As promised in my recent post Nak Cheon Won Temple (낙천원사), I got back to Ha Yeon Ji Restaurant (하연지) last Saturday with some friends, and this time I did actually remember to bring my camera. Ha Yeon Ji Restaurant (하연지) is part of Nak Cheon Won Temple (낙천원사) complex , which is new, private temple that’s home to a huge golden Buddha in the front courtyard.
Ha Yeon Ji Restaurant (하연지) specializes in Korean food cooked with lotus root. They’ve got a variety of items on the menu, like lotus root porridge or juk (죽) and duck samgyetang (삼계탕) cooked with lotus. They’ve even got lotus root liquor. Playing it safe, we opted for the same 3 course set menu as last time, the beakyeonip hanjeongshik (백연잎 한정식). At 15,000 won per person, it’s not cheap. Then again it’s not your typical jeongshik (정식) either. Although not strictly vegetarian, there’s enough there to make any vegetarian quite happy, and most of the food looks beautiful. They’re very big on presentation here.
The first course is a simple appetizer spread. It includes marinated onion, dressed up to look like a lotus flower, stuffed and fried lotus root and sweet bean paste wraps.
The main course is a bit heartier. It comes with several types of marinated and pickled lotus root, the usual variety of kimchi and a steaming bowl of doenjang jjigae (된장 찌개). For the meat eaters there’s beef, spicy fish and cooked slices of lotus root topped with ground pork pate (my favorite). In stead of the typical bowls of white rice, the beakyeonip hanjeongshik (백연잎 한정식) comes with “well-being” rice (mixed with beans, nuts and ginseng) steamed in a big lotus leaf and it’s quite delish.
Just when you think you’ve finished, they bring out a light desert of (you guessed it) green and red candied lotus root, served with tea (lotus, I’m guessing?).
Directions: Ha Yeon Ji Restaurant (하연지) is right next to the gravel parking lot of Nak Ch’eong Won Temple, which is on the south side of the Namcheon River in the neighborhood of Gyo-dong, between Oreung Tombs and the bridge to Banwolseong Fortress. Just look for the big gold Buddha.
View Gyeongju Restaurant Reviews on Gyeongjublog.com in a larger map
Or you can just give the taxi driver their business card: