Korea – Tea Time in Korea at Bizeun Restaurant

Restaurant: Bizeun: The Premium Riceteria
Cuisine: Korean/desserts
Last visited: April 5, 2010
Location: Myundong (Seoul), Korea
Address: 51 Myungdong (Centre of Seoul)
Price Range: $10CAD or less

1: Poor 2: OK 3: Good 4: Very good 5: Excellent 6: Tres Excellent!!

Food: Drinks: 3 Rice cakes: 1.5
Service: 2
Ambiance: 4
Overall: 2
Additional comments:

  • Traditional Korean tea time
  • Famous for home made rice cakes
  • Variety of traditional Korean drinks
  • Drinks have health benefits
  • Rice cakes to go
  • Home made rice cakes
  • Made fresh daily
  • Moderately priced
  • Good for snacks/drinks/dessert

**Recommendations: Sikhye Tea, Cinnamon Tea (and I guess a rice cake just because… but they weren’t good)

Bizeun is a famous tea house in Korea that is also known for producing premium rice cakes (almost the same as the Japanese mochi). They actually have an in house mini factory in the store that produces the rice cakes daily.

The downstairs is where you can purchase Korean rice cakes to go or to bring upstairs to eat at their restaurant. The upstairs is the restaurant which only serves traditional Korean drinks.

If you’re visiting Seoul, Korea and you’re looking for a traditional experience than this place is fun to check out. But if you’re here to try the best rice cakes I don’t think this is the place.

I don’t know if they were having a bad day or what – but nobody I was with (Korean locals) and myself thought the rice cakes were good. I can’t say I like rice cakes in the 1st place (unless they’re filled with ice cream, but that’s a different story)…but the ones here were just poorly made and inconsistent.

Its a traditional experience and it’s full of locals, so it was nice to visit but if I go again it would only be for the traditional Korean drinks they serve.

On the table:

**Sikhye Tea

  • Served in a big bowl with a spoon $5.00CAD
  • This is the most traditional and authentic Korean drink out of all the drinks they offered. It’s usually served as a dessert.
  • It’s made out of malt water and cooked rice, but it tastes like sweet water. It’s usually served after a meal.
  • There was some crushed ice cubes in it so it was served cold. It was like cold watery sweet congee.
  • I wasn’t necessarily a fan, but I think it’s acquired. If you like Sikhye than you’ll like the one here.

**Cinnamon Tea

  • Served in a big bowl $5.00CAD
  • This is the one I ordered and I’m not a big fan of cinnamon.
  • The locals told me it was VERY Korean and that it helped with the digestive system so I decided to try it.
  • It’s served cold with ice cubes and it’s different than most cinnamon drinks I’ve tried.
  • This is like cinnamon in liquid form with boiled down ginger. It’s very pure and quite spicy. It’s sweet and then the spicy kick comes right after.

  • They also brew it with dried persimmon which was stuffed with tons of whole walnuts. I loved this dried persimmon. It was chewy like a big candy especially after being soaked in the tea for so long.

Omija Tea

  • Served in a big bowl $5.00CAD
  • Omija is a type of berry in Korea and they boil it down to create this sweet and tart Korean tea.
  • It tastes like hot cranberry juice.
  • It’s supposed to be sweet, salty, tart, and bitter but I only tasted sweet and tart.

Quince Tea

  • Served in a big bowl $5.00CAD
  • This is made from the skins of fresh and dried Chinese quince – a Chinese fruit.
  • It’s sweet and it tastes like a mixture of apples, pears and dates.
  • There were actually some dried dates in the bowl as well.
  • I found it one of the sweeter drinks out of the bunch, but there is incredible health benefits with this drink as well.

Bizeun Premiem Rice Cakes

  • I tried a variety of their rice cakes and none of them were good.
  • They were really inconsistent and some ere softer than others.
  • They’re made fresh daily and in house too so I don’t know why some had really hard and crumbly skins while others were nice and chewy.
  • Top left corner: Pear Rice cake – had no pear taste. It was chewy dry and very bread like. It was like a loaf of bread made out of rice and inside there was a little pear jam (the only pear flavour in the whole thing).
  • Middle: Steamed rice cake (non-glutinous rice & pumpkin – $1.80) – I was not a fan of this one but at least it wasn’t overly sweet like the others. There was thin slices of Japanese pumpkin aka Kaboocha in them. The rice cake was rolled in a non-sugary bean powder that was nutty and crumbly in texture. It was like unsweetened streusel topping.

  • Lower left corner: Apple mochi ($0.80) – no apple flavour and it was stuffed with a thick walnut cinnamon paste. It was very sweet and chalky.
  • The mochi skin was the best on this one though. It was nice and soft, but not as soft as the mochi from Japan.

  • This was from the tray of rice cakes on the very right – Filled rice cakes.
  • The rice cake skin was a bit hard and it wasn’t sweet. The sweet part was when you bit into the mochi. They were filled with this honey and sesame liquid syrup.

[geotag]

2 Comments

  • KimHo says:

    Well, I hope this is not a trend you started: suddenly some sweets do not seem as good as you thought it might be!

  • Mijune says:

    It’s because they’re Asian sweets…I’m not really a fan of Asian sweets..unless it’s mango…I like mochi..but these were just not made well either..too bad because Bizeun is supposed to be famous for them!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *