Saturday, March 6, 2010

"Mud" Paintings in a Restaurant

옛날농장, Long Ago Playground, is a meat restaurant in the Hyehwa culture area. The menu specializes in grilled meat with multiple side dishes and a variety of traditional soju, Korean liquors, to complement the traditional meal with.

The heavy split log tables and benches lined the walls and each wall contained a different spark of sentiment from "long long ago", exemplifying the name of restaurant. The false mud walls were painted a smoky yellow with browns and ucher dry-brush paintings of traditional tomb iconography, for example, mythical stylized birds, hunters on horseback as portrayed in a famous tomb mural, and lowing cows in the mud and stone stable walls.

On another wall was a monk sitting astride a tiger (in perfect contentment as if he were going to the next world) and the famous storybook tiger smoking a long pipe.

The 농장버섯탕, mushroom stew, was spicy and loaded with a variety of mountain mushrooms. Side dishes included the ubiquitous kimchi, processed fish cakes, sweetened black beans, garlic stems with shrimp, a mountain vegetable, tiny anchovies, a sour white kimchi soup for cooling the mouth, a dipping sauce and then mixed grain rice. A very quality meal with great surroundings!

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