Satisfying Seoul food

Updated: 2013-01-21 11:02

By Pauline D. Loh (China Daily)

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Satisfying Seoul food

The bibimbap, or Korean stone pot rice [Photo by Fan Zhen/China Daily]

Satisfying Seoul food

The rice ball fondue is a combination of glutinous rice balls floating in sugar syrup and a platter of dips, such as sugar and sesame and crushed peanuts. [Photo by Fan Zhen/China Daily]

Forget about the stringy cold soba noodles that pass off as Korean food in Beijing. Travel to the heart of the Forbidden City for some tasty Korean food that is prepared with care, and with an eye for authenticity. Pauline D. Loh points the way.

Nanluoguxiang is not generally known as a gourmet destination in Beijing, more known as it is as a tourist trap. That was why some of us were surprised by the discovery of some really good food in and around the neighborhood of the ancient Drum Tower. As prime spots in the city succumb to escalating rentals, enterprising restaurateurs are going to ground, in the ancient hutong off the main thoroughfares.

That is exactly where we found Saveurs de Coree, which in spite of its Francophilic moniker, serves very good Korean food. You have to read the small print on its calling card, the bit which says "Korean patio gourmet".

The restaurant is located off a side alley down Nanluoguxiang, but it is just a short walk off the main shopping street and easily found.

It is a small eatery, with interesting nooks and corners off a traditional courtyard. Our party of five found a sunny spot, pushed two tables together and settled to order.

There is a surprising variety on offer, and all items sounded genuinely Korean. We were told by the friendly waiter they are based on family recipes from the lady owner, a Korean married to a Chinese from Hong Kong. All are home-tested and carefully passed on to the resident chef.

All the classics are here, starting from traditional drinks like chilled cinnamon tea, and hot yuzu or candied citron tea.

Satisfying Seoul food

Satisfying Seoul food

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