If you wish to experience the wonders of the world of Tibetan cuisine in Seoul, Potala Restaurant located in Cheonggyecheon is the place to visit. From the metal prayer wheels that read “oṃ maṇi padme hūṃ” placed in the center of the space, along with the colorful lung ta (prayer flags) hung on the walls, to pictures of His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama displayed in a sacred manner, you can find important symbolisms and elements of everyday practice that are central to the Tibetan people’s lives. The owner, Lama Dawa Pasang who also goes by the Korean name Min-su, initially opened a Tibetan restaurant in Jongno before moving to the current location. Now, after seemingly endless struggles as well as incessant efforts to keep the place in the country throughout a number of years, he has expanded his business with two new branches in Myeongdong and the Sungshin Women's University area.
Potala’s menu is quite large, encompassing various Tibetan, Nepalese and Indian dishes. While the restaurant manages to maintain a high quality for each type of cuisine, we recommend you to explore the Tibetan tastes which are truly authentic. If you’re looking to have home-style dishes, there are the thukpa, a spicy noodle dish with meat and vegetable broth, and the Tibetan chowmein with stir-fried vegetables and meat. The sha bhakle, fried bread with sautéed meat and vegetable filling, tastes wholesome and quite comforting. Potala offers several Tibetan and Himalayan Nepalese staples as well, including tsampa which is made with barley flour mixed with the salty Tibetan butter tea. All of these traditional Tibetan dishes can be paired with the famous Tibetan butter tea, of course. While the experience here will be an “adventurous” journey for some, a visit to Potala, for many others, will bring a special type of comfort which they, possibly, have not known before.