I’ve totally neglected this blog, I know, but for a reason: I’m no longer in Korea! Yup, I said so long to Seoul last month and returned to America, not before taking a final trip to Japan, though, which I will cover in a later post. Anyway, here is a very, very belated post about my final vegan find in Seoul: Babione. If you’re craving wholesome Korean food, but lacking the time to partake in a multi-course temple cuisine meal, then Babione is definitely worth checking out.
Babione has a simple menu (all translated into English) featuring some of the most popular traditional Korean dishes, such as kimchi jjigae and bibimbap. The service is super fast, and it’s conveniently located just outside the Express Bus Terminal subway station.
We actually came here in January, after returning from sunny L.A. This soft tofu stew and kimchi jjigae provided us with some much-needed warmth.
Spicy, steamy goodness! I purchased a tub of their homemade kimchi as we left and successfully made a few batches of my own kimchi jjigae at home, too.
We sampled the wild vegetable bibimbap and a heaping plate of gochujang-drenched glass noodles on our final visit. The noodles were pretty soggy, but the bibimbap was a winner. One of my favorite things about Babione is how they don’t overpower the taste of the vegetables with salt, as many other restaurants are prone to doing. The only downside was that a Korean friend later told us that Babione strives to use primarily vegetable ingredients, however, they aren’t a committed vegan restaurant. I’m not sure if this is true, as Babione is listed as a completely vegan restaurant on HappyCow. If anybody can shed some more light onto Babione’s vegan status, that would be much appreciated! I certainly enjoyed the meals and didn’t detect any animal ingredients at the time, but of course, many pickles such as kimchi are typically made using anchovies, as are the stocks for many of the jjigaes.
I do miss Korean food, but actually not as much as I thought I would. I have been pretty preoccupied with trying out the virtually unlimited range of vegan options here, though! I’m super happy that I became vegan in Korea, and not in America or the U.K., actually, because it’s so easy to rely on restaurants having clearly-marked vegan options here, and modifying menu items hasn’t been an issue so far. Plus, there are actual aisles of vegan options in the grocery stores. It’s nuts!