Temple Food Lunch at Sanchon 산촌
Last Thursday, Melissa, Renee, Lee Ann and I went to Sanchon, a traditional Korean restaurant in Insadong (the touristy part of Seoul near the palaces and temples). JungSan, a former Buddhist monk, opened Sanchon. In following with Buddhist principles, the restaurant only serves vegetarian dishes. When we arrived, we were asked to take off our shoes and wash our hands (to clean our hands of germs as well as cleanse our souls). The inside of the restaurant looked like a cross between a small temple (with a few shrines, hanging lotus lanterns, and burning incense) and a greenhouse (vaulted glass ceiling, lots of plants). The ambience was very Zen. The lunch menu set consisted of four courses, including a nice, roasted tea, for 33,000 won per person. I’ve never eaten so many different kinds of green plants before! After a very healthy lunch, it was so relaxing to sit at our table (I’m thankful we weren’t sitting on the floor), sip our tea, and listen to the sounds of trickling water. The food was very good (as far as vegetarian food goes, in my opinion), but it was the calm and peaceful ambience that won me over. I’ll be sure to take visiting family and friends to Sanchon to experience temple food.