Vegan's Chronicles + [vegan product]

Rice Factory @ Hapjeong Station

**** This restaurant has closed ***** updated 7-7-11

Jenna's Visit

Today I met up with old college friend, Jenna and her triplet sister Maree! I was worried that I wouldn't be able to catch her on her busy touring schedule, but thankfully, I was able to see her today, which was her very last day in Korea. It was a very happy reunion indeed. Jenna and Maree had a previous appointment near Hapjeong Station (near Hongdae), so after a hectic morning of trying to get as much work done as possible, I rushed over to meet them at Hapjeong for lunch.

Jenna's Visit

I had heard about this one veg-friendly bibimbab restaurant right in that area, so I thought this would be an opportune time to check it out. The restaurant's name in Korean/Chinese is: '맑은물길어밥짓는곳 井米所' which pretty much translates to 'A place where rice is made from clear water.' haha. That's quite a mouthful for a restaurant name. Well, their website is www.ricefactory.kr, so let's just dubb their English name as 'Rice Factory,' k?

This place specializes in a variety of nutritious, fresh, unique, 'modern' bibimbabs. Y'all know how much I love bibimbab, so I was pretty much already sold on this place before I even tried the food. And the best part is that more than half of their bibimbabs are vegan! They have everything from sea vegetable bibimbab, to mushroom bibimbabs, to tofu bibimbabs. Every single one looks beautiful and delicious.

Jenna's Visit

They brought out three different banchans, one plate for each person.

Jenna's Visit

Maree and I both ordered the 'Spouts bibimbab' which is a huge mound of rice buried under a bed of lettuce and a variety of sprouts, topped with a sauce that is made from dwenjang, tofu and prunes (6000 won).

Jenna's Visit

Here it is post-mix. Bi-byuhhh~! It looked pretty, tasted so fresh, and the sauce had great flavor! However, if I had to nit-pick at something, I would say that there was a little too much rice for me, which made the bowl slightly dry, but that's just my opinion. We also all got a bowl of soup on the side, but it wasn't vegan... :(

Jenna's Visit

Jenna ordered the 'Silken Tofu Bibimbab' which had chives, rice, sprouts, and silken tofu covered in some kind of soysauce dressing (6,500 won). I tasted a bite of this and thought it was yummy too. Jenna and Maree both said they liked the place a lot, which I'm thankful for, since I took them there without really knowing what to expect!

Jenna's Visit

Directions to 'Rice Factory': Hapjeong Station, Line 2, Exit 7. Walk through down the road between 'Tour Les Jours' and the pharmacy, and after about 2 blocks, 'Rice Factory' will be on your left.

After lunch, we had some time to spare before Jenna had to head to Incheon Airport to fly back to NY, so we walked into 'Cafe Maro,' a random coffee shop near Hapjeong Station. There wasn't anything particularly special about this place, but it was a nice chill spot for us to chat.

Jenna's Visit

Before Jenna came to Korea, she emailed me asking if there was anything she could bring for me from the US. I just asked for a bag of wheat bran, cuz I had recently finished the supply I brought from my Philippines trip.

Jenna's Visit

Well, I was just expecting her to bring one small packet, but Jenna went above and beyond, and brought two massive packages! And they're organic too. Thank you soooo much Jenna~! I don't know if wheat bran has any special health benefits besides just keeping you regular, but I just like the texture it adds to oatmeal and muffins. You can expect to see a scoop of this in my daily oatmeal from now on.

Jenna's Visit

Oh, and that's not all. She also presented me with this cardboard-packaged 'Eco Pouch' that she bought in Korea. Is Jenna the best or what?

Jenna's Visit

Love it.

So that was my lovely afternoon. I was so happy to see Jenna, but also sad to have to say 'bye' again so quickly. Hopefully she had a blast here and will return again soon. :) xoxo