5 (Sat) June 2021
-Sogong, Jung, Seoul, Republic of Korea-
with the Family
For my second visit to Hemlagat, I brought my family. They’re already well-versed in Swedish cuisine, though only of my making (see KSCX), so they were quite primed for their first restaurant dining experience, my second.
Vildsvinsgryta is a Swedish dish. According to the Hemlagat menu: “Swedish boar stew with red wine. Served with herb-flavoured smashed potatoes and jellied berries.”
It was good. The meat was a bit dry – having never tried boar, I would imagine it to be so – but tender. Anticipating gaminess, I found that the sauce paired/masked/elevated the flavor of the meat, presumably some blend of nutmeg/cinnamon/cloves/pepper/juniper. The “smashed” potatoes were nicely chunky, a welcome contrast in texture from the creamy “mashed” potatoes. A solid dish, though frankly nothing to rave about.
In prior post on Hemlagat, I had speculated that it is the only Swedish restaurant in Seoul/Korea. That was based on a Google search for “swedish restaurant korea” and for “swedish food korea,” which returned only Hemlagat (a couple other restaurants, but those based on tangential references to Sweden or Swedish-style dishes). A Google search for “swedish food,” however, as I discovered tonight, returned a second restaurant that might be Swedish. More on that if I ever get around to checking it out.
After dinner, the plan had been to venture across the street to Myeong-Dong for a secondary snack of street food. We were very sad to find that the stalls, as well most of the surrounding shops, had been shuttered – fallout from the pandemic. I’m fervently hoping that they come back soon, not for our sake, but for their sake, and the sake of Myeong-Dong, and street food culture, and Korean culinary tradition.
(See also FOOD GLOSSARY)
(See also RESTAURANTS IN KOREA)