*UPDATE March 11, 2014*** GAROBEE has closed. :(:(:(
Is it just me, or does it seem like vegetarian and veg-friendly eateries are popping up left and right in Korea? Ever since foot-in-mouth disease and avian influenza broke out, super pop star Lee Hyori came out as a vegetarian (or more accurately, pescatarian), and a group of “Vege Doctors” joined forces to declare the benefits of a plant-based diet, Koreans have begun to increasingly seek out veggie restaurants and cafes. Granted, most are probably only interested in vegetarianism for health reasons (“well-being” etc) rather than for the sake of animals, but I think this is positive change and things are going in the right direction.
Anyway, one of the newest veggie joints in town is Garobee, a 100% vegan buffet in the heart of Gangnam station. It’s in a great central location and is only a hop, skip, and a jump away from Bakersfield (vegan-friendly bakery and cafe). In my humble opinion, the Achasan Loving Hut buffet sets the standard for totally vegan all-you-can-eat restaurants in Seoul, but Garobee is definitely a welcomed addition to the veg buffet-scene. I just love any place where I can fill up on fresh veggies and try interesting takes on veg meat, ya know? :) The spread is not as diverse or plentiful as the Achasan buffet, but the food is tasty, fresh, and well-presented. Also, the interior is clean, modern, and comfortable, and the lady at the counter is incredibly kind and cheerful.
Unfortunately, my friend and I got there around 2pm, so they were almost done with their lunch service and the food selection wasn’t as abundant as it probably should’ve been. However, we were still able to enjoy a variety of dishes, all of which were quite delicious. There’s also a dessert section of rice cakes etc. Check this site for more pictures.
Some of my favorite, standout items were the burger patty on mashed potatoes, green cold noodles with cucumbers and gochujang sauce (in the glass dish), and a creamy broccoli cauliflower dish with bits of vegan ham.
All-in-all, I really enjoyed Garobee and am stoked that they are by Gangnam station because this part of Seoul has definitely been in sore need of some decent veg spots!
Directions to Garobee Buffet:
Gangnam Station, Line 2. Exit 11 (used to be exit 7). Walk straight and when you get to the CGV building, turn right and go up the hill one block. Then turn left, and you will see Garobee on your right, on the second floor. It is basically behind the CGV building.
Sinonhyun Station, Line 9. Exit 5. Walk straight til you get to the CGV building. Garobee is behind the CGV building. You can go through the Daiso store to get to the other side.
Lunch hours: 12-2:30 pm
Dinner hours: 6-9 pm
Price: 15,000 won
12,000 weekday lunches only