Cafe de Seoul: The Subtler Side of Korean Culture

When in Manila and on the hunt for a good hangout place, or a place to soak in some Korean culture, Cafe de Seoul might be exactly what you’re looking for.

cafe de seoul

Cafe de Seoul along Taft Avenue is perfect for students and yuppies alike. 

Cafe de Seoul, a quaint coffee shop located along the bustling Taft Avenue, is a concept developed by Jeon Woong. This unusually-shaped cafe gives their patrons a bird’s eye view of the building’s lobby, which is perfect for people-watching. According to Patricia Cruz, Cafe de Seoul‘s resident multimedia artist and Marketing Associate, the H-shaped area was unplanned since that was the only available space left for occupancy.

Unlike popular coffee shops in the metro with their coma-inducing dim interiors, the cafe’s floor-to-ceiling glass windows and halogen lights make the place brightly-lit and lively, complemented by white walls, and brown furniture, such as bookshelves and tables, and peppered with red chairs and turquoise accent walls. The bright environment is conducive for study sessions and artistic brainstorming, with free printing, available Wi-Fi, and enough plugs for your electronic devices.

You can even request for baskets where you can stash your school essentials to keep them in one place. The interior design was done by Design A Works, a Korean firm that handles design for the technology giant, Samsung, Pat shares. The café’s tables, chairs, and lights are all imported from Korea.

cafe de seoul wall designs

Walls are made livelier by various installations, such as the latticework for photos and framed pictures of the owner, Jeon Woong. 

Upon entry into the narrow hallway, one can already feel the chill, hipster vibe of the place. On the right is a turquoise wall where visitors can clip pictures of just about anything on the vine-like latticework. Across is another wall, dubbed as the Freedom Wall, filled with post-its of random notes from patrons while beside it is a kitschy mini-tower of locks, smaller but similar to the ones found at Namsan in Seoul, Korea. As popularized by the sappy Koreanovelas, these “love locks” are symbols of undying love between lovers, and readily available at the counter for less than a hundred bucks.

cafe de seoul lock tower

The mini love lock tower for the surreptitious lovers.

cafe de seoul wall collage

Freedom wall + Love Lock Tower. 

cafe de seoul interiors 3

 White walls, tan furniture, and wall-to-floor ceilings make for an inspiring environment.

cafe de seoul interiors 1

Tables for two.

Crossing to the other side, customers can watch TV, choose from an array of Korean magazines, cozy up at the couches, or play with the Samsung tablets installed on tables. It’s supposed to be a sandbox, as pointed out by Nigel Lim, Cafe de Seoul’s Marketing Director. Customers can download apps and access their social networking accounts, all made possible by free Wi-Fi! Selfie addicts, rejoice!

Above the tablet-embedded tables are mirrors, perfect for that selfie or barkada pic. Couches are perfect for snuggling couples while tables with cozy chairs are well suited for students working on their school papers. One can grab a mag and browse through the latest trends in Korean fashion or simply, people-watch.

cafe de seoul interiors 4

Classroom-type tables fronting the TV. Perfect for seminars, minus the terrifying teachers. 

cafe de seoul interiors 2

Cafe de Seoul’s other side: comfy chairs, cute wall decors, and my dream bookshelves. 

cafe de seoul airport counter

The counter takes its design cues from an airport with its Arrival and Departure sections.  

See what would satisfy your hungry tummy at Cafe de Seoul on the next page.


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