Shah Rukh Khan.
He was the first person that greeted me when I walked through the door of our Indian restaurant. I let out a partial shriek…
Okay, so Shah Rukh wasn’t there in person. He was on TV, lip-syncing and dancing through music videos from his movies. For me, it didn’t matter though, he was in Korea and I was looking at him!
Everyone has their weakness. Mine is Indian food and Bollywood films…
The Pali! Pali! Bale! Bale! by scooter
(Korean translation: ‘Pali’: Fast; Indian translation: ‘ Bale’: Dance)
From cut and paste directions from K-blogger, Seoul Eats‘ review on vegetarian restaurants, Soo Ha and I were plugging for an Indian/Nepalese food joint called Everest. It’s said to be near Dongdaemun station.
Round and round we sped, while getting slammed with ice-burning air from Soo Ha’s scooter. We passed busy streets and crowded alleys–
Where the hell was that friggin’ station?!
Riding on a scooter (without a face mask) during the mean bite of winter perhaps, was not a good plan; but there’s nothing like seeing Seoul from the back of a scooter, especially with Soo Ha. Korean-Canadian and living in the city for roughly 10 (?) years, Soo Ha cuts (uh, ‘illegal’) corners, hops onto sidewalks and whizzes past traffic, like a certified crazy food delivery person in Seoul.
I love that about her!
Finally locating the station, we parked the scooter and followed the directions; there was no Everest.
Instead, there was Mountain Top restaurant!
High atop the second floor, sat the cozy eatery. The rich musk of Indian-scented spices were warm and enveloping and the menu offered both, vegetarian and meat dishes.
We ordered a Thali, a vegetable curry and both, garlic and butter naans. Knosh-ably good, the portions felt more generous than other Indian restaurants I’d been to and dishes came at a palatable price.
Sometimes, ethnic food -even Indian- can be a bit … Koreanized. Corn mixed in mayonnaise, mustard drizzles… not here. The food was straight-forward simple and fit to the taste of the Indian/Nepalese locals… who were casually coming and going in the place.
LIne 1, Dongdaemun Station, Exit 3.
Go out the exit and walk straight to the end of the block. Turn left at the bank and walk 50 meters down a small side alley street. It’s just before the picture below, on the right- aquamarine doorway. Go up the stairs.