South Korean Ambassador for Indonesia, Park Tae-Sung, loves not only Korean food but also Indonesian cuisine.


The S Media are very happy to get the opportunity to talk with the South Korean Ambassador in Jakarta, Park Tae-Sung. 

Photo Courtesy of Korean Embassy

We talked about the Korean food industry in Indonesia and how it gives a strong influence meant to our society. The surprising fact that came is that Park Tae-Sung also loves Indonesian food, which has the same potential as Korean cuisine to gain popularity in South Korea.


What makes Korean food different from other countries’ specialties?

There are many special features of Korean food, but I would like to mention 3 things related to our health. Firstly, Korean food is full of many different kinds of fermented foods such as ‘Kimchi’(Pickled vegetable), ‘Doenjang’(Soybean Sauce) and ‘Gochujang’(Red Chili Paste), which are amazingly good for your health. You can keep your intestine clean, prevent cancer and strengthen your immune system by having Korean food. Secondly, the main dish of Korean food is not wheat but rice which is better for digestion than western food. Thirdly, Korean meal is well-known for their harmonious combination ratio of nutrients. You can take carbohydrates, protein fat, vitamins, and minerals, in a very proper ratio. 


How big is the role of food in introducing Korean culture in Indonesia?

I believe food has been always one of the best ways to introduce one culture to other countries. If you eat Korean food, it means you are already taking the essence of Korean culture since food is one of the most characteristic factors of culture. Nowadays, Indonesians love Korean food a lot. The import of Korean food products to Indonesia has become more than doubled in the last 5 years. You can find hundreds of Korean restaurants and Korean food products being sold at every big food market in Jakarta. It means Indonesians are really absorbing the essence of Korean culture by having Korean food. 


Why do Koreans like fermented foods?

Photo Courtesy of Archipelago International


Korea has four distinctive seasons – Spring, Summer, Autumn, Winter. Many experts say that Koreans have developed various kinds of fermented foods to safely store foods in the changing seasons. That is why we have many fermented foods in Korea. I would like to say my ancestors were smart enough to be in tune with the natural environment and to figure out the advantages of having fermented food for our health, too.


Why are Korean foods in Indonesia so well accepted?

First of all, I am very happy about the fact that our Indonesian friends love Korean foods. No one can definitely tell us the reason for Indonesians’ love for Korean foods, but I can say 3 things according to what I have found in Indonesia. Firstly, Indonesians have similar tastes to Koreans. Both of us have and like spicy food and sauce. For example, Indonesian ‘Sambal’ is very similar to Korean sauce such as ‘Gochujang’ or ‘Ssamjang’(Korean style dipping sauce). Secondly, Indonesians are often willing to have Korean foods after watching Korean foods in Korean movies and dramas.

Photo Courtesy of Archipelago International


Actually, Korean foods such as ‘Jjapaguri’ in the Korean movie ‘Parasite’, and ‘Dalgona’ in Korean Drama ‘Squid Game’ are being sold amazingly well. And lastly, it seems that Indonesians are getting to love Korean food more and more for their health. ‘Korean Ginseng’, for example, is one of the Indonesians’ favourite Korean foods, well-known for upgrading your immune system. I would also like to recommend you to have some neat and clean Korean food such as ‘Bibimbap’(Rice with assorted mixtures) less salty, less sweet. You will feel light and refreshed.


How significant is the potential of Indonesian cuisine that can be accepted by people in South Korea?

It has great potential. I believe Koreans will love Indonesian cuisine because of 3 reasons. Firstly, as I have already mentioned, Koreans and Indonesians have similar tastes. It is not a very strange taste for Koreans. Actually, you can easily find many Korean people living in Indonesia who love Indonesian food a lot. Secondly, Indonesian cuisine has a various and wide spectrum of food which makes it enough to satisfy different kinds of specific tastes of Korean people.

That is a great advantage of Indonesian food. We can enjoy almost every different ingredient in Indonesian food. Lastly, and more importantly, Indonesian food is so delicious. What’s not to love about its great taste? Koreans will absolutely love it! I also would like to let you know that there are already many Indonesian restaurants and Indonesian food products in Korea and Koreans like them a lot!


Do you have any recommendations for the three best places in Jakarta to taste Korean food?

There are so many nice Korean restaurants in Jakarta. Most of them have a great Korean food menu, and are clean and well disinfected, too. Since I am not supposed to recommend only the three best places as an ambassador, I would like to recommend you to visit any Korean restaurants not only in Jakarta but also anywhere in Indonesia. You will be satisfied with the service for sure. Believe me!

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