Vegan's Chronicles + [Vietnamese food]

Oriental Spoon: Asian-Style Cafe Restaurant
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Oriental Spoon is a restaurant chain that serves up modern Asian cuisine such as Thai, Vietnamese, and Korean fusion dishes. The last time I went to Oriental Spoon was when they only had one location in Apgujeong, but in the past few years, they've grown in popularity and now have several locations around Seoul. I usually avoid eating there because their menu is hardly vegan-friendly, what with all the fish/shrimp sauce, egg, and meat in the dishes, but this weekend, I was hanging out with my friend Suzy at Garosugil, and all the other restaurants seemed to have long lines or were closed for the day, so we ended up walking into the Oriental Spoon there.

I asked the waiter what items on the menu were vegan, and practically everything on the menu had some animal product in it. Luckily though, there were a few items that could easily be modified.

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To start, Suzy and I shared this silken tofu salad. Actually, when the salad first came out, it had a pile of Japanese dry fish shavings (Katsuobushi) on top! Neither Suzy or I realized that this was included in the salad when we ordered it, so we sent it back. We probably should've been more careful when ordering in the first place, but the waiter also should've warned us, since we had already told him that I don't eat seafood or meat. Ah well, thankfully, the waiter and chefs were accommodating in bringing out a new, fresh salad without any fishiness. Overall, a nice, light salad with yummy sesame dressing.

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We also ordered a large bowl of the Bun Bo Xao, which is a Vietnamese noodle salad that usually comes with beef on top, except that we ordered it without the meat. The veggies you see are dry-roasted garlic flakes, cucumber, pineapple, radish, carrots, lettuce, and ground peanuts.

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Here it is all mixed up. I quite enjoyed this dish!

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At first I thought the noodles were a little dry, but once everything was thoroughly mixed with the sauce at the bottom and with an extra squeeze of hot sauce, it really came together. It felt light, refreshing, and healthy.

I still think Oriental Spoon needs to make their menu more veg-friendly, but all-in-all, it was a tasty, healthy meal, and I'm glad I tried their food again.

To find a location near you, please visit their website and click on the small orange "go" button next to the image of houses.