The 24-hr cafés and wide availability of delectable desserts in Seoul are almost criminal.
Come one, come all, those with an insatiable sweet tooth. The 24-hr cafés and wide availability of delectable desserts in Seoul are almost criminal. It’s a real feat that South Korea boasts one of the lowest rates for heart disease in the world when the capital seems to be a haven for concept cafés and themed dessert shops. And for many of them, you only need to dish out a crumpled 5,000₩ (roughly $4) from the deep recesses of your pocket to have your pick of the menu.
1. Banana Tree
Boys and girls, I give you potted pudding from the Banana Tree. I suppose when you’re eating dessert that looks like soil, it’s only natural that you use a silverware shovel as a spoon to dig in. Cute, eh? Although the flowers are not edible, you can have at it with the dirt-like cake and chocolate pebble rocks. Mmm, I love me some earthy eats.
2. Takeout Drawing
The drink called Paul’s Meringue Factory at the Takeout Drawing café is a proper reflection of the burst of energy you’ll get from drinking it. Topped with a few dollops of meringue, this is an eccentric espresso if ever I’d seen one. Break off a piece and dip it into that bold caffeinated abyss. I don’t think I’ve ordered a coffee that was presented as such a fine confectionery. Also, two plates and a tray — what a diva cup.
Ice cream plus its own fog machine. That’s some smokin’ soft serve right there; I mean, what’s food without the dramatics? Here we have a cereal-based soft serve over a bed of dry ice. Because I’m basic, I got the American Breakfast (Canadian maple syrup with bacon bits) while my friend got the Italian Breakfast (Bolivian chancaca and macarons) — each held a nice balance of sweet and salty. At this cereal bar cum ice cream parlor, you’ll notice the black-and-white color scheme and servers donning prison uniforms. The establishment is named and designed after The Storming of the Bastille. An uprising to overthrow the French monarchy took place at the Bastille Saint-Antoine, a fortress and state prison in Paris, thereby marking the beginning of the French Revolution in 1789.
4. Choi Goon’s Pub
Sweet cream beer at Choi Goon’s Pub: the blend of malty beer and whipped cream is a common concoction in Seoul. Order a side of chicken wings and you’ve got yourself the Korean staple and classic combination of chimaek — fried chicken & beer. Chi comes from the English loanword “chicken” and maek is derived from maekju, or “beer.” Sweet cream beer comes with a straw and although it might be a bit unorthodox, the small scoop at the end allows you to snatch up every bit of that tasty topping. The light, billowy texture of that milky summit is the embellishment you never knew you needed on your pint of cold beer.
5. Jeremi Idea Institute
Flower ade: the most botanical beverage that ever was. Also, Mario as a centerpiece? I couldn’t ask for finer dining. With a potpourri of figurines and cartoonish oddities lining the zesty lemon walls, the Jeremi Idea Institute hosts a playful vibe and bright atmosphere. An afternoon at this café, sipping chilled drinks garnished with flower petals, is a great refuge from the summer heat. In Korea, the humidity levels often reach an unfortunate high but it’s no sweat for the Seoulite, who has a billion and one cafés (with AC, of course) to choose from. Cheers, everyone. Here’s to a carbonated remedy to stave off the heat of a summer in Seoul.