Throughout my time in Korea I have managed to have vegetarian versions of all traditional dishes. I have eaten japchae, kimbap, patbingsu, bibimbap and ddeobokki; but Korean BBQ is always something that I have never been able to experience. The meat in these restaurants is cooked on a grill in the middle of the table before being placed in lettuce leaves, wrapped in eaten. It always looks yummy and healthy, and is hugely popular in Korea. Lucky for my I discovered Oh Sae Gyae Hyang, a restaurant which does vegan versions of pretty much every Korean food including BBQ – be still my heart!
Oh Sae Gyae Hyang opened for students several years ago but is now available to the public as the food was that good. The layout is relaxed and you can buy different vegetarian products to take home which I now wish I had done.
The menu here is extensive and, after years of only having one option, I found it hard to chose. The lunchtime special was tofu bibimbap with a ton of sides for 8,000won (such good value), but they also have tofu soups, various noodles dishes, bulgolgi, mushroom hot pot, soy cutlet, salads and just about everything else.
I went with the BBQ bulgolge, soy protein salad and sticky rice lotus leaves.
And it was delicious. Fresh vegetables and good tasting soy bulgolge. It is a bit weird eating fake meat because it looks so real, but the taste was amazing and I soon forgot. I also appreciate anytime I can have fresh vegetables in Korea!
The three dishes cost 27,000won all up and we had more then enough food. It was healthy, delicious and we left full but not feeling weight down by a heavy meal. I totally recommend Oh Sae Gyae Hyang!
To get here take exit 6 from Anguk station and walk down Insadong shopping road on your left. Thee restaurant is down the forth left alleyway, the one attached to the large spiral shopping area. Just walk right to the end of the street until the end and you will see a sign saying vegan. Happy eating!