Friday, 30 December 2011

saveurs de coree [dongcheng, beijing]

The only reason I tried out Saveurs de Coree is because Happy Cow told me they knew what the word vegan meant. And this is sort of true!

I love the atmosphere of the Ju'Er location, though its poor lighting meant I was unable to get any nice photos. They have a lovely looking outdoor section that I look forward to trying when it's not -4C, and lots of fun Korean books inside, and an awesome water feature in the back room that I really enjoyed.

The menu is extensive, filled with all sorts of things, and a little leaf indicates things that can be made vegetarian or vegan. It says so, right there at the bottom of the menu! Sadly this is where things got a little complicated for me. The menu clearly states that things with leaves can be made vegetarian or vegan, however our waitperson (who spoke some English) clearly had no idea.

potato cakes

We ended up ordering a whole bunch of food, and it was all really delicious. We went for these gamja jeon (potato pancakes), and some japchae and ttekkdokki to share, and then a plate of mushroom rice each. These three dishes pictured were amazing. I was so excited by the japchae (sweet potato noodles fried with sesame oil and vegetables) that when I saw sweet potato noodles in the shops on Monday I purchased a pack immediately (more on that tomorrow). The ttekkdokki was delicious but spicy, as always.

japchae + ttekkdokki

Dessert was tofu chocolate mousse, good but a bit pricy and tiny (and all the pictures were blurry).

I'm mostly confident of the vegan-ness of the meal except for one factor: they don't use dairy at all, and there were no eggs in any of the dishes I ordered. However due to the waitperson's confusion, I'm not sure if they went to the kitchen and said 'these dishes need to be vegan' (which based on the menu I think they'd be clear on), or if they said 'these dishes can't have seafood'. If it was the former I'm all good; if it was the latter then maybe my kimchi was of the non-vegetarian variety.

The menu is available in English, Korean and Mandarin. There are some pictures. Cost is a bit high, this was the most expensive meal I've had since arriving in Beijing, but the service is attentive (when the waitperson stops texting) and they let us hang around even though we were clearly the last people to leave, and when we left one of the waitstaff had their coat on.

Saveurs de Coree
20 Ju Er Hutong

There is a second location at 128-1, Xiang Er Hutong off Jiaodaokou, no more than ten minutes walk from the Ju'Er location, that specialises in 'fine Korean grill.'

A step up to enter, poor lighting. An obstacle course to get from the front (tiny) room to the rest of the restaurant. About 10-15 minutes walk from Beixinqiao Station (line 5, exit D). Some English spoken. Not sure about gluten free. Meals: 100-200Y (including dessert and alcohol).

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