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Crazily craving for some Korean
Story and pictures by Paduka Fansiar
Island foodies rejoice! We now have our very first Korean restaurant on Koh Phangan, Seoul Vibe.
Apart from plenty of delicious options to choose from the menu, it is also the only place on our island to get Makgeolli, that scrumptious yet dangerously addictive sweet Korean rice wine.
After overwhelming response to her weekly functions called 'Kimchi parties', owner manager Somi Kim decided to open Seoul Vibe right next to Phanthip Market in Thongsala.
Phanganist sat down with Somi to find out more about whats on offer at Seoul Vibe.
How does Korean food differ from other Asian cuisine?
Southeast Asians tend to use rice noodles, while Koreans prefer alkaline wheat noodles (though there's other types in each, like cellophane noodles and buckwheat noodles). While most Thai dishes tend to use peanut oil,Koreans prefer sesame oil.
Koreans use ginger slightly more, whileThai tend towards other herbs (lemongrass, lime leaves, cilantro, basil, galangal) and tropical fruits.
All small, but subtle, differences
Korean food is also well known for its healthy benefits.
Basic Korean ingredients includes gochujang (savory, sweet, and spicy fermented condiment made from gochutgaru chili powder, glutinous rice, fermented mejutgaru soybean powder, yeotgireum barley malt powder and salt), miso pastes (seasoning produced by fermenting soybeans with salt and koji and sometimes rice, barley, or other ingredients) and, of course, the iconic kimchi, Korea's traditional side dish made from salted and fermented vegetables.
We use kimchi in many dishes, including the Kimchi fried rice (topped with fried egg), Kimchi Joen (Korean-style pancake cooked with homemade kimchi, bacon and vegetables), the Tofu Kimchi (warmed tofu served with kimchi) as well as the Kinchi Soup and the Kimchi Tuna Soup.
All our side pickles are homemade by us freshly everyday and our customers get it free for every food you order at Seoul Vibe.
Having side pickles is typical Korean-style eating etiquette. Not just for the taste. It is also helpful with your digestion system when you eat something heavy like the Korean BBQ, where you get several choices of meats, soup, rice, salad and lords of side pickles.
For meat eaters, Soul Vibe serves traditional bulgogi; thin, slices of grilled beef or pork marinated with sweet soy sauce/chili sauce swerved on a grill steak plate and served with a side of soup.
For the adventurous, theres the Chili Cheese Chicken, chili (the hotness depending on how you prefer it) marinated chicken with rice cake, vegetables topped with melted mozzarella cheese.
For our vegan friends, we have four vegan dishes, which are the Vegan Bibimbab (rice bowl topped with mushrooms, cabbage, eggplants, carrots, radish), Sweet Potato Glass Noodle Veg Salad, Miso Soup and Fresh Fried Potato Ships.
Soul Vibe have also added a few more things on the menu since they started, including the fusion dishes Kimchi Banh Xeo (Vietnamese crepes infused with kimchi and filled with marinated pork, chili steamed rice noodles and vegetables served with sweet and spicy peanut sauce) and a very Korean take on the American beef burger (bulgogi sauce marinated beef patty garnished with chili mayo sauce and radish pickle served with a side of sweet potato chips).
For noodles, Soul Vibe presents the Jabche (sweet potato noodle sautéed in sweet soy sauce with vegetables) or the Spicy Squid Noodles )thinly-sliced squid sautéed in spicy Korean chili sauce and served with rice noodles).
One of Seoul Vibes most popular dish is the Ttok Bo Ki, Korean-style rice gnocchi sautéed in sweet soy sauce with marinated beef, mushrooms and vegetables.
Plus, if it's your first time in Korean restaurant, you don’t have to worry at all. Soul Vibe have a trained server who will explain you all the dishes in detail, and if you order from the BBQ menu, the most favourite dish requested by far, our helpful servers will cook the BBQ for you so you can just enjoy the meal without worrying your food getting burnt.
We will do our best to make your night special!
Seoul Vibe is open every day from 3pm till 11pm (last order 10:30pm).
You are welcome to call them at 099 078 5769 for pre-order and pick up as well!
For more information, check them on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/seoulvibe/
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