CLOSED: New Start Restaurant

  • Vegan Vegan
    ( 12 reviews )



Gangnamgu Seounryung, Seoul, South Korea

Restaurant and health food shop. All-you-can-eat buffet, around 12,000 won per adult, features brown rice, whole grain bread, olive oil, natural seasonings, organic ingredients and seasonal vegetables from a restaurant-owned farm. Shop open 9:00-21:00. Address in Korean: 서울 강남구 대치동 897-8. FEB 2015 REPORTED SHUT, MOVING, AND TO RE-OPEN ELSEWHERE.

Categories: Vegan, Organic, Buffet, Korean

12 Reviews

First Review by Kabalan

Decent - Edit

I wish I could write a stunning review, but as it was, from my visit, the place was just decent. It passed.

I was going to be in Gangnam so had one of my friends call in (she ended up making a reservation for me), mainly because my group of friends did not eat onion, garlic, leeks, or chives. The restaurant reported that it was doable. I was excited! Perhaps that was my downfall... Expectations are always no good.

Either way, the place was easy enough to find. Just make a note that it is on the second floor, so look up! :) When we walked in, we were greeted and when the lady found out we were the ones that made the reservation, we were pointed towards a table in the back with a reserved sign on it. Then we were left there. I had to ask her specifically what did and did not have onion or garlic, which was when she proceeded to go through all the items on the buffet. Turns out that most of the sauces and the kimchi are off limits. It still left a good amount of options, so I wasn't too bummed. Props to her for her help. Plus, she prepared a wasabi soy sauce for the table because we couldn't eat the sauces on the buffet bar.

The food is cold/cool other than perhaps the pumpkin soup... Or maybe it was because it was added halfway through our meal. They were just displayed on dishes so we're not kept warm; just a note if you prefer warm food. The food was definitely on the healthy side, which I love. However, it just wasn't amazing to me. Decent, yes, but nothing too noteworthy. I did try the fig jam and peanut sauce, which I assume are in-house made. Those did taste pretty good. :)

All in all, a good place to stop by if you're in the area, but I wouldn't go out of the way to visit.

I was going to give it 3 stars, but because they were very helpful, I bumped it up to 4. ^^

Pros: Helpful/friendly staff, Yummy jam

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Sweetly vege shop - Edit

The manager said that the shop has started 21 years ago.
The fresh vegetable food!! Good.
Especially pumpkin porridge was tasty and lovely smell.

Oh. Good news!!!
The shop has performed the 21th anniversary launching event.
(Lunch price 15000 won(current)--->11000 won(after price))

If you love vegetable and fresh fruit, I would recommand you to visit this shop.

Personally I will visit again with my lovely frineds.^^
Updated from previous review on Tuesday November 04, 2014

Pros: Taste, Fresh, Price(discount)

Cons: Quiet(I wanna lovely music)

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Cold food - Edit

While not being particularly bad, this restaurant is not very good either. The atmosphere is a bit rushed and the food is a bit bland and mostly cold. It's healthy and the bread and the fruits are a great, but it's just not enough to justify going there twice.

Pros: Fruits, bread, easy to find

Cons: Cold food, bland taste, a bit busy

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Cheap and good! - Edit

VEGAN restaurant! You will get a variety of food for Korean buffet at 15000 won/pax. My favourites: very nice soy milk which you will not get it else where. Spicy rice cake- can tell its cooked for very long, the rice cake is soak with the sauce. Kimchi- not salty, best Kimchi I've had in Seoul.
Banana cake is good! I'll give a 10/10 for their food. Its worth your $$ and this place definitely will be my top favourite!

Pros: excellent food, english speaking staff, value for $$

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meh - Edit

This restaurant is okay. Not great, not terrible. Some of the food was nice, some was cold, and some was a bit gross. I'm glad I tried this restaurant, but I wouldn't go back. The best part was the "peanut butter jam" they had at the end of the buffet table.. yum.

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Nice restaurant - Edit

There surely are better buffets in Seoul (for example Achasan, but then again, it all depends on one's preferences), but New Start is still a very good option and definitely worth visiting. The food is tasty and healthy, and there are many different options.

Pros: Nice food, Nice atmosphere, Family owned

Cons: Can become crowded

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Getting expensive, but still good - Edit

The price has been raised to 13,200. Although the food is definitely healthy, it's not the tastiest veg restaurant in Korea. Nevertheless, I enjoyed the meal and it is certainly worth one visit. If you eat a lot of food, the buffet is good value. Otherwise, this restaurant feels expensive for the food on offer. I suppose I'm undecided.

Pros: Healthy

Cons: Expensive, Buffet

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Great value, great variety, very healthy - Edit

Hard to beat the value for money at this place. They put on a great spread and whilst it's not the very top of the cuisine pyramid (some of the flavourings are a bit blander than most), it's definitely not bad either and it's really healthy, which for me is important. Came away feeling full and content - will probably be back again, if not for dinner then certainly for lunch. The ambience was pro

Pros: all vegan, cheap, healthy

Cons: ambience, slightly bland flavours

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Yummy Buffet - Edit

Other reviewers have said it all. We ate here twice while in Seoul in Aug 2010. Not far from the COEX. Great price, great food, very fast since it is an all vegan buffet, and you can even buy a So Delicious coconut ice cream bar after your meal from the natural food store part of the restaurant (very small part of the restaurant).

Pros: Fast, Vegan, Good Value

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An Oasis of Delicious Vegan Food in Seoul - Edit

New Start is my favorite restaurant in Seoul. As a vegan, it can be challenging to find food options in South Korea, so I was excited when a friend introduced me to New Start. One note of caution to vegans: though the foods do not contain any sugar, some items do contain honey. If you are a vegan who cannot eat honey, you can ask the staff to point out which foods these are. Most of the staff speak English; they will be happy to let you know which foods contain honey. Everyone at the restaurant is extremeley kind and friendly.

Though the buffet selections do not change from one day to the next, the dinner buffet presents a wide variety of options (I have not yet been to the restaurant's lunch buffet). As an exercise enthusiast, I appreciate the availability of protein and carb-rich foods for after my workouts: tofu, yams, beans, pasta, and kimbab. Their spaghetti sauce is one of the best I've ever had. Other selections include juk (korean rice porridge), fresh fruits and vegetables, potatoes, bread and jams, and faux meat.

If you can't read Korean food labels, the vegan market located by the cash register is a great source of animal-free snacks for your stay in Seoul.

Pros: extremeley friendly and helpful staff, variety of healthy foods

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Fresh Vegetables and Fruit!!! - Edit

New Start is an excellent Vegetarian restaurant that has so much to offer. Great quality and nutrition in all their dishes. I like the black rice kimbap, whole grain bread with organic jams, fresh vegetable or fruit salads with dressing, and so much more. I will definitely make this my favorite place to eat in Seoul.

Pros: Excellent food, healthy cuisine, friendly staff

Cons: noisy , samples for store items

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Recommended to those with milder taste buds - Edit

During my many visits to this vegan restaurant, the food has been consistent and never disappointing. Vegetarians who prefer less salty and less spicy food will love this place owned and run by three generations of women, who do the cooking themselves. MMostly baked or steamed, the food is seldom oily, and I can almost taste the love and care devoted to the food. Quality of the ingredients is high, many of which are organic (from their affiliated farm) or handmade daily on the spot, including tofu and mock meat.

It is a self-service buffet with minimal service, so you're expected to find the seating yourself (unless you make a reservation) and even return your own used dishes to the right-hand corner at the open kitchen area (which is clean and professionally maintained) after you are done. But they are friendly and responsive. Because I have recently been extensively working and travelling overseas, I rarely go there these days, perhaps only a couple of times this year. Nonetheless, their genuine welcome never ceases to expire. No wonder the place is almost always bustling. Many of their customers are health conscious regulars. (They don't even use sugar here. Instead, fruits are used to sweeten their dishes.)

Probably the oldest vegetarian restaurant in South Korea with over 16 years in operation, this restaurant is located in the heart of Southern Seoul (aka Gangnam) and is wholeheartedly recommended to anyone interested in milder and healthier versions of Korean as well as western-style dishes, such as spagetti, cabbage rolls (one of my favorites), eggplant with mushroom and tomato, potatos baked with herbs, soy quesadilla, fruit salad with cashnut dressing, broccoli with mushroom, mock meat bulgogi, brown rice seaweed sushi, glass noodle (jab chae), rice cake (tok bok gi), pumpkin soup, cold noodle and others. You can check out their website. Although only in Korean, their sumptuous dishes are shown in colorful photos if you click on the left-hand icons under Menu section.

You can also buy mock meat and dumplings, bread and cookies, noodles and ramen, soy milk and fruit juice, dried fruits and nuts, and other health food items. The manager speaks some English.

Summation: A refreshing and welcome departure from typical hot and spicy food that took over most Korean eateries. Personally, it would be perfect if it goes garlic and (green) onion-free, though even now their judiciously sparing use of them is a rarity among Korean restaurants these days.

Pros: Utmost care devoted to food prep, Healthy cuisine and mild flavoring , Excellent food and good location

Cons: Liberal use of onion (avoided by some), Getting a little saltier than before, Perhaps too mild for spicy food lovers

1 Response
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Kabalan 10 Jul 2009 - Oops! I forgot to link their website, which is  

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