The Korean food in Colombo has been trending. Cafe Alfred is one of them which joined the bandwagon over a year ago. Starting off as a cafe that mostly covered the likes of toast, they slowly but effectively managed to creep into being one of the more Korean sides of things a while back.
But, with a new address and lots of Korean food added to the menu, Cafe Alfred presents, Cafe the Seoul, the newest addition to Colombo's ever-increasing list of Korean restaurants.
Found at the edge of Galle Road in Kollupitiya ,Cafe The Seoul isn't a very large restaurant. With an ambience that gave off slight hospital vibes (via the lighting), plenty of K-pop playing in the background, black tables and chairs and a freezer with sodas to complete the look, the ambience at Cafe The Seoul was simple.
A lot had changed since our experience with Cafe Alfred, and the changes include a pretty drastic turn in the menu. With a selection of items that are predominantly Korean, I decided to get a few that I hadn't tried before.
Served on a charcoal black pan, the Jjang Ramyun with Chicken and Black bean sauce (Rs. 1100) was brilliant. Absolutely packed with flavour, the pan of noodles was a delicious tango of heaps of veggies, rubbery noodles, spicy, slightly spiced up chicken and plenty of black bean sauce to tie it all together.
And while everything was pretty great in terms of taste, we didn't think it was completely worth the whopping Rs. 1100 you end up spending on it. Thankfully, my dinner partner and I weren't all that hungry, but if by chance you go with the saying quantity over quality, chances are likely that you'll end up choosing something else to go with it.
However, the noodles were a delight. A welcome change to all the Christmassy food we've been gorging on these past couples of days, it's great.
The Gimbap, on the other hand, was solid! A total of 10 large rolls of seaweed, rice, egg and veggies, the rolls were a symphony of salty, sweet and tangy and we absolutely loved it.
The rice cakes pretty much followed suit to the Gimbap. Squishy, rubbery and splendidly bizarre for a first time, they were brilliant. There is a level of dedication that is necessary to eat this just because of how rubbery it was, but, combined with the caramelised onion and spicy, sweet sauce, it was awesome.
Pictured Above: Blue Lemon (Left), Korean Iced coffee (Right)
The Blue Lemon (Rs. 500) was essentially just lemonade with a bit of lime and a drop of food colouring to make it pop. We wouldn't necessarily recommend it for Rs. 500. They had another option involving Earl Grey tea and grapefruit, which would be better choices.
The Korean Iced Coffee (Rs. 500) was a slightly watery take on instant white coffee. Sweet, milky and having that distinct coffee taste to pull it through, it was all right. Nothing to write odes about though.
The service at Cafe The Seoul was probably one of our favourite parts of our experience here. We were greeted by a friendly Korean gentleman who also happened to take our order. Pleasant and quick on his feet, he really helped brighten up the place.
Managing to bring our food within 10 minutes of us placing our order, we had nothing to complain about in terms of the service at Cafe The Seoul.
We say go for it. The food is slightly on the pricier side of the spectrum, but, they do manage to serve up a pretty delicious meal if you're interested. Plus, they have a couple of options that some Korean restaurants in Colombo don't have.
So, if you're looking for somewhere to get your Korean fix and you're okay with spending a bit more than usual, we say go with this.