Alien's Day Out

Coffee & Bread

| 7 Comments

Hello my dear Aliens! Hope everyone had a relaxing weekend and got to enjoy the amazing weather. Ahhhh, looks like the worst of winter is over. I can finally smell spring in the air and it puts a ‘spring’ in my step (sorry for the pun). Can i get a whut wutt~ Yesh, indeed.

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Merong! If you know where this Einstein pic was taken, you get a gold star.

Well, I recently had the pleasure of hanging out at Hapjeong for a little bit and got to indulge in two of my fave past-times… cafe-crashing and bakery-browsing.

I love going to cafes to work, draw, read, blog, catch up on emails, or journal. I hate staying at home and I find that I’m most productive when working at a cafe with coffee in hand. Even though coffee in Korea is expensive, I just tell myself that I’m paying for the cafe experience, not just the drink. And having been to countless cafes all over Seoul, I’ve developed this real pickiness about the cafes I visit. It’s usually not even about whether they’re vegan-friendly or whether their coffee is actually good, but it more has to do with whether they have comfy seats, non k-pop music, quiet and chill ambiance (no loud groups of ajushis or ajoomz), lots of electrical outlets, books and magazines, free wifi, and clean bathrooms. If I ever opened up a cafe, you could bet it would have all of those and more. But I digress…

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Well last week I went to Cafe Nostalgia which is along that popular cafe-lined road in Hapjeong. The only pic I took was this one because there was a kitty! She (or he) was so flooofy and cute, and pretty much just napped the whole 4 hours i was there. I really wonder how Bunny would react if I ever adopted a kitty. Yay for cafes with furry animals.

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Well, since I don’t have many pics for Nostalgia Cafe, here’s another cafe along the same street that I went to way back in December last year (yea, this is way overdue). Paul & Lina Cafe. This is a newer spot that I’ve visited a few times now.

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It’s simple, modern, classy/cutesy in style (as is practically every other cafe in Korea), and they have comfy seats, a clean bathroom within the cafe, plenty of natural lighting, friendly service, and ofcourse wifi. I’m assuming that they’re somehow connected to the Paul & Paulina bakery in Hongdae because the name is so similar. Either that, or they’re too lazy to come up with an original name. But then again, I’m pretty sure Paul & Paulina bakery is based on the Paul bakery in France….

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Since this was around the holidays, they had their Christmas deco up. ^_^

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Check out this bunny mug.

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My americano. For service, they give a clementine and a chocolate truffle (not vegan). Overall, a lovely cafe-experience. Nice environment, bright natural lighting, kind service, and free coffee refill. :)

Directions to Paul & Lina Cafe: Hapjeong Station, Line 6&2. Come out Exit 5 and turn right at the ‘Giant’ bike store. Walk straight for 5 minutes and the cafe will be on your right, on the 2nd floor.

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While wandering around the Hapjeong/Sangsu area, I also popped into this Bread05 Bakery. This bakery isn’t exactly new (I think it’s been around for almost a year or so), but this was my first time actually going inside. It’s also pretty easy to overlook because it’s in the half-basement of the building.

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The space is pretty tiny but they seem to make it work for them. There’s a skinny table along the wall where you can sit and enjoy some coffee with your bread, but I’ve never seen anyone actually hanging out there before.

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Sadly, the vast majority of their bread is not vegan… When I asked which items were vegan, the guy at the counter pointed to the baguette, campagne buns and ciabatta.

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You can see the vegan baguettes in the top right corner of this pic. Hm… pointy. They look like elf shoes.

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Pain de campagne (vegan) Honestly, none of the breads were really calling to me, but I couldn’t walk out empty-handed after taking photos of the place, so I just got one of their ciabattas….

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Here’s the ciabatta bun (1,800 won), which I took home and had with some tofu scramble and coffee for breakfast.

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The ciabatta was a lot crisper and harder than I expected… I like ciabatta that is ever so slightly crispy on the outside and really pillowy soft on the inside, but this was super hard and crusty and more like a baguette. It wouldn’t been perfect for bruscetta though. :)

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All in all, I had high hopes for Bread05, but it was a bit of a disappointment. Cute bakery, but not the best (vegan) bread, imho. Perhaps my particular bun was just stale, they were having an off day, or that’s just their version of ciabatta, who knows. At least my tofu scramble saved it somewhat. :)

Bread05 Bakery (between Sangsu & Hapjeong Station)
Address:서울시 마포구 서교동 408-25
Seoul, Mapo-gu, Seogyo-dong, 408-25
Tel: 070-7656-9905
Hours: morning – 9pm.
Closed on Mondays
Click for Google map.

7 Comments

  1. I want a cat café!

    "I just tell myself that I'm paying for the cafe experience, not just the drink." …. I have to start telling myself that.

    It looks like you've got some lovely cafés in Seoul though… the nice ones are hard to find here in London, where there's a Starbucks at every corner (really!). Plus zillions of other chains.

    I love working in cafés too, but it does require the right kind of place to be productive. They must have good coffee (Monmouth preferably :-)), at least some vegan-friendliness in terms of food, comfy seats, lots of electrical outlets, hopefully free wifi, a good ambiance, few tourists, and allow for people watching on the street (1st floor options preferred). On the canals or river is a definite bonus. The café with a view actually tends to be the hardest criterion to fulfil…

    Still hunting for places open till late night (most shut by 6 or 6:30), I've only got one that's open till 10 and another till 9 as generally there is no night café culture here… how about in Seoul? Till when are cafés generally open?

  2. korean cafes are so random! its no surprise that you found that bunny mug :) miss going places with you and observing random things!!

  3. HI Alua,
    Yea, there are a lot of independent coffee shops in certain parts of Seoul, but there are also plenty of Starbucks joints too! :P

    Oh and I agree that people-watching is also a fave thing to do~ And most cafes here stay open til around 11pm! Korean night life… :)

  4. I'm going back to Korea this summer and although I'm not vegan, I'm very much enjoying your restaurant and product reviews! haha :D

  5. I've found that when coffee is expensive, it's generally worth it. :) You're probably right that the experience is part of the cost. It reminds me of how, in Italy, it costs more for a coffee in a cafe if you drink it sitting down. If you have it standing up at the coffee bar, it's more of a bargain. And you (Mipa) certainly get your money's worth out of the experience, what with the fact-finding investigations into the breads, the soaking up of the atmosphere, and the documenting of furry white kitties.

    I love that cat. I happen to be into white cats at the moment, having seen a number of really cute ones, coincidentally. I have been considering getting a kitty again and am keeping a special eye out for a white one. (Before, I was grey-tabby all the way. ;-) )

  6. @Mipa There is no shortage of nightlife in London, but somehow (and I'm really not sure why) that doesn't involve cafés. Only pubs and restaurants. Meeehhh.

    You are lucky! I want 11 p.m. cafés!

  7. Kywah! I can't wait to be in Seoul this summer! So many cute cafes. Hawaii needs to learn from Korea!

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