Natural Kitchen: PPURI On The Plate Jessica Choi International, Korean For all you health-conscious foodies in Seoul, let me introduce you all to ‘PPURI on the plate’ – an organic café located in Hyehwa-dong (northeastern Seoul), the center for performing arts in Korea. PPURI, means “root” in Korean, and at this charming little café, root vegetables take the center stage. The lovely couple that run this place live by the macrobiotic philosophy—you are what you eat derived from Brillat-Savarin’s famous quote “Tell me what you eat, and I will tell you who you are”. Natural Kitchen: PPURI on the plate The owners at PPURI have come to adopt healthy eating habits that integrate physical, spiritual, and planetary health. The term “macrobiotic” originates from the Greek words macro and bios and means “long life.” Although there are many variations of the macrobiotic diet, it is largely vegetarian and stresses the importance of consuming natural, organic, locally grown whole foods. PPURI primarily sources ingredients that are local, seasonal, natural and organic. Although the menu is limited (usually two main entrees), it changes monthly. On my recent visit, I had the opportunity to taste the ‘Macro Plate,’ ‘Root-veggie Pizza,’ and the ‘Brown Rice Strawberry Cake.’ This homemade-type meal definitely lived up to my expectations. Macro Plate, 15,000 won The ‘Macro Plate’ consists of: kim-bap made with brown rice and tofu; steamed veggies; soybean paste soup with shepherd’s purse; and lightly pickled beet and cucumbers. The brown rice for the kimbap was perfectly chewy and not mushy at all. The steamed veggies were naturally sweet, the soup wasn’t too salty, and the pickled beet and cucumbers were refreshing with a little kick. Root-veggie Pizza, 15,000 won The ‘Root-veggie Pizza’ is made with a 100% whole-wheat thin crust, organic soy cheese, organic lotus root, and other veggies (beet, broccoli, mushrooms, potatoes, and zucchini). The crust of the pizza had a nice bit of crunch, yet it was still pliable enough to fold if desired. The eclectic selection of veggies burst with flavor and color, delighting the senses and tastes. Brown Rice Strawberry Cake, 7,500 won, seasonal The ‘Brown Rice Strawberry Cake’ is made of brown rice flour, organic strawberries, and dairy-free cashew cake frosting. The dense and moist cake totally satiated my unyielding sweet tooth. The organic strawberries were delectably sweet and fresh (currently strawberry season). Usually I’m not particularly fond of cake frosting, because the majority of the time it tends to be overly sweet and thick. However, the dairy-free cashew frosting on the strawberry cake was creamy, yet not overly rich. Lastly, it is vegan, gluten-free, sugar-free, and best of all, guilt-free! With its quaint ambiance, friendly and informative owners, and palatable eats, it is hard not to love this place. I just wish there were a few more options on their menu, so that I could come more often. Overall, I left feeling awesome and content, and without any of the heaviness that hits you after eating many other flavorful meals. PPURI Address: Seoul, Jongno-gu, Myeongnyun4ga 154-18 (종로구 명륜4가 154-18) Phone: 070-4133-8126 Hours: Tuesday-Friday 5:00PM – 9:00PM Public Transit: Metro Line 4, Hye-hwa Station Exit 3 (5 minute walk) Tips: ‘PPURI on the plate’ also offers baking and cooking classes. The space is available for small gatherings and private parties. I suggest you call in advance and make reservations just in case there is an event going on. Check out their Facebook page for updates here. If you get a chance to experience this place as well let us know how your visit went!