Deulmusae: South Korea’s Penis Restaurant

The penis. As unattractive as it could be, it has remained to be an vital image of power, fertility and energy in cultures all of the world over for the reason that starting of time. From historical Pompeii to Egyptian hieroglyphics to the costumes of recent day tribesmen of New Guinea, phallic imagery has been used unabashedly. Unsurprisingly, the penis has performed simply as an vital position in Korean tradition.

One of many extra notable legends is that of a younger virgin who was left by her fisherman lover on a rock and was swept away to sea in a storm. Villagers believed {that a} collection of unlucky occasions (an absence of fish and a poor harvest) was introduced on by the lady’s vengeful ghost. To appease her spirit, villagers “erected” numerous picket penises to maintain her content material within the afterlife. Their try was profitable, which ultimately led to the development of Haeshindang Gongwon, or “Penis Park.”

Farther down south on Jeju Island, large stone statues often called hareubang (“grandfather”) could be discovered standing tall alongside the seashores. It is believed that newlywed girls who contact these statues’ lengthy, broad — and very phallic — noses can be blessed with fertility.

But, there are fewer locations to have a singular encounter with Korea’s penis tradition than at Deulmusae, a country restaurant tucked away on an obscure nation street in Pocheon, about an hour and a half’s drive northeast of Seoul. Regardless of its obscurity, the restaurant is well recognizable upon arrival. In truth, it is unimaginable to overlook the welcoming path of jaji (“penis”) that line the trail to the two-story restaurant and cafe.

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Opened in 1996, Deulmusae wasn’t at all times a tribute to the male member. In truth, it wasn’t till a Buddhist monk visited someday and famous that the restaurant had an excessive amount of feminine/chilly vitality (what the Chinese language name yin). He added that the land’s vaginal look solely worsened the circumstances. After consideration, the proprietor determined to steadiness the vitality by incorporating phallic imagery into the restaurant’s ceramic ware. Not lengthy after, guests (largely of the senior citizen selection) from all around the area started flocking to Deulmusae and shortly sufficient, the place was lined in wooden. Actually.

Along with the ceramics, that are crafted and fired on web site, phallic woodwork and sculptures constructed by a neighborhood artisan create a pure, if not blush-inducing, ambiance. The work, as quirky as it could be, is superbly crafted and might really be thought-about artwork. The one exception is the anatomically awkward fountain of a male who spurts water from his genitals within the courtyard.

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Deulmusae presents a wide range of dishes to please all palates, that’s, if diners aren’t distracted by the ever-present genitalia. The Deulmusae Course Lunch Set contains corn soup, and a trio of a fried fish filet, a pork cutlet and a Korean-style hamburger steak. The meal is served with a colourful salad, rice and low or tea. The Haemul Pajeon (savory pancake topped with seafood) is sweet and conceals the plate’s ceramic labia, an actual shock when found.

The beverage record is intensive and the patio supplies the right place to get pleasure from Deulmusae’s conventional teas and cocktails. The jujube and ssangwa teas are spicy and medicinal however refreshing and the Dutch espresso is a wonderful afternoon pick-me-up. Chilly drinks are served in cups primarily based on diners’ genders: Females are served their drinks in penis cups whereas males are given vaginae. (Sure, that is the plural type of vagina… I checked.) Straws are positioned strategically to permit for some fascinating photograph ops with associates or a very — like, REALLY — awkward household dinner. The town of Pocheon is known for its makgeolli (rice wine) so strive the restaurant’s corn selection, which tastes particularly good within the recent, countryside air.

Do not miss out in your likelihood to load up on one-of-a-kind souvenirs close to the counter. Deulmusae’s well-known hand-made phallic ceramic ware could be bought within the type of tea cups, pitchers and key chains and there is even flesh-colored, all-natural penis-shaped cleaning soap on the market. Regardless of its lifelike look, it smells like flowers, fortuitously sufficient. Remember to try the world map — made solely from ceramic willies — earlier than heading house. And do not be camera-shy — the restaurant homeowners encourage voyeurism.

Pocheon could also be a bit out of the way in which from Seoul, and definitely is not the largest metropolis in Korea, however is unquestionably price a go to to have lunch at Deulmusae. In spite of everything, it isn’t the dimensions that counts, however the way in which it is integrated right into a themed restaurant that basically issues.

For extra data on Deulmusae, together with instructions and hours, go to Seoul Looking out.

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