One of the perks of travelling to other countries is you will get to experience different cultures and lifestyle. With that being said, enjoying a decent meal made by locals is also something worth looking forward to! Despite being a non-Muslim country, South Korea has been receiving numerous in flow of tourists from many Muslim countries, including Malaysia.
Generally, many think it is difficult for Muslim tourists to enjoy Korean food in Seoul. However, the rising number of halal Korean restaurants has proven this generalization wrong. There are plenty of restaurants that are either halal or Muslim-friendly these days. This time around, we will introduce the Top 3 (based on writer’s personal preference) halal Korean restaurants in Seoul.
- Yang Good BBQ Lamb Restaurant (YEOKSAM Station, Subway Line 2, Exit 6)
Do we have any lamb lovers here? You will love this place as they serve tender, juicy lamb imported from Australia! From skewered lamb to lamb rack, you could have your lamb in various types and portions. Writer’s personal favourite would be the fried lamb. Your first bite will make you crave for more! Halal-certified, although this BBQ restaurant is famous for its grilled lamb, it also serves other dishes that do not contain lamb. Those who are not huge fans, fret not as other options are available for you. This includes Sundubu Chigae (tofu stew), Corn soup and fried rice. Price for each serving of lamb varies, from 11,000KRW – 22,000KRW. This spacious restaurant makes it possible for customers to come in large groups and enjoy a comfortable BBQ session!
- Makan Restaurant (ITAEWON, Subway Line 6, Exit 3)
Itaewon is well-known amongst the Muslim community as the Seoul Central Mosque is located within this area. Halal restaurants could be easily found here and you will be able to see many expats roaming around Itaewon. Even though majority of the halal restaurants serve Middle East cuisines, there has been an increase in number of halal Korean restaurants and one of them is Makan. Only couple minutes (walking distance) away from the mosque, this restaurant serves a wide array of Korean dishes. Some of the menu include Dakdoritang (Korean spicy chicken stew) , Dakgalbi (spicy grilled chicken and vegetables), Bulgogi Bibibmbap (beef mixed rice), Saengseon Guui (grilled fish) and Samgyetang (ginseng chicken soup). Writer’s pick would be Makan Bulgogi (marinated beef). The tenderness and juiciness of the beef will make you drool as you enjoy the meal whole-heartedly. At Makan, similar to other Korean restaurants, you will be given generous amount of banchan (side dishes) and they are yummy! Makan restaurant is a perfect place for you to try out many different Korean dishes, all under one roof. They provide take-out service and have the friendliest waiter and waitresses, too! Prices vary from 8,000KRW – 12,000KRW.
- Eid Restaurant (ITAEWON, Subway Line 6, Exit 3)
Owned by a Korean Muslim family, another well-known halal Korean restaurant in Itaewon is Eid. You will enjoy coming to restaurant for its good service as customers often find themselves having a good conversation with the owners. Not far from Makan restaurant, Eid is famous for its Samgyetang. They serve only limited amount of Samgyetang (ginseng chicken) each day to ensure that the quality of dishes are being maintained. There are several other menus in Eid including Bulgogi (marinated beef), Jjajangbap (rice topped with black soybean paste) and stir fried rice with assorted seafood, all between 8,000KRW – 12,000KRW. Eid also provides take-out and catering services. So for those who are interested in having some delicious freshly-cooked Korean meals for a particular event, you are only a phone call away from getting it! They are also currently running Eid Guesthouse, located near the restaurant. For those who intend on visiting Seoul, you might want to put their guesthouse in your list. No regrets as the family running Eid is amongst the friendliest and nicest Korean Muslims in Seoul.
Contact: +82 70-8899-8210
Local’s Favourite Dessert Café
Yes, the title did not include this, but hey, who would say no to desserts? This may sound slightly biased, but Sulbing is possibly one of the top dessert cafes in Seoul. This franchise serves some of the best Bingsu (shaved ice dessert) you could ever have! With a wide range of topping selections, you will find yourself being indecisive when choosing which bingsu to have. To help ease your burden, these are some of writer’s personal favourite choices. Besides Bingsu, you should also try some of their toasts. Price range: 7,000KRW – 12,000KRW.
So what are you waiting for? Head over to the nearest Sulbing in your area to enjoy this mouth-watering, delicious dessert!
Do visit all the aforementioned restaurants and enjoy the various flavors of Korea!
Nur Amalia Binti Wisam
Women’s Affairs Committee (HELWA) I,
Kelab UMNO Korea 2014/2015.