“I bought this area of land to save this tree.” That’s the response I got when I asked the owner of Dasoni, a popular vegetarian and well-being restaurant in Jeju city, how she got into the restaurant business. Surprised at her response, she explained further that as a child she grew up playing around the sprawling tree (which is still visible to this day from the main dining area). Fast forward to adulthood…. just as the tree was to be uprooted, that’s when she stepped in and bought the surrounding land. And making good use of the land (and tree), she opened up Dasoni shortly thereafter.
Open for over 8 years, Dasoni has been serving up delicious and healthy traditional Korean food in a chogajip-inspired atmosphere. Most of the wood used in the interior were brought over from old chogajip homes, creating not only a rustic setting but also making it feel like you’re dining in a different time period. Adding to its appeal, calligraphy paintings on hanji, handcrafted ceramics, and other traditional ware are carefully placed throughout the restaurant. The food is just as simple and traditional as the decor, with bibimbab, deullkae sujebi, yeonip bab, and danpatjuk being their recommended dishes. All items range from a reasonable 7,000 won to 10,000 won. Banchan consist of freshly made kimchi, shigeumchi namul, hobak jeon, pickled radish, and salad. No MSG and other preservatives are used in their dishes. In addition to purely vegetarian options, the restaurant also serves a variety of teas ranging from omijacha (sweet berry tea) to meshilcha (sweet plum tea). For my personal take on each dish, see pictures below.
“Animals are my friends…and I don’t eat my friends.” ~ George Bernard Shaw
Korean Vocabulary Explained: Cho-ga-jip 초가집 - traditional thatched roof house Han-ji 한지 - traditional Korean paper Bi-bim-bab 비빔밥 - rice with vegetables mixed in a spicy sauce Deul-kkae Su-je-bi 든깨 수제비 - flaky dough pasta in perilla seeds broth Yeon-ip Bab 연잎 밥 - sticky rice cooked in lotus leaf Dan-pat-juk 단팥죽 - sweet red bean porridge Ban-chan 반찬 - complimentary side dishes, usually refillable Shi-geum-chi Na-mul 시금치 나물 - seasoned spinach Ho-bak Jeon 호박전 - pumpkin pancake
Food: ★★★★ out of 5 stars
Service: ★★★★ out of 5 stars
Ambiance: ★★★★½ out of 5 stars
Value: ★★★★½ out of 5 stars
995-9 Ora-dong Jeju City (제주 제주시 오라1동 995-9)
Hours of Operation: Monday to Saturday from 10am ~ 8pm / Closed on the 1st and 3rd Sundays of the month
Click here for directions: http://me2.do/F7Zx0znw