It wasn’t long ago when Buddha’s Belly used to be next to Hamilton Hotel, and that the small takeaway branch was in Gyeongridan. Then the small takeaway branch closed, and they moved Buddha’s Belly to its current location, on top of the hill overlooking Itaewon’s entrance. I’d visited the small branch many times before it closed, but I had never been to its larger counterpart until recently. My friend and I were actually trying to go to Little Baja, but they were closed for lunch, so we decided to try Buddha’s Belly.
The first thing I noticed about Buddha’s Belly was its great view on the other side of the restaurant. It’s the view overlooking the entrance of Itaewon and the intersection. The large windows gave off great natural lighting to the whole place, which created a nice visual ambience. I say visual because the day I went, there was a jackhammer roaring away next door, so the aural ambience was a bit unpleasant. Jackhammer aside, I really liked Buddha’s Belly’s interior decoration; everything was very posh and clean.
Service-wise, the workers were very polite and good. They constantly refilled my water. And when I pointed out that I wanted a pineapple fried rice, I didn’t realise I was pointing at the dinner menu. The waiter flipped to the lunch page and showed me their lunch special on pineapple fried rice with spring rolls and tom young goong for 11,000 won. The dinner option cost way more, so I’m glad they pointed out my error!
I like my set overall and thought it was a decent value. The vegetable spring rolls tasted great, and I split that with my friend. The tom young goong soup had a nice sweet and sour flavour, but it only came with three pieces of mushroom. As for the pineapple fried rice — it had an interesting taste, but I found it a bit bland. It was also a bit too greasy for my liking. However, I did like the cashews in my rice! My friend ordered a stir-fried chicken with vegetables and cashews. She liked it, but she also found it to be a bit on the greasy side.
I would like to visit Buddha’s Belly again in the future for lunch. Honestly, I find their dinner prices to be expensive, so I’d much rather go during lunch. I would also like to enjoy Buddha’s Belly without the jackhammer soundtrack. But if I were to get Thai food on a regular basis, I prefer Taste of Thailand.
48, Noksapyeong-Daero 40-Gil, Yongsan-Gu, Seoul, Korea
서울시 용산구 녹사평대로40길 48
From exit three of Noksapyeong Station, cross the street upon exiting, and then take the stairs up the overpass and cross to the other side. Make a right and just follow the curved road for about 130 metres, and Buddha’s Belly will be on your right. If you see YonaYona Burger, then you’ve gone too far.
10,000 ~ 30,000+ won budget per person