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[Well-curated] Enjoy cherry blossoms and veggie food; watch Korean stew series at home

By Park Yuna, Lee Si-jin, Kim Da-sol

Published : March 31, 2023 - 09:01

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Cherry blossoms at Magic Island of Lotte World Adventure located at Seokchon Lake in Seoul (Lotte World Adventure) Cherry blossoms at Magic Island of Lotte World Adventure located at Seokchon Lake in Seoul (Lotte World Adventure)
Cherry blossoms at Magic Island of Lotte World Adventure located at Seokchon Lake in Seoul (Lotte World Adventure) Cherry blossoms at Magic Island of Lotte World Adventure located at Seokchon Lake in Seoul (Lotte World Adventure)

Cherry blossoms at Jamsil

Cherry blossoms are in full bloom earlier than usual to welcome spring. This weekend is the perfect time of the year to enjoy cherry blossoms with your beloved ones across the country. One of the most popular spots is Seokchon Lake in Jamsil, southeastern Seoul, which was once shut down during the pandemic.

The lake is surrounded by beautiful cherry blossoms during the springtime, visited by people strolling around the 2.5-kilometer road round the lake with their beloved ones. Next to the lake is Lotte World Adventure, the city’s largest amusement park, of which the outdoor area, Magic Island, is located on the lake. It is a good time of the year to see cherry blossoms and enjoy roller coasters at the same time.

After having fun either walking around the lake or at the amusement park, you can see a night view of Seoul at the Seoul Sky Observatory located at the top of the Lotte World Tower, also located next to the lake. The tower is the world’s fifth-tallest building, standing at 555 meters. The observatory is the only place where you can take in a 360-degree view of the capital city also overlooking the lake and the Magic Island.

A Netflix screenshot shows actor Ryu Soo-young from A Netflix screenshot shows actor Ryu Soo-young from "A Nation of Broth" (Netflix, ELTV)
A Netflix screenshot shows a hot beef short rib soup, known as galbitang in Korean, in A Netflix screenshot shows a hot beef short rib soup, known as galbitang in Korean, in "A Nation of Broth" (Netflix, ELTV)

Netflix’s “A Nation of Broth”

Netflix’s Korean originals, like “Squid Game,” “All of Us Are Dead” and “The Glory” caught global viewers’ hearts by storm. But if you want to know a different side of Korea -- especially about its food culture, try watching the first Korean food documentary series, “A Nation of Broth.”

Anyone who has experienced Korean cuisine can easily say that some kind of stew, big or small, is always on the table.

Many Koreans say broth is a main side dish for their meals, believing that a table without it is like a face without eyes.

Why are stews and broths so important to Koreans?

“A Nation of Broth” answers it all by taking the viewers on a journey that presents the history and evolution of Korean broths.

Starring a leading food-themed comic artist Huh Young-man, actors Ryu Soo-young and Ham Yon-ji, the three-part documentary explores renowned unique restaurants across South Korea.

From South Korea’s southernmost island of Jeju to Seoul, restaurant owners whose establishments have been passed down over several generations share their personal histories, daily lives and what broths mean for them and their visitors.

The series features 18 different types of soups, ranging from red tilefish radish soup to pork gukbap (soup with rice), guaranteeing mouthwatering visuals in every episode.

While the show is not dubbed in other languages, subtitles are available in 15 different langauges, including English, German, Vietnamese, Spanish and more.

Menu items from Plantude (Pulmuone) Menu items from Plantude (Pulmuone)
Fried eggplant veggie curry (Kim Da-sol/The Korea Herald) Fried eggplant veggie curry (Kim Da-sol/The Korea Herald)

Plant-based Asian fusion restaurant in Yongsan

Plantude, a vegan Asian fusion restaurant that opened earlier this month, offers a variety of plant-based food, featuring not just salads but also unique tofu-based dishes.

Using cashew nut cream and vegan cheese, the tofu lasagna offers both a chewy and savory taste based on organic tomato sauce. Another signature dish is oil pasta using brakefern with thinly sliced fried sweet potato as topping.

A dozen other menu items include bulgogi rice made with soy meat as well as spicy marinated fried mushroom and tofu.

Targeting South Korea's steadily growing vegan population, Plantude Yongsan is food company Pulmuone’s second branch after it opened its first store in Gangnam last year.

In Korea, restaurants are certified as vegan based not only on their ingredients, but also based on whether they meet strict hygiene criteria for kitchen utensils and cooking facilities. Pulmuone is one of the first food conglomerates here to win that certification.

Plantude opens every day from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.