I had the Maeum tasting menu, which was the mid-level option. The tier above it
requires at least a day's notice if you desire to order it. Regardless, you should call ahead of time to make a reservation. Balwoo opens at 7 pm for dinner services and closes promptly at 9, which is a window of time enough to accommodate maybe just one rotation of customers. The restaurant is modest and sits on the top floor of a Buddhist information center, which itself is located across the street from a Buddhist temple. The restaurant's mainstay is delicate Korean temple cuisine. Besides prohibitions on meat, seafood, dairy and eggs, Buddhist culinary asceticism include restraints on the 'five pungent spices', IE garlic, scallions, onions, chives and leeks. The meal was certainly a fun, exciting experience that dealt with a palette of flavors I had hitherto never tasted. One of my favorite dishes was a lightly blanched potato and coriander salad. I had always loved the earthy smell of the potato, but it's a scent that has little presence in the vegetable's fried, boiled, or baked forms. With the spare preparation I was offered, I had finally been able to savor the distinct muddiness characteristic of the raw potato! This was the recurring motif for the meal: Shockingly simple ways of food preparation that lended itself to shockingly rich flavors, however muted and delicate. You can go to the restaurant's website for a comprehensive detailing of their menu, but among other favorites of the meal was the tofu, glazed walnuts, and the persimmon, pear, and pepper naengmyeon! I left the meal feeling nourished and light.