Saumya Jain, New Delhi
The increasing trend of K-dramas and K-pop has been spreading worldwide and so is the widespread K-lifestyle and K-food. Nowadays people are so fond of tasting and exploring Korean food as much as they can hence resulting in high demand for Korean Restaurants in India. From Soju to Korean Ramyeon, which caught our attention from Korean dramas, we have been trying to explore more Korean dishes.
But here comes the twist, being an Indian and especially vegetarian, it becomes challenging to try every Korean dish, plus if we wish to travel to South Korea someday it is going to be challenging to search for vegetarian options. So, to lessen your worries, I did some research as to what possible options are available for you to try from Korean dishes and also, some options which can help you on your trip to South Korea as a vegetarian. Some of the Korean dishes that can be easily converted into vegetarian options are:
Firstly, Gimbap in which rice vinegar and sugar are commonly added to sticky cooked rice for Japanese-style sushi rolls. Gimbaps’ rice is seasoned with sesame oil and salt for a unique flavour. Kimbap can contain processed cheese slices, tuna, meat, spam, or a scrambled egg strip, but the vegan version will contain cucumber, radish, carrot etc. to fill you up, so basically you can customise your ingredients as a vegetarian.
Secondly, we have Japchae also called Korean sweet potato noodles, ordering japchae without pork is a simple way to make it vegan. Sweet potato noodles are a great side dish or main meal when coupled with mushrooms, carrots, and other vegetables.
Third we have the Bibimbap, which is a combo of veggies and rice. This can be another dish as part of your survival kit. This dish’s heart is made up of vegetables, rice, and gochujang (red chilli paste), and it can be requested in a hot stone bowl! Don’t forget to mention vegetarian/vegan bibimbap, just in case they put eggs on top of the bowl or any other non-veg items.
Now let’s talk about some of the vegetarian and vegan cafes and restaurant options in South Korea-
Starting with Loving Hut which is a vegan restaurant franchise whose each location is independently owned and operated, and each menu is created and set by the business owners. Loving Hut eateries are springing up all over the world. It’s an invitation to enjoy excellent international cuisine at a fantastic price that’s entirely created without animals and with healthy vegan ingredients, making it an accessible starting point for individuals who wish to make the honourable switch to a plant-based diet. The restaurants are widely spread across South Korea, a link has been provided for checking out the locations.
Address: 35 Gaepo-ro 22-gil, Gaepo-dong, Gangnam-gu, Seoul, South Korea.
Picture Credits: Loving Hut (http://www.lovinghut.kr/)
Second, we have Plant Cafe Seoul, it is a 100% plant-based restaurant and bakery in Seoul’s downtown district. They’ve been one of Seoul’s leading vegan restaurants for quite some time. Once you enter this café, you can freely and without any worry order anything as it’s completely vegetarian and vegan.
Address: 2 floors, 117 Bogwang-ro, Itaewon 1(il)-Dong, Yongsan-gu, Seoul, South Korea.
Picture Credits: Plant Cafe Seoul (https://www.plantcafeseoul.com/)
Third, we have a list of some Indian restaurants where we can surely find vegetarian food at any cost, after all, it is our desi and safest option-
1. TAJ- Taste of India (Myeongdong Store) has multiple floors and is a large, upscale Indian restaurant. A menu of traditional Indian cuisine, including vegetarian options, is available. Lunchtime fixed menus (big/small, veg/non-veg) are also available.
Address: 73 Myeongdong-gil, Myeongdong 1(il)-ga, Jung-gu, Seoul, South Korea.
Picture Credits: https://www.instagram.com/taj_tasteofindia
2. Jyoti Indian Restaurant is a good place to go if you want to eat Indian food. Both vegetarian and non-vegetarian alternatives are available on the menu, which is prepared by competent chefs with plenty of expertise. On weekdays from 11.30 a.m to 2 p.m, set lunches are offered, and for dinner, a variety of sets are provided.
Address: 6, Sinchon-ro 20-gil, Mapo-gu 3 Floor, Seoul 04101 South Korea.
Picture Credits: https://www.jyotifood.com/
3. New Delhi Restaurant has a 5-star rating on TripAdvisor and is an Indian restaurant in Seoul which has been liked by many travellers and tourists across the world. One should give it a try when you go to South Korea, especially, for vegetarians as it has many vegetarian options on its menu.
Address: 28, Nonhyeon-ro 176-gil, Gangnam-gu, Sinsadong, Seoul 06022 South Korea.
You can check out more Indian restaurants in South Korea on websites like TripAdvisor etc and can select the ones you like the most and would like to visit. A link has been provided for the same. I hope this article will be of your help once you travel to South Korea. Keep this article saved with you, it will benefit you later, especially for all the vegetarians out there.
Link for more Indian restaurants in South Korea:
Let us know in the comments which of these restaurants would you like to visit in South Korea?