It seemed like De La Salle University-Manila and College of Saint Benilde students are now lucky to have so many nice hangout places around their campuses and school buildings where they can huddle and conduct group studies, do homeworks and chill to let out stress. Not students but still look like students, we burst into one of the cool cafés in One Archer’s Place (along Castro Street adjacent to DLSU Gokongwei Building) last Saturday.
Where exactly? Café De Seoul. Purpose? To try drinks and delicious pastries, relax and just have fun even without the booze at this Korean-style café. 😀 Let me share with you my review of this place which started its operations only last March 1, 2013.
Review of Café De Seoul (One Archer’s Place, Taft Avenue, Manila)
Café de Seoul might have opened in the last three months, but so many diners have already caught word. We went there during lunch time and while the place was not busy, Café de Seoul never ran out of customers. From the entrance, guests walk into a sleek hall whose walls are posted with pictures of happy customers side by side with the café’s Korean owners.
A number of tables with embedded Samsung Galaxy 10, matched with high chairs, are available so dine-in guests can use the tablet’s full functionality and at the same time utilize free Wi-Fi connection (ask password from the “counter guy”) without bringing in their own device.
With European fine dining infused with modern Korean popular culture theme, Café de Seoul offers spacious accommodation with different stylish and quirky pieces of furniture for seating. The ceiling is a mirror which reflects everything on the floor.
Snag a window seat and you can see the busy Agno Street and go people-watching. 😛
Couches are comfortable and music is not obtrusive, so you can expect to see folks taking a nap inside. While waiting for orders, you can view books, Korean magazines and other items displayed on the shelves along with pretty cute Café de Seoul mugs and tumblers that are on sale.
(Promotion: Buy a tumbler and get a drink for free! Also, get discounts when you bring your own Café de Seoul tumbler every time you buy a drink.)
Three versatile staffs go around to take orders in the cashier counter, prepare beverages and snacks, and fulfill any request asked by seated customers.
Because we’re not familiar with the name of the drinks in Korean and not sure which ones to buy, the staff was kind to suggest the best recommendations (for selection of cold, blended and hot drinks) without blinking an eye.
After ordering, just like in most coffee and tea shops now, customers receive a gadget that buzzes and lights up when order is ready for claiming.
Waiters were gracious to take our picture and serve us free kiwi yogurt to taste. I commend this team for the warmth of its service.
Café De Seoul features its menu on the screens behind the counter, like other fastfood restaurants do (e.g. Jollibee, Red Ribbon, KFC, etc.). I remember it was written on one of the animated projections there that their coffee is made with 100% arabica beans developed by the best brew master from Seoul, South Korea. These coffee beans are nourished, pruned, picked and perfectly roasted from the best selection of coffee beans from five major countries: Brazil Santos No.2, Guatemala SHB, Costa Rica SHB, Tanzania AA, and Kenya AA.
However, I ordered something else, as I am not a particular fan of coffee. I followed the staff’s best bet for mocktails. Mocktails, by the literal sense of the word, are “mock cocktails” which are actually fruity non-alcoholic mixed beverages. I had the Ddalgi Sonagi (PHp 155 for small, PHp 165 for large) which is a mix of strawberry, kiwi and blue curaçao (liquer-flavored dried peel of the laraha citrus fruit). This drink translates to “Strawberry Rain” in Korean and true enough, the taste was strong in strawberries with a hint of citrus/orange-ish taste.
I find the three colors intermingling in spiral form awesome. The combination is genius yet uncomplicated. It makes me realize that drinks don’t need to be having only singular focus on ingredient but can be a lot more if you put your thinking hat on.
H had the Caramel Machiatto (PHp 140 for small, PHp 155 for large) drink, a blend of espresso and steamed milk with vanilla flavored syrup finished with sweet caramel drizzle — perfect to be paired with the Chocolate Lava Cake (PHp 145). This moist chocolate cake with light soufflé that has a spongy texture is one of their best sellers.
G had another type of mocktail, the Honey Yuja (PHp 145 for small, PHp 155 for large) drink, which consists of thinly sliced Korean citrus fruit and rind infused with sugar and honey stirred in water. I felt somewhat invigorated after a sip!
Click here to view more items in Café de Seoul’s menu.
Price for Value: ★★★☆☆
With super nice and dainty ambiance, excellent service and drinks and food to crave for anytime, Café de Seoul is a great venue I admire. I have yet to try their ice cream, sandwiches, Gangnam balls, waffles and other gourmet products next time. 😀
Prices are competitive with similar high-end coffee and tea joints like Starbucks, The Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf, and so on. Bring your bills because they are a little on the pricey side and the joint accepts cash only!
Store Operating Hours:
Mondays to Thursdays 8AM to 1AM
Fridays to Sundays 9AM to 12:30AM