The vicinity of Gangnam Station is one of the busiest areas in Seoul. It is also famous for its concentration of restaurants frequented by young people and office workers. The area is considered a must-see by tourists from China, Japan, Southeast Asia, and so on.
In December 2016, MAFRA (the Korean Ministry of Agriculture, Food, and Rural Affairs) and aT (Korea Agra-Fisheries and Food Trade Corp.) established a place to experience traditional Korean food such as kimchi, makgeolli (Korean rice wine), and gochujang (red pepper paste) near Gangnam Station. From the beginning, the Culture Center Eeum has been attracting a large number of domestic and foreign tourists. Its goal is to promote the taste and history of traditional Korean cuisine.
Eeum is a cultural complex where both Koreans and foreign tourists can taste and purchase traditional Korean food. Eeum (lit. “connection” in Korean) stands for the meeting between Korean traditional alcoholic beverages and dishes. It also implies a connection between the past, present, and future of traditional Korean food.
Eeum’s exhibition includes traditional fermented dishes made by food masters officially recognized by the Korean government. Their works showcase their skills and reflect their philosophy. Traditional liquor from different parts of Korea is also on display. Looking at and trying a variety of Korean food, visitors naturally come to appreciate traditional Korean food culture.
Eeum is a three-level building of the total size of 462㎡. The first floor is a gallery for Korean traditional liquor, the second floor is a cafe and store for products of Korean food masters, and the last floor is a place to experience Korean food under the guidance of food masters.
The traditional liquor gallery is designed as a venue to exhibit, taste, educate, and conduct export consultations related to traditional Korean liquor. The cafe and experience hall on the second and third stores provide space for Korean food masters to give lectures. Both are equipped with cooking utensils necessary for experience programs.
Eeum is open from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. every day except Mondays. The phone number is +82-2-6927-3012.
Address: 51-20, Teheran-ro 5-gil, Gangnam-gu, Seoul. It is within a ten minute walking distance from exit 1 of Sinnonhyeon Station (Line 9) or exit 11 of Gangnam Station (Line 2).
# Experience_Korean Traditional Liquor Gallery
The gallery runs a free tasting program where visitors can experience four to five types of Korean traditional liquor selected according to the monthly theme. It also frequently hosts seminars by experts to help the understanding of Korean traditional liquor. In addition, there is a shop selling miniature bottles of traditional liquor, related handicrafts, and brewing kits for makgeolli.
Reservations three days prior to the visit are required for groups of foreign tourists. Reservations for participation in liquor experience programs are accepted by email.
Website: www.facebook.com/thesoolgallery, blog.naver.com/soolgallery
Korean Food Masters’ Cafe and Experience Hall
About 70 types of products are exhibited on the second floor. Visitors can taste and purchase green tea, kimchi, and other products made by Korean food masters. Free tasting events are hosted at lunch and dinner (from 12:30 p.m. to 1 p.m. and from 6:30 p.m. to 7 p.m.).
The Korean food master experience program is operated on Saturdays (sometimes Fridays). It is a highly popular program where participants can cook Korean traditional food under the guidance of Korean food masters. The themes for February are Damyang Hangwa (Korean traditional cookies) and Juk-ryeok-go (one of the top three liquors in the Joseon Dynasty period, 1392–1910).
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