Korean veg turns fantasy

City talk | Siu Sai-wo 22 Apr 2021

Vegetarian food has become popular in recent years and most high-end Western restaurants offer such choices these days.

There are also Korean shops that specialize in vegetarian food, like the one in Tsim Sha Tsui where I went for a dinner party hosted by a friend.

After we were seated, my friend laughed and told us he had planned to book a private room, but found it had been taken by the chairman of a public company to hold a birthday party for his wife.

Apparently, this new shop has fast become a haunt among the chic crowd.

In keeping with the Korean pop culture that has taken the world by storm, the shop has classy decor, with cement-tone wall molding.

That evening the shop offered three tasting menus, two six-course ones charging about HK$400 and HK$600, and a nine-course set for just over HK$1,100.

The host thought a six-course set wouldn't be enough, but the guests insisted on not over ordering, so we settled on a six-course one, with a side order of dumplings. But in the end, the host was proved right.

Korea's yangsheng tang, or nourishing health soup, is famous.

Those who have visited the country would not forget how hearty it is to have this soup in freezing weather. Yangshen tang is usually made with chicken and ginseng, but the shop, being vegetarian, didn't use chicken, and there didn't seem to be ginseng in its version of the soup either.

After tasting it, I detected the aroma of ingredients like chestnuts, which are very healthy nutritionally.

Other dishes included a platter, salad, vegetarian rolls, tofu skin and the staple kimchi rice.

We also had a HK$500 Korean liquor, served in a white plastic bottle.

As I was savoring the food with the small sake wine cup being refilled again and again, I imagined myself to be one of those cool-looking stars in Korean TV dramas.

This fantasizing even turned out to be the most delightful part of the fashionable meal!

Siu Sai-wo is publisher of Sing Tao Daily



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