As much as I love restaurants in Seoul, they’re second fiddle to the food you find outside the city. Take, for instance, this famous restaurant in Yangsuri that serves a mammoth yet healthy spread called yeonbaht jeongsik, a course meal featuring glutinous rice steamed in lotus leaves and a plethora of banchan that’s just a sight to behold.
Due to the surrounding lotus fields, most restaurants in the area utilize the fragrant lotus leaves and crunchy roots for their main offerings. But only here at Yeon Baht do they take the extra step by serving kodari jjim (steamed pollack), dwenjang jjigae (soybean soup), kimchi jeon, gyeran jjim (fluffy steamed eggs), and a shot of house-made wine for a king’s feast. Not to my surprise, every dish was light, clean, and healthy; nothing was overseasoned, simply allowing the ingredients to shine on their own. At only 15,000 won per person, this is probably one of the best meals in terms of cost, the quality of food, and the ambiance, which is made even more beautiful during the lotus blooming season. They offer several course meals and a la carte options, but this basic course meal is what customers flock for—and for good reason.
Astonished at the sheer sight of the food in front of me, I asked the server if this was really a single person serving and she assured me it was. Here’s a short snippet of our conversation that gives you an idea of how special this place is:
Me: Emo, are you sure this isn’t for two people?
Emo: No, it’s a single serving. It includes our signature steamed lotus leaf wrapped rice, steamed pollack, soybean paste stew, kimchi jeon, and a “few” side dishes.
Me: I don’t think I can finish this all and I hate wasting food.
Emo: That’s why we give you a shot of housemade wine, which will help aid in digestion and will help you eat more. I promise you’ll finish it all.
[Cleared in 15 minutes!]
Food: ★★★★½ out of 5 stars
Service: ★★★★½ out of 5 stars
Ambiance: ★★★★½ out of 5 stars
Value: ★★★★★ out of 5 stars
Yeon Baht “Lotus Fields” (연밭)
Yongdamri 514, Yangseo-myun, Yangpyeong-gun (양평군 양서면 용담리 514)
Hours: Open every day 11:30 am ~ 9:00 pm
Click here for an interactive map: http://naver.me/FnL4why8