There’s a new vegetarian falafel restaurant called Jack’s Bean that opened up in the Hongdae neighborhood near the end of last year. There are a lot of awesome middle-eastern restaurants in the Itaewon area, but not a whole lot around Hongdae, so when my friend heard about this new vegetarian falafel spot, we decided to try it out.
The interior of the restaurant is small, bright, cute, and friendly. The owner and cook is a Korean guy (and his wife?) who has traveled around Israel, and then he decided to bring back a bit of the cuisine and start up this casual eatery.
Jack’s Bean is entirely about the chickpea in all its glory, so every dish features them in some way, whether it’s chickpea soup, or even chickpea milk. However, even though everything is vegetarian, this doesn’t mean it’s all vegan. The items with the red (V) are items that can be veganized.
While several of their dishes are vegan-friendly, it’s important that you tell them in advance that you are vegan, so that they can make the necessary adjustments. Even if you think you’ve ordered something vegan, it’s just best to make sure.
We didn’t have any problems with the food– infact everything was incredibly fresh and tasted yummy! But the big glaring problem was the slow service during the lunch rush. And I’m talking glacial pace here. Since the restaurant is set up as a very casual place and the menu is pretty simple, we expected the food to come out pretty fast…. unfortunately, the food was coming out one by one, at an shockingly slow pace. Even though they were behind on the orders, neither of the cooks seemed to move any faster. It was all just a bit frustrating to watch as a hungry customer. I don’t mean to blast them this way, but it has to be said. I’m sure it’s just growing pains though, so let’s just hope that they find their groove sooner than later.
That said, we all still enjoyed the food and it was all pretty affordable too (although portions are a bit small). The restaurant is really cute and clean, and you can tell they try really hard to make customers feel welcome, especially vegans and foreigners– notice the Happy Cow sign on the bulletin board!
Jack’s Bean **UPDATE: CLOSED!*****
Opening Hours: 10:30~21:00
Closed every 2nd & 4th Sunday of the month
address: 서울특별시 마포구 서교동 339-1