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Everything You Need to Know About Ulsan

Vegetarian Love 채식사랑

Unless you are able to read Korean, it is possible to miss this vegetarian restaurant in Jung Gu.  Located on the same road as Jung Gu Chung 중구청, between the Buk Bu Beltway and Jung gu Homeplus, this vegan  restaurant’s blue sign is only in Hangul with Hanja, (Chinese characters,) thrown in for good measure.  The picture of vegetables, underneath which is written 100% is maybe the best indicator until you’re confident in your hangul skills.

To find the restaurant from Jung gu Homeplus, walk up hill behind Homeplus, towards the Bukbu Beltway.  The restaurant is located on the same side of the street as Yaksa Elementary School, past the school, between it and Jung Gu Chung, 중구청. 

The restaurant is vegan, and in fitting with it’s small size, serves a very small menu of Korean foods.  In fact, there are only four items on the menu.  One of these items, Kong Guk Su 콩국수,  is only available in the summer months.  The other items, available all year round are: Perilla Kal Guk Su 들깨칼국수,  Bibim Bap 비빔밥 and Che shik bap sang 채식밥상.  Che shik bap sang is basically a vegetarian set menu, (pictured below.) 

The menu, like the sign out front is only in Korean.  Fortunately with only four things to choose from, that doesn’t make it an obstacle.  Though Bibim Bap may be the most familiar Korean food, it’s likely that most vegetarians have already had their share of this dish since it is ubiquitous in many restaurants around the country.  At Che Shik Sarang though, it can be ordered safely by vegetarians and vegans without having to worry that it contains shrimp oil or even an egg, since it is a vegan dish.   Kong Guk Su 콩국수 is cold noodle soup, refreshing in the hot summer.  Dul Ggae Kal Guk Su 들깨칼국수 is a hot noodle soup with a sort of milky broth made by crushed perilla seeds, (not to be confused with sesame).  Both of the noodle soups and Bibim Bap are all 6,000 won per serving.  Che shik bap sang 채식밥상 is 11,000 won for a two person meal, complete with soup, side dishes and rice.  Dried bean gogi 고기 is one of the side dishes.  The others change like most other Korean side dishes depending on what’s in season.  Best of all, all of the food in Che Shik Sarang is prepared without adding MSG.  The owners very specifically pointed this out, and were proud of the fact.  

The restaurant also has a small selection of vegetarian groceries available for sale beside the counter, such as dried bean gogi, kim, tofu snacks and best of all, ramyun.  If the vegetarian population of Ulsan has been looking with no luck for vegetarian ramyun, I’m pleased to say that your search is over.  Although they don’t serve it in the restaurant, you can buy some and take it home.  Finally, Ulsan vegetarians are able to indulge in some hot spicy noodle soup after a long night of overindulging.

There are only 8 tables in the small, traditionally decorated restaurant.  Despite being such a small establishment, Che Shik Sarang has been featured on tv seven times between 2004 and 2008.

Although it may not be what some people dream of when they think of the all of the variety of vegetarian and vegan options at home or in other countries, Che Shik Sarang offers a vegetarian taste of Korea that may be a welcome treat.