I've been eating my way through New York for the past few days enjoying all the different permutations of vegan food (including Korean vegan food) while I continue on the Crazy Sexy You program.
On Wednesday, I got to enjoy some superb Korean vegan food at a very nice restaurant called Hangawi at 12 East 32nd Street, New York, N.Y. 10016.
I started out my day with warm lemon water, green tea, and Abound Maple & Brown Sugar instant oatmeal made with hot water and a splash of unsweetened Silk Almond milk. I don't usually go for flavored instant oatmeal because it tends to have a ton of sugar and little fiber, but the Abound brand is made from whole grain rolled oats and other ingredients I could pronounce. It has 5 grams of fiber, only 6 grams of sugar, and 10 grams of protein (from soy protein isolates). I figured it would keep hunger at bay while I volunteered as a timekeeper at the morning workshops. It did.
I met my Dad, my baby brother, and my step-aunt at for lunch at Hangawi, a very zen-like gourmet Korean vegan food restaurant typically frequented by businessmen, tourists and locals alike. As we entered, we were instructed to remove our shoes and leave them along a wall near the door. We were then led to a table where we had to climb down into the seats. Being a big girl wearing tight jeans, it took some effort to get down there (and even more to get out), but it was worth it. We ordered the prixe fixe lunch option and enjoyed some amazing food. For appetizers, we enjoyed a vegetable porridge, organic wheat free kale pancakes made of rice flour, and vegetable dumplings. The pancakes and the dumplings were paired with amazing sauces that made the dishes. The porridge, which had a bright green color, was sweet, smooth and delicious.
Dad and I enjoyed carrot juices made from scratch, while Baby Bro and auntie enjoyed homemade fruit juices. The main course was a vegetarian stone bowl rice that came with a spicy sauce. Dessert was chocolate soy ice cream. Lunch was absolutely delicious – a zen yet vivid sensory experience of tastes, textures, sights and smells. This was my first taste of Korean vegan food, but it will not be my last. I would recommend Hangawi to anyone.
After somehow climbing out of my seat at Hangawi, I grabbed a cab back to the hotel to volunteer at the afternoon seminar sessions. I ran back to the room and made a strawberry, banana, and blueberry smoothie before heading back out to the opening cocktail party. I avoided the cocktails and stuck with tonic water and lime.
For dinner, I ordered in from a vegan joint called The Squeeze and had cashew “Mac and Cheese,” black bean chili, and a dark chocolate raw almond butter cup. The mac and cheese and the chili were to die for, hitting all the right spots. I didn't expect the cashew mac to be so creamy and satisfying, but it was. I could have done without the “candy” which was not so sweet and nothing like a Reese's peanut butter cup.
Overall, Day 10 was a great day in my vegan experiment. I had some great culinary experiences and kept it vegan. Stay tuned to find out whether Day 11 was half as successful.