*This is an earlier post that has been sitting in my drafts. The tribulations of being a veggie in this country is an ongoing story so I’ve updated it with the most relevent previous experiences and posted it. Sorry if the chronology seems a little skewed…

Some of my fears about keeping with my veg diet have been significantly abated in the last week (week ending 6/4). I have actually felt fully sated and uber-full for the first time since my arrival in Seoul. Not only this but I had my first outing with the Seoul Veggie Club which I connected with via facebook.

Pineapple Fried Rice with Seitanesque Soy Steak.

The restaurant is called Everest and the dish is their Nepalese set. A set is synonymous with combo over here in Korea. If you wanted to get a burger with fries and a coke you would ask for a “Burger set”. This particular dish was all sorts of awesomeness. The riatta was smooth with just the right potency of yogurt culture to mellow the fiery spices of the other items. The green soupy concoction in the largest bowl/chalice had some dal and greens in it and it was paired with the spicy potato and chili dish in the middle and an amazing pea and paneer dish.

All of this cost $11 dollars and tasted phenomenal.

I am constantly amazed at how I always forget the delicious simplicity that is the taste of perfectly cooked basamati rice until we are reunited again. I took my time and had numerous breaks during this meal to page through The Story Of A Ship-Wrecked Sailor by Gabriel Garcia Marquez. If you’ve never read his world-famous epic One Thousand Years of Solitude I would strongly recommend you do so next time you are hankering for a complex yet whimsical tale of a people, a region and a family therein.

By the time I had finished the set I had a slight amount of sweat on my brow, fire on my tongue and gratifying weight in my center. I have not felt starving at any point in Seoul but rice and kimchi are not really the type of food that feels satisfying full in your belly. Perhaps this is why I was relishing the sensation so much I ordered two samosas with both red and green sauces and an order of channa masala to go. I was able to only finish one of the samosas and happily took it home.

Mmmmm...samosas for two bucks.

Since this feast I have dropped by Everest one more time on a personal solo mastication mission of epic flavor bud proportions (6/17). I had the Dal Makhani accompanied by a huge plane of Naan and a Cass 500cc draft. It was the perfect way to start a great night of dancing @ Mama Gorillas and GoGos, playing darts at 501 Darts in B2 of Hongdae (across from Zen Bar) and having some outstanding conversations with amigos old and new.