Lately, I haven’t been eating out as much as I used to, but there are so many restaurants on my list to check out! My most recent meal out was at Hyosowon, a Korean well-being, vegetarian buffet that I’ve been meaning to check out for at least two years! Based on my love for other veg buffets, you would think that I’d be all up in it ASAP, but for some reason, I never got around to it until this weekend.
There are actually two different locations and they’re both within walking distance of eachother, by Sadang Station. The one my friend I went to is their second (newer) branch which is slightly closer to the station. There’s also a Hyosowon cafe next door to this buffet but we didn’t get around to checking it out.
For a buffet, it’s fairly small and the options aren’t as diverse, but everything is really fresh and tasty. You can also tell that they try to make everything as healthy as possible. Whole foods, brown rice, fresh veggies, nothing is too salty or oily, no wheat/soy meat.
To be clear, this buffet is not 100% vegetarian or vegan. For vegans, they will specifically point out anything that has animal products. When I went, the ajuma there was sooo friendly and helpful and explained that the kimchi and jjigye (soup) are not vegetarian. But she said that they would make a specific animal-free jjigye for any vegans that come in. So she hurried into the kitchen and soon came out with a really delicious spicy soup with tofu and veggies.
Each person also gets a little packet of “Enzyme Essence” which is supposed to be healthy for you.
It looks like tiny grains or fish food and it has a strange seaweedy/nutty taste. An acquired taste. I checked the ingredients list and it seems vegan…. hm, I guess a little extra ‘essence’ won’t hurt.
Overall, I really enjoyed this place. Don’t expect a huge spread like Loving Hut Achasan, or fancy food presentation like Garobee, but go for the simple, nutritious Korean food. I’m always happy when there’s a variety of Korean banchans so this was right up my alley and I definitely plan on eating here again in the future.
Directions to Hyosowon:
Sadang Station, Line 4 & 2, Exit 13. When you come out of the subway exit, immediately turn right into the alley. Keep following the road as it goes up uphill and veers slightly to the left. Stay on the same sidewalk and Hyosowon will be on your left.
서울시 서초구 방배2동 475-31 1층
Lunch:11:30am – 2:30pm
Dinner: 5:30 – 8/8:30pm
Closed on Sundays
Take out available