07 May 2010

Hungry for Seoul?

Okay, so South Korea is not the best place to be if you're not a meat eater. Beef, squid, octopus.. South Korea loves it all. But any vegetarian worth their weight will have Happy Cow as their best friend. If you don't already have this site saved to your Favourites, then do it now. After all, you never know when you're gonna find yourself in a foreign country clutching a menu that's covered with seemingly indecipherable code with no pictures. You may one day find yourself presented with a plate of cheese-covered octopus tentacles on rice because your friend checked the wrong box in the aforementioned menu. You may even find yourself getting booted out of restaurants, or even getting doors slammed shut in your face because, well... some people just don't dig vegetarians. I know because it happened to me.

Anyway, the inner nerd in me refused to accept that I'd only be able to choose from 3 menu items (you mean.. pork is not vegetarian?) whenever I ate out, so with my notebook filled with restaurants, my vege-venturous friend Jason and I embarked on a mission to cross as many as we could off the list. Bear in mind, I lived in South Korea from November 2007-November 2008, so some details may have changed.

Here are the 3 best buffets in Seoul:

SM CHINGHAI, Yangjae, Seoul, South Korea

02) 576 9637 Lunch 12.30-2.30 Dinner 6-9

Yangjae Station, Exit 5. After leaving the exit, turn right, keep walking until you can make another right. Then just keep on walking, yep.. it's a bit of a walk. You'll cross a couple of roads, a bridge, a giant crab. It's opposite a Starbucks, for want of a better landmark. You could always take a bus, but Jason and I got on the wrong one so we never tried doing that again. Anyway, this buffet is amazing, the buffet food varies from day to day so there's a bit of variety. This place is heavy on the fake meat and there are even some fridges if you want to take some home with you. Cute outdoor area if you're lucky to miss the rainy season. Wash it all down with a scoop of Purely Decadent before you hit the subway home.


031) 291 5879 Lunch 12-3 Dinner 6-9

From Suwon Station, take bus #13 from the bus stop just past the Touritst Information Centre. I'm going to be honest here, this restaurant is incredibly hard to find, you may get lost trying to find it and your friend will probably want to punch you in the face in a fit of hunger-enduced frustration. You should probably have the number handy should you need to flag down a taxi. Otherwise, you're gonna be sitting on that bus for a while, after it leaves the station you'll head towards the hills, then it will drive around in this huge loop before heading back Once you find this hidden gem you will be so glad you persevered. The dining area is surprisingly huge, the buffet tables changed continuously, and the seats are always full.

NEW START, Seollung, Seoul, South Korea

02) 565 43 24 Closed Friday and Saturday

Seollung Station, exit 2. Walk straight up the hill and turn left after Linko. Look for it on the right. Another amazing find... why, oh why didn't I know about this during training??? I could've saved myself from night after night of ramen noodles (and the occasional Oreo in the shower) had I only known. Vegetarian CDI teachers of the future: take note! This is literally a stone's throw from the hotel (well, the one I was at anyway). Do not even get tempted to go to Burger King! Hiss. Buffet has both Korean and Western food.



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