[Seoul] Hidden in an alleyway away from the enclave of cafes in the ever so hip neighbourhood of Yeonnam-dong is the second branch of Coffee Nap Coffee Roasters 망고플레이트, the first being in Pyeongtaek.
Since its establishment in Seoul, it quickly became popular with not just with the natives, but also with foreign Instagrammers and café-hoppers.
The reason is obvious when you look at the café’s design alone.
The exterior draws attention with its slanted triangular roof and white-washed walls of the building as it stands out amongst the older-looking residential houses.
From a distance away, I already noticed people getting friends to shoot portraits for them in front of the café.
Floor-to-ceiling glass windows line two sides of the café, as though to show off the centerpiece of the café’s interior design – the “hill” of 7000 red bricks.
Continuous with the flooring, it serves as a sitting area for patrons.
A few shoots of bamboo are also planted in the café to incorporate an element of nature.
There is also a round mirror at the back. Come night time, it would look like a moon hidden behind a hill.
I was tempted to grab a place on the “hill”, but ultimately sat by a proper table.
It could be slightly uncomfortable for ladies (especially for those wearing skirts and dresses), and a little awkward since you might be in the way of most people taking photos.
When ordering espresso coffees, there was a choice of 3 types of beans, their house blend and two single origins.
I had the single origin from Ethiopia for my Caffe Latte (5000KRW, SGD5.80) which came with latte art.
The coffee’s taste profile suited me – not too acidic with a balanced body.
Manual brewed coffee is also available, along with non-coffee drinks such as lemon ale and apple tea.
It seems that the variety of small bites and pastries served is small, not fixed and not permanent.
When I went, only chocolate, cheese and matcha terrines shaped into cubes were on the counter, at other times I found out that flavoured pound cakes (also made into cubic shapes) were also available.
I opted for the Matcha (2800KRW, SGD3.25) which was like a cube of matcha fudge – the matcha bitterness came through strongly with tones of sweetness.
Though there is a considerable amount of walking distance from the nearest subway station, the walk will take you through the Gyeongui Line Forest Park and Yeonnam-dong (one of my favorite neighbourhoods) where there is much to see and explore.
Otherwise, there are also buses running from the station to the café if the weather is not too pleasant.
Coffee Nap Roasters 망고플레이트
453-32 Yeonnam-dong, Mapo-gu, Seoul, South Korea (Hongik University Station)
서울특별시 마포구 연남동 연남로
Opening Hours: 9am – 10pm (Mon – Sun)
Google Maps – Coffee Nap Roasters
* Written by Crystal Wee, a “Cafe Pornographer”. More of her cafe gallery on Instagram @Crystal_wee. DFD paid for food reviewed unless otherwise stated.