Are you a fan of Korean dramas? If the answer is YES then you’ll definitely know a drama about a girl who pretends to be a boy in order to get a job at an all-boy staff cafe — “Coffee Prince”. If the answer is NO then no worries, I admit I haven’t seen any Korean drama yet either. I kind of knew that a show like this existed, but that would be pretty much where my knowledge ended. Before writing this blog update I did some more reasearch and discovered that the cafe that I’m about to show you is not just a random coffee place. It is actually meant to be a replica of the real cafe used on the set of the aforementioned drama! Let’s check and see if the Shin-Okubo replica conveys the atmosphere of the Hongdae original.
The original “Coffee Prince”
I have been to Hongdae (Seoul) but most probably I just didn’t pay too much attention to cute cafes (there were hundreds of them! I think there’s a cafe on literally every corner of Seoul). I’ll be sure to visit the place next time I’m in the Land of the Morning Calm though. If you happen to be in Seoul or you’re planning to, check out this website (it’s in Korean though!):
Coffee Prince coffee shop: http://www.hongdaeya.com/?document_srl=7919
…and here’s the copy in Shin-Okubo！
Tokyo, Shinjuku, Hyakunincho, 2 Chome−2−3, TRN新大久保ビル3
It has everything I like: good coffee, nice atmosphere, very charming staff and good music. And you can always enjoy karaoke on the 4th floor, after you finish your coffee! By the way, here’s one song I heard in the cafe and one of the waiters was kind enough to write down the title for me so I could find it later: Epitone Project – 오늘 (Today)
According to some posters we can find on the wall outside the cafe, if you go there early enough you’ll get toast for free. Yay for free toast!
What is the concept of “Coffee Prince”? Let me quote Wikipedia here: “In order to attract female customers, he [the owner] only hires good-looking male employees” (⇐about the drama series). That would explain why all staff members are male (and yes, they really are handsome) and why 99% of customers are female.
The original interior of the cafe in Hongdae
…and Shin-Okubo’s (in my opinion successful) attempt to create a similar mood.
Shin-Okubo (great job copying the sunflowers!)
A few words from myself: it is not a cheap cafe. You might actually be a little disappointed after you pay over ¥600 and get a coffee that would be called “short” at Starbucks. Their desserts are delicious though, and actually the “couple set” is a rather good deal! As it is in the case of most of the cafes in Shin-Okubo, it’s not only coffee and desserts you’re paying for — it’s the relaxing atmosphere, good music and lovely customer service too.
Bubble tea with puffy cats. Waffles with kiwi, bananas, vanilla ice cream and strawberry sauce. And the cutest of all the Ghibli creatures – chocolate Totoro as a bonus!
Too cute to eat them…but way too tempting not to.
⇑(notice happy cutlery on the right…)
Naturally, we had a small photo session before drinking these lovely puffy cat bubble teas. Who wouldn’t?
Here’s my friend Madoka being cute ♥
Some more of the lovely chocolate sauce art
Frog Shin-chan! If you haven’t seen at least one episode of Shin-chan – a 5-year old who loves showing his bum – you’re missing out big time.
That was actually a couple set — two drinks of your choice, waffles with ice cream and choux cream with sweet beans and Oreo cookies ♥
Boys do come to this cafe, but I guess they’re almost always accompanied by their girfriends, hence the couple set.
The Hongdae shop has some cute window art going on…
…and so does the Shin-Okubo one. And it’s really adorable!
If you’re a fan of Korean dramas and “Coffee Prince” in particular – check it out! If you like quiet cafes where you can spend a few hours sipping on your coffee, looking outside the window and enjoying good music – this is the place! If you’re a connoisseur of stylish, tall and handsome Korean men — they’re waiting for you right over here at this cafe! If you like waffles and like to instagram your food because it’s cute — it’s a must go! I feel like I should have some kind of a scale, like 1 to 10 so….I’d give this place a whopping 9! Let’s say it’s on the pricey side in Shin-Okubo, but you’ll most likely be back once you check it out!
(If you ever decide to try out any of the places I’ve recommended, please let me know in a comment!)
Thank you for reading! ♥