Got a craving for salad? Not exactly the usual foodie question you get asked, but in Seoul, recently, there have been a couple of really good restaurants popping up that focus on all things plant based. We’re talking salads, raw cooking, vegan options; more ‘health’ orientated places to get your meokbang (먹방) on.
Hannah spotted Bad Farmers on the Soul of Seoul’s instagram – and I keep complaining that I don’t hang out in Sinsa anywhere near enough anymore – so it was added to the list of Places To Go. Checked it off last week Sunday (you’ll probably have seen it on my instastories; if you didn’t then go follow! You’ll 100% see everything there first), and it was pretty darned fab.
It’s also thoroughly instagrammable.
Bad Farmers is set about a 7 minute walk away from the main Garosugil street. If you take the road where the Joyrich living wall used to be – there’s now the styleNANDA 3CE cinema on that road, keep walking past the side street that runs parallel with Garosugil, take a right after about three or four minutes, then you’re there. The building is bright red/orange, so you’ can’t exactly miss it. It’s a quieter area than Sinsa station and Garosugil, so it’s a pretty nice food spot.
The restaurant itself is quite small, they have an outdoor seating area, and two rooms inside. The opening times are also a little interesting, they open at 11am and close at 9pm Monday-Saturday, and 8pm on Sunday. They also have a break between ‘lunch’ and ‘dinner’ where they prep everything for the next serving time. It has a very ‘family run’/homey feel, with exposed bricks and mismatched wooden furniture. The staff are also really welcoming, which is always nice.
Bad Farmers has a menu of 6 different salads, 4 open sandwiches that come in either 2 or 4 slices, around 9 or 10 juices and 7 yoghurt/fruit cups. All of them looked delicious, but Hannah was hankering for the Avo Cobb salad, and I decided to try an open sandwich – the prawn/shrimp with tofu mayonnaise.
Each salad is served with a tub of homemade dressing, soup of the day, and a slice of toast. The salad bowls themselves are so colourful and beautifully presented that I’m kind of sad that I didn’t have one myself, but I was really happy with the shrimp toast, and it’s nice to try more than one type of item on the menu. (The beetroot toast looked ah-may-zing.)
The avo cobb bowl’s main selling point for us was avocado (they’re so expensive here) and salmon. It also comes with everything you can see in the above images: egg, chicken, sweetcorn, olives, served on a bed of salad leaves. The dressing fit the salad really well, and the soup + toast combination was great. For around 12000W it wasn’t the worst price I’ve seen for food containing avocado and salmon, which are both pricey ingredients here.
The shrimp toast was great too. The toast was on non-sweet bread (which is something that is very hard to find in Korea), and the tofu mayonnaise was a really interesting flavour. I’m not the most massive of mayonnaise eaters as it is, but the texture was different and it complemented the prawns well. For two slices it was around 7000W, four are around 11000W or 12000W.
I think the food is pretty good overall, the price vs portion size is kind of steep when you’re used to anything above 10000 being pretty sizable and more than enough to share. But then again, you do have to remember that this spot is in Sinsadong, which is one of the most expensive areas in Seoul for food, so prices are a little steeper. It’s a nice place to go if you want a beautifully presented salad in a setting that is pretty damn intsagrammable, or are looking for something healthy and a little bit different thank banchan salads with strawberry dressing. I’d definitely go back if I’m passing through Sinsa and feel like having something lighter to eat.
It’s definitely nice that there are more and more restaurants popping up that cater to different dietary requirements, or offer something that’s a nice break from Korean Korean food all the time. Seoul is truly a multicultural city now, and it’s fab (at least in my opinion) that the food map is starting to show this in more areas than Itaewon, or other more ‘foreigner dense’ neighbourhoods.
Bad Farmers address: 523-21 Sinsa-dong, Gangnam-gu, Seoul