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Thursday, December 17, 2009

Sandeullae (Paju)

Seoul Village 2009 - You've seen this kind of place before : not too far from a city, a small road by a school, two three houses with large windows giving on a hilly forest, forced wooden artifacts, Heidi-kitsch decor... only here it's pushed to the max with a Barbara Cartland flavor and fake flowers everywhere.

Sandeullae is Paju's idea of a provincial chic restaurant, with a "fusion" image, but don't expect anything upscale. On week-ends all tables are full and to optimise the flow, customers free their seats before dessert and join the quieter building devoted to tea / coffee / cakes.

The menu is not really innovative considering the price tag (set menu from KRW 17 to 22,000), but they use interesting dressings and selections of ingredients, i.e. fine herbs and an incredible lotus banchan looking like slices of Emmenthal cheese. You finish with a nakji bibim myeon, followed by a classic dolsotbap but an excellent dandelion doenjang jjigae (민들레 된장 찌개).

Rivals are likely to pop up soon in this area : following the new and improved road and anticipating the upcoming railway, a cluster of buildings is under construction near the school. Probably more restaurants and shops. And sooner or later, the city will knock at their doors.

Sandeullae / 산들래 (restaurant)
1075 Dongpae-3-ri, Gyoha-eup, Paju-si, Gyeonggi-do - Paju, ROK
Tel : +82.31.943.6775

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