Friday, August 10, 2012

Suraon - Seoul

Alrighty folks, don’t have a heart attack, but I’m going to post about *gasp* Korean food! I know, it’s a miracle since I live in Korea and all. This post is about a place in Seoul called Suraon, which is a high-end traditional Korean food restaurant.

It's located near the express bus terminal in Central City in Seoul. I believe there is a map on the back of the business card that I'll scan in later.

A friend and colleague at work -
This guy

- wanted to take me and another friend and colleague at work -
This strange lady with the lamp shade on her head

- out to dinner to experience some traditional Korean food. He apparently takes foreigners here all of the time to eat.

So, I mentioned this was a high-end place, so if you're on a tight budget, I wouldn't recommend it. The sets range in price from 40000 won to 120000 won (about $40 - $120). They have a few dishes that you can order separately, but it's mostly sets. Also, there aren't a lot of vegetarian options, so if you're vegetarian, I don't really recommend going here unless you also eat seafood. Lots of the dishes have seafood, but there are some that don't, thankfully. Drinks are also quite expensive. For example, a Cass or Hite (cheap Korean beer) will run you 8800 won (about $8).

The manager of the restaurant is a super nice lady and was very friendly, gracious, and patient while Sonja was taking pictures in traditional Korean garb.

This is the manager

The interior of this place is super nice and decorated with lots of traditional Korean items. They also have an upstairs area with private rooms that have windows overlooking the stage so you can still see the performances.

In the entry way, if you look up, there is an awesome painting on the ceiling.

And if you walk up the stairs and look out, there is this painted around the walls.

So, one of the things that sets this place apart from other restaurants is that 20 after every hour in the evening, they have shows consisting of dancing and music. Some of the music is Beatles songs being played on traditional instruments. I think Sonja took some videos, so I'll try to steal those from her and link to them later :). Sorry the pics aren't very good (I had a pole in my way and light shining directly at me)- I didn't feel like moving to the front of the stage to get better shots.

You can also have your picture taken in the foyer area in traditional Korean clothing.

So, on to the food! I don't know the names of most of the food items, so this will mostly just be pictures, sorry! The food is really quite good here and worth the price considering you can also enjoy traditional Korean dancing and music while you're eating. It really is quite a unique experience.

A cold soup (left) and a hot porridge (right). The cool soup was kind of a radish flavor while the porridge was chicken flavor. Both were very good.

This was the dish I ordered. It's beef marinated in bulgogi sauce with mushroom. The flavor was excellent, but the texture of the beef was stringy, which I have a hard time enjoying, so I couldn't really finish it :(

This is a rice ball wrapped in a lotus leaf. :) I had never seen this before, but it was pretty cool.

And when you open the leaf up, there is the rice ball. It has red beans, dried dates, and peanuts in it. It's quite good, but you need to let it cool for a few minutes

Dessert was a cold persimmon and sweet potato tea.

So there you have Suraon. If you want to experience some very good traditional Korean food and performances, you should definitely stop in and check it out.

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