September 7, 2013

Cafe De Seoul- Korean Style Cafe in One Archer's Place, Taft Avenue

If there's one thing I miss about college, that would be hanging out with friends in Animo canteen pigging out, copying doing assignments, and chatting for hours. We would stay there even if we don't have classes anymore. My friends and I were certified "tambay ng Animo" especially during our last few terms in Dlsu. We would stay there for breakfast, lunch and merienda almost every school day. 

It's not that there weren't any good restaurants or fast food places around, but being a student also means living within your budget and allowance. For me, that would be a cup of melon juice (P15) and an order of my favorite ham & cheese french toast (P25) for snack. A mongolian lunch (P80+) would come in once in a while and that was already a splurge for me. 

We would also go out campus and frequent fast food chains like Pizza Hut and KFC. Other favorite places were Green Place, Rap Steakhouse, Dixie's, Eric's Siomai, Agno, Don Don and Sherwood. I remember D giving sharing his baon to us. He would bring salads and dishes for lunch, and we would share the food amongst us. Those were the days.. 

Now, I can't help but envy the students studying around Taft Avenue. The place is like a food mecca that offers affordable and budget meals for students. New restaurants and cafes are everywhere! 

D and I would always plan to have our foodtrip dates in Taft, and act as if we are students again. But with our busy schedule, visiting the area on a weekday was close to impossible.

Finally, one day, we cleared out our Saturday morning for a brunch at this Korean cafe called Cafe De Seoul. (Pardon the long introduction, I can't help but reminisce our college days)

Cafe De Seoul is a modern and trendy Korean style coffee shop that occupies quite a big area on the second floor of One Archer's Place. I can't help but admire the clean, elegant and artistic interior of the place. 

As you enter, photos of their suppliers (mostly Korean) hung on the walls. They also have this photo section and freedom wall, encouraging everyone to clip photos and post messages for Cafe de Seoul. A love lock tower could also be seen beside the freedom wall, resembling that of the famous Namsan (N Seoul) Tower, holding different love locks which you could also buy from them.

I grabbed a seat on the long side table near the windows to capture great photos of the food.

Most of Cafe De Seoul's furniture, products and machines are imported from Korea. The Korean owners really invested a lot in the business to ensure the finest quality of food and service to their customers. Some tables are even equipped with Samsung tablets which customers can freely use while passing the time.

Isn't it exciting to wake up for these sweet and tasty treats in the morning?

Honey Citron/ Yuja (P130-eco , P145-biz) and Ddlagi Sonagi (P155-eco , P165-biz)

We started with a refreshing and healthy drink of Yuja- a Korean citrus fruit and rind, infused with sugar and honey stirred in water. It was very light with subtle notes of citrus from the Korean fruit.  The drink was not too sweet either.

Cafe De Soeul's best-selling mocktail, Ddlagi Sonagi, translates to "Strawberry Rain" in Korea. It is a blend of green kiwi and strawberry mixed with a bluish syrup for added sweetness and taste. D and I liked this drink very much. 

Bread Egg Pizza (P105)

A nice plate of what seems to be their version of french toast, the Bread Egg Pizza reminds me of my favorite ham & cheese french toast with an additional heart-shaped toast and egg. Aside from Cafe De Seoul's attention to their interior, you could also see how keen they are to their food, taste and presentation wise. 

Oreo Cheesecake (P120)

As a cheesecake lover, I couldn't pass out on their Oreo Cheesecake that's light, soft and fluffy. It's not like the usual smooth and rich cheesecakes I've tried before, but it was pretty good albeit crumbly. 

Another interesting and unique treat from Cafe De Seoul is their Sweet Kies. It's similar to a Schneeball, a traditional German pastry shaped like a ball that needs to be whacked into small pieces by a wooden mallet before eating. 

We got the Strawberry Sweet Kies (P105) which D enjoyed hammering into pieces. The pastry was a bit hard and crunchy with a sweet strawberry chocolate coating. It was like a premium and enhanced version of our "pilipit". 

The pastry was delicious but could be overwhelmingly sweet for one person. We munched on the crunchy pastry and left some huge chunks of the chocolate coating behind.  

Korean Rice Cakes (P50- solo, P400-set of 10 flavors)

A set of Cafe De Seoul's Rice Cake includes each of their 10 available flavors. They were just too cute to eat! Each flavor has a distinct appearance and taste, and everything just smelled great! Some flavors I've tried even had some cranberry bits on their filling.

White Choco Mocha (P135-eco , P145-biz) and Seoul Bing-Soo (P210-eco , P260-biz)

For a classic blended beverage, the White Choco Mocha is one of their best-sellers. It's sweet, rich and creamy made with 100% arabica coffee and non-fat milk. 

Last but not the least, a trip to Cafe De Seoul won't be complete without trying their famous Korean halo-halo called Bing-Soo. Bing-Soo or Patbingsu is a popular Korean dessert of shaved ice topped with assorted ingredients like red beans, rice cakes and fruits. 

We had their best-seller Seoul Bing-Soo which is a traditional concoction of finely shaved ice, 5 types of roasted grains and nuts, red beans and rice cakes, topped with choco-drizzled vanilla ice cream.

The serving was humongous it could be shared by 4 or more people. I liked it very much but D didn't because of the powdered grains and nuts. It could get a bit overwhelming and heavy especially with the additional rice cakes so make sure to share with the group or just get the eco size. 

Cafe De Seoul is definitely a wonderful discovery for us. If it was already existing during our college days, we would probably spend most of our long breaks here. Well, their prices would set me back, but that's where the essence of sharing with friends comes in- more food selections yet less money spent. :) 

Overall, I'd say that a visit to Cafe De Seoul is certainly worth your time. Yes, their prices are quite steep for an average student, but I won't mind spending a few more bucks for an ambiance like Cafe De Seoul's. Plus, they have a lot of interesting food items that are pleasing to both the eyes and palate. I can't wait to go back and try their other drinks, cakes and pastries soon.

It's Beryllicious Picks:
Ddlagi Sonagi
Bread Egg Pizza
Rice Cakes
Sweet Kies

Cafe De Seoul
Unit 12, 2F One Archer's Place Bldg. Castro Street, Manila
Tel Number: 546-80-38 , (0917)870-20-04