산채정식 (sanchae jeongshik) is the dining experience you can’t miss when in Pyeongchang area. Mountain ranges in the area boast endless variety of wild vegetables. They are leaves, sprouts, fern, roots of all kind which are foraged, simmered, cured (mostly in soy sauce and vinegar but also in red chili paste occasionally) and then stored in low temperature until serving. Low temperature controlled storage is the mainstay of traditional Korean cuisine which adds depth to natural flavors and allows convenient long term storage, particularly in winter when there is little to forage (!). At least a dozen variety of vegetable dishes in small portions are served with 된장찌개 (deonjang chigae, spicy miso soup) and house specialty tofu. Although 정식 (jeongshik) refers to a course meal, all courses in traditional Korean meal is served together, to be shared by the group. Often 산채정식 is the only meal that’s is served in restaurants as their specialty and is priced simply per person.
부일식당 (Buil shikdang) is an utterly unassuming home dining experience. There isn’t much of an entrance and you walk through the storage cum alley into the dining rooms (there’s two) where there is floor seating only. Price is cheap (8,000 per person) but this home-style diner serves up flawless basics of a dozen wild vegetable dishes.
74-2 Hajinbu-ri, Jinbu-myeon, Pyeongchang-gun, Kangwon, South Korea
서울식당 (Seoul shikdang), despite its out-of-place and non-descriptive name, is a rather refined affair with the main table dining area in addition to traditional floor dining option, all decked with fir tree tables ubiquitous in the area. Highlight of their sanchae set meal is 더덕 (deodeok, bellflower roots), tossed in 고추장 (gochujang, red pepper paste), sesame oil and various condiments. For those seeking an alternative from 산채, they serve 버섯전골 (beoseot jeongol, mushroom and tofu hot pot). 18,000 per person for 산채정식 and 45,000 for 버섯전골 (serves 3-4).
109-9 Ganpyeong-ri, Jinbu-myeon, Pyeongchang-gun, Kangwon, South Korea