and ‘The Joy of Vegan Baking,’ while she lent me ‘Vegan Vittles,’ ‘Vegan a Go-Go,” and a bunch of VegNews and Vegan Voice magazines! I haven’t had a chance to try anything from them yet, but I’ve tabbed a few things I’d love to attempt soon… :)