Jenny’s bread makes this cafeteria a feast of Italian-style sandwichesThe general rule of restaurants in Korea is that food quality and interior design are inversely proportional. That is why Jenny’s Cafeteria, a sandwich shop near Hongik University, is such a gem. Jenny’s is a comfortably small, neighborhood hangout that is stylish in an unconventional way, complete with music, a nice wine selection and a chicken sandwich you will come to crave.
Kim So-ra, one of the co-owners of Jenny’s, knows good Italian food. She has worked in Italian restaurants in Seoul and Japan, traveled throughout Europe and consulted on the opening of two Italian restaurants in the Gwanghwamun area. When considering opening her own restaurant, however, she recognized that there were already many talented chefs in Seoul. So she asked herself: What can I make better than anyone else in Korea? The answer ― bread!
Ms. Kim based her recipe on a type of hard Italian bread called ciabatta, but she makes hers softer and bakes it three or four times daily for the restaurant’s popular sandwich menu. Jenny’s uses authentic Italian ingredients, including basil, vinegar, parmesan and mozzarella cheeses and home-made sun-dried tomatoes on its sandwiches. According to Ms. Kim, the best-selling item among foreign patrons is the Prochuito sandwich, and women seem to like the “sour taste” of the Funghi sandwich, which includes mushrooms and melted cheeses. Also on the menu are various salads, a weekly rotation of vegetable cream soups ― sweet pumpkin, mushroom, tomato, carrot and spinach ― and a selection of espresso and wines. For dessert there is the sinful union of mascarpone and liqueur-soaked ladyfingers known as tiramisu.
When Ms. Kim opened Jenny’s Cafeteria with longtime friend Kang Ju-hyoung, they envisioned a sophisticated, neighborly, European concept to add to the cultural diversity of the Hongdae area. With its low lighting and mustard color theme, diners come not only to lunch among friends, but to relax over a cup of coffee or an evening glass of wine. Arrive before 2 p.m. to enjoy the lunch special: soup, sandwich and non-alcoholic drink, all for the price of the sandwich you choose, starting from 6,400 won ($5.60).
Open: 11:30 a.m. to midnight daily
Credit cards: yes
Phone: (02) 3141-7891
Subway line No. 2 to Hongik University station. Facing Hongik main gate, turn left, walk to next traffic signal.
by Kirsten Jerch