Sunday, March 15, 2015

Travel | Seoul 28 Oct - 2 Nov 2014 | San Nae Ri 산내리 북촌점 @ Insadong

Was in Seoul last year during autumn, and was looking for hanjeongsik 한정식 or Korean table d'hote to try. Had to abort first attempt at Samcheonggak as we failed to secure a reservation. Second attempt was a walk-in at this restaurant in Insadong, called San Nae Ri (山内里).

signboard to San Nae Ri

There were plenty of locals that day, and we were the only tourist in sight. Informed the lady at the door that we would like to lunch there and she motioned for us to wait a while. Was watching the other customers and seemed like this place is popular with elderly folks!

A table was available for us, so we were ushered inside pretty quickly. This place requires guests to remove their shoes, prior to entering the dining area.

dining room

Our dining room was quite spacious and there were just three other tables occupied. Menu is in Korean, and service staff speaks only Korean. My friend does not take beef and as with most hanjeongsik, the lunch full course menu does contain beef dishes. Staff was helpful though we had difficulty in communication. As there were 2 dishes that contain beef, she would change one item to soup while one of the beef main course item remains.

Course menu starts from 30,000 and minimum of 2 pax. Individual set meals of one main dish, served with rice and side dishes are available too with quite affordable price tag.

The cold dishes were served first. Quite like the tangy white kimchi. Salad was refreshing with the sesame dressing. The portions are meant for 2 pax but in actual fact, the portions were more than generous.

white kimchi
salad in sesame dressing
meat salad

We could not figure out what kind of meat it was but it tasted tender, almost like venison. Very likeable.

Next dish, was an icy cold dish of frozen fish slices with spring onions, cucumber, spicy sauce and topped with ground peanuts. Truly exotic and can't help wondering if we were eating this the right way...

cold dish - sliced frozen fish

Thankfully, the next seafood was spicy octopus and it tasted very good. Very tender and pretty spicy. Served with blanched kongnamul 콩나물 or bean sprouts.

spicy octopus 낙지볶음

Next up, the main course of braised beef ribs. So glad we didn't trade this dish away as it was excellent! (and it was all mine! *hiaks hiaks*)

braised beef ribs 길비찜 with mushrooms

The ribs were huge and the meat was fork tender. So yummy and flavourful. The mushrooms were meaty too.

peppery fish soup

Originally, beef doenjang jjigae 된장 찌개 is in the menu, so we exchanged it with this soup. Tasted quite peppery, which was nice in cold weather.

fried fish with spicy sauce
fried pumpkin

The fried fish was rather dry, and not much flavour. The fried pumpkin, on the other hand, was fantastic. So sweet, and soft. Almost like a dessert.

We were already feeling full by then. Little did we realise, the course meal comes with rice set.

kimchi soup, blanched spinach, kimchi, pickles and rice

The rice was so good. How can we not eat the rice? Plus the pickles, and the spicy kimchi really did work up the appetite again. It was like a dilemma; can't eat anymore but felt the need to finish. The soup was tasty too. Loved the bean paste soup~

Lastly, we were served a bunch of grapes and a cup of omija. The grapes were super sweet. Similar to kyoho grapes.

to end the meal

The meal costs 60,000 nett for two pax, and both of us ended up being super duper full! An interesting experience indeed.


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