The most unusual and delightful meal in my recent visit to Auroville turned out to be at Goyo – a “silent” Korean restaurant. I had never heard of a silent restaurant before this but was delighted to find such a place existed.
I had gone on a 2 week visit to Auroville to help out Dr. Nandita Shah of SHARAN with some work in my capacity as a consultant with them. She invited us for a vegan meal at Goyo. Auroville has many communities spread across its densely forested 20 sq km area. They are doing wonderful, progressive work in the areas of natural and organic farming practices, health, pottery, building and architecture, healing therapies, art and design etc.
Goyo is located in a community called Luminosity which is a green building project. Goyo is opened in essentially a tiny room equipped with a kitchen and is open for silent lunches 3 times a week. The Korean lady (whose name I cannot recall), cooks everything herself. She even gardens many of the ingredients and tries to procure as much organic as possible.
We were asked to wait in their open areas until a bell was sounded and we removed our shoes and entered the room to sit around a table where we were served our beverages and appetisers. After a few minutes, we were asked to be silent. A quote was read out as “food for thought” for us to contemplate during our meal.
The main course and salads were served at a self-serve buffet. We were requested to maintain silence until the desserts were served. As an admirer of Korean food in my non-veg days, I was curious to see what would be served to us that would be wholly plant-based. To my utter delight, it was a feast of vegetables of every colour of the rainbow including sea vegetables that are traditionally eaten in Korea and even a creative dessert. If you are ever passing by Auroville and would like to experience a unique meal, it would be top of the list in my recommendations.
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