It’s no secret that there is an Asian influence on parts of Austin. From restaurants to markets to even a Korean school given every Saturday at Webb Middle School. Having visited South Korea twice, after coming back to Texas, you get a sense of something missing. You start to miss the hustle and bustle of Seoul, South Korea. But I didn’t have to go far to find that special kind of feeling South Korea gave me. I was soon able to find it again here in Austin. Apart from the hustle and bustle, the colorful cuisine of South Korea was what attracted me to this wonderful culture, but what is even more exciting is being able to learn the language right here in Austin.
I’ve come to figure out that deciding on which Korean restaurant to eat at can get pretty hard and overwhelming, but what is important is the type of Korean food you want and the experience you want to have. If you are a fan of chicken, then your best bet would be Rocking Rice located on North Lamar near the Korean market, Hanyang Market and the bakery, Tous Les Jours. Rocking Rice’s specialty is definitely their fried chicken and is probably the closest thing to same kind and taste of fried chicken you can get in Seoul. Now, if you are looking for traditional dishes without it being a shared kind of meal, then Manna Restaurant will probably be a good choice for you. Manna Restaurant is conveniently located in the same shopping area as Rocking Rice. A personal favorite of mine from here is the Kimchi Jjigae – a spicy kimchi stew with beef, kimchi, and green onions and is best eaten with white rice. For the best experience with a bigger party, then Misung 888 is the place to go. This restaurant is styled where plates are designed to be shared. Enjoy a glass of Soju and cook up some Samgyupsal – pork belly meat – with all of your friends. What’s so great with eating Korean food is that you’ll never really run out of food. At each restaurant, they give out banchan, which are Korean side dishes, such as rice, kimchi, bean sprouts and so much more.
What’s also great about Austin’s Korean culture is that you don’t have to go far to take Korean language classes. Of course, if you’re a student at The University of Texas, Korean language classes are already offered but for the rest of us not attending UT, we do have another option. Currently, the Austin Korean School holds classes every Saturday, starting every August and January, at Webb Middle School. The registration fee is $200 and anyone who is interested in learning the language can apply. What’s not a better way to get connected with this culture than learning the language! It’s also a good way to meet people with the same common interests and maybe even a networking opportunity can arise from it.