[Seoul] Forget about those vending machine door cafes , as they will probably go passé soon. Or, maybe not in the next 2-3 years.
This is one that is different.
A hidden café-pub, which lies behind a refrigerator door.
Unknown to most people (tourists at least), Jean Frigo 장프리고 which lies amongst a row of shops in Dongdaemun, looks like an unassuming fruit stall from the outside.
But beyond those metallic doors, are not your cold-storage food and kimchi, but an entrance that leads to a café-pub.
(*Spoiler, it’s the door right at the back.)
I can immediately sense that quite the number of Instagrammers would want to take a photo with the secret and unique looking entrance upon finding this place.
When you open the doors, you feel as though you found an entirely different world. The kind of the feeling if you get to open Narnia’s wardrobe.
And you are kind of glad that only those in-the-know are aware of its existence.
Head over to a cosy corner near the stairs where you can sit and enjoy or head up to the second floor.
On the second floor, the seats are all arranged facing the walls, and below the platform where you can walk on.
Maybe it was the lighting, maybe it was those seats and cushion, but the place feels like a great relaxing place to have an evening cocktail and wind down after a busy day of work.
The theme goes to the details.
Every table had a tray on it and a specific fruit on it, the name of the fruit is actually how they identify your table.
My table was called “Peach Table”, or 복송아 in Korean.
To order, you have to tell them the name of your table, so it is also a good time to revise or learn the names of fruits in Korean!
The cafe offers a fixed menu of fruits: kiwi, orange, tomato, apple, blueberry, grapefruit, pineapple and lemon where you can choose for it to come in the form of a juice, ade or a tea.
Some seasonal fruits include watermelon, peach, mango, available during summer; while strawberries are offered during the winter season.
The Orange Juice (7,000 Won, SGD8.50) and Pineapple Juice (8,000won or 9.80SGD) was equally tasty, naturally sweet, and very refreshing.
Great that the portion of the drinks was huge – making sure you are getting your money’s worth because they are not cheap in any sense; and you could tell that they were freshly made.
While the combination of coffee and orange is nothing new, the Orange Squeeze Americano (6,000 Won, SGD7.30) was still an interesting-enough drink to order.
The sweetness of the orange juice compliments the slight bitterness of the light coffee, and upon sips you can appreciate the citrusy-tanginess that cuts through.
The Fruit Sand (10,000 Won, SGD12.20), though left an impact on the eyes (and perhaps photos), was kind of disappointing in terms of taste.
The bread was toasted, spread with whipped cream and topped with fruits, was surprisingly on the tough side. A thicker or fluffier bread would have helped.
The amount of generous fresh fruits was a plus point though.
I was surprised to see pineapple inside my Rose Sauce Pasta (16,000 Won, SGD19.50).
It was almost like eating Hawaiian pizza, but in the form of pasta. The sauce imparted a tasty-sweet tang with a slight spicy kick. Note: you may not get this again, as the ingredients in this pasta change every month.
While Seoul has no lack of instagrammable cafes, the idea of a hidden ‘world’ behind a fridge door would attract a number of instagrammers down.
Even if you are not into fruit juices, I would recommend you coming here for their cocktails as well.
Jean Frigo 장프리고
Toegye-ro 62-gil, Gwanghuidong 2(i)-ga, Jung-gu, Seoul, South Korea
서울특별시 중구 광희동2가 퇴계로62길
Tel: +82 02 2275 1933
Opening Hours: 12:00pm – 2:00am (Mon – Thurs), 12:00pm – 3:00am (Fri – Sat), Closed Sun
Google Maps – Jean Frigo 장프리고
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* Written by DFD’s Seoul Correspondent @__sy_g. Songyu is a food and travel blogger who is an exchange student at Seoul National University. You can usually find him in one of Seoul’s hipster cafes. DFD pays for food reviewed unless otherwise stated.