Thursday, June 23, 2016

Traditional Korean Tea Houses in Insadong (Moonbird Only Thinks of the Moon 달새는달만생각한다) + Insadong

When you visit Insadong, getting some cheap souvenir shopping done is important, but so is trying out authentic traditional Korea dining that is harder to find in the city. To get to 'Moonbird Only Thinks of the Moon' walk down the main street of Insadong and pay attention to the small alleys as you go down the street. Unfortunately, Google Maps leaves out a lot of the small alleyways that should exist on the map, so finding your way around this neighborhood can be a bit of a hassle. Stop when you see Insadong 10-gil, and then turn right, keep walking straight down and you should see a white sign above a walkway that has a small yellow crescent moon and the Korean characters, 달새는달만생각한다. Walk inside and the entrance will be on your left. Slide the door open and be ready to get swept into an antique looking teahouse.

The menu offers cold teas and also hot teas, some are served in a teapot while others are in a huge cup. Rice cakes filled with red bean and a popped rice cracker is complimentary to any drink order. We ordered the cold Omija Tea, Sikhye, and the Frozen Persimmon. The total was 15,500 won.

The omija tea was perfectly tangy, the floating slush kept the drink cold and refreshing.

The sikhye was also very satisfying. Compared to the one we had at the sauna, this one was much lighter in sweetness and the bits of rice inside wasn't overly mushy at all.

The frozen persimmon was delectable. The rice crackers was a nice crunchy texture that complimented the teas, but the stickiness of the syrup that held the snack together wasn't t my liking.

The red bean rice cake was pretty sweet. Overall, I definitely recommend giving this place a try if you are looking for a more traditional tea house rather than a quick stop at a common franchise you can find at every corner of Seoul.

We also explored Insadong and tried on some of the traditional clothing, Hanbok, in the Ssamziegil Mall. There, you can pay 5,000 won to take photobooth stickers. They give you a booklet to choose the outfit you want to wear and then they pair it with accessories (the headband.) There are also gowns for "kings," so this place is still a good date spot to bring a boyfriend and take pictures together!

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