Results 1-3of 3 Reviews
Namyangju-Si, Kyeongki-Do, South Korea
May 4, 2010
Jarrow, Tyne & Wear, United Kingdom
September 10, 2002
The restaurant is located in an alley just off Insa-dong in central Seoul. Insa-dong itself is a lively street with an array of antique shops, art galleries and old-fashioned Korean tea houses, although the writing may well be on the wall for what has been, up until now, one of the best preserved cultural areas in Seoul as a branch of Starbucks has recently encroached into the southern end of the street. Come out of exit 6 of Anguk station, walk straight ahead and take your first left. Walk down Insa-dong until you see the Hakson Ceramics shop on your right. Directly opposite you'll notice the Atelier Gallery and a circular sign directing you to Sanchon. Follow the alley down and to the left, past Arirang-which is basically Sanchon for carnivores-and you'll see the ornate looking entrance with a copy of a New York Times review posted outside.
The interior of Sanchon is extremely impressive. You enter into a little courtyard (take off your shoes here) and are then taken into the main dining area which is decorated with carved wooden beams, paintings, calligraphy and traditional Korean musical instruments. There are approximately twenty-five low tables with cushions (Koreans traditionally sit on the floor to eat) surrounding a small central stage where performances take place between 8pm and 9pm. I arrived at 12pm for the lunch banquet (17000 Won or about nine pounds per person; dinner including the performance is around 30000 Won), which consists of close on thirty different courses (all served together at your table), including:
Potatoes glazed with soy sauce and taffy.
Seven wild vegetables, each with its own seasoning.
Deep-fried vegetable pancakes(similar to Japanese Tempura).
Rice and Kimchi(the Korean national dish).
Vegetables wrapped in vermicelli noodles.
Wild sesame and rice gruel.
Seasoned wild mountain roots.
If you've still got any appetite left after the main course (which I seriously doubt), you are also offered some Korean rice cake snacks and a cup of traditional temple tea made from five oriental herbs. Alcoholic drinks are also available with beer at just over two pounds and several types of home-brewed temple wine selling for around four pounds. All the food is naturally seasoned with no chemical additives, and with the obvious exception of the deep-fried pancakes, is extremely nutritious. The menu, which is subject to seasonal alterations, can be seen by checking out www.sanchon.com. The site is 80% in Korean, but if you click on the third and fourth options from the left of the screen you can read a history of the restaurant and see the current menu in English. If you want to see the performance-a hypnotic mixture of dance and music by all reports-I'd recommend you make a reservation by calling 02 735 0312.
From journal The World's Best Kept Secret?
May 6, 2002
From journal Seoul Food (& Drink)