Bunkasha

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There were a long list of cafes I wanted to visit in South Korea, specifically Seoul. Bunkasha had made the list last time, but due to my odd schedule and lack of appetite, I never made my way to any cafes. This time, I was determined to change that.

Bunkasha (분카샤)
Location: 을지로점 : 을지로 14길 20 호성p&p 2층
Eulji-ro 14-gil 20, 2F
Hours: Monday to Saturday: 11am to 11pm
Sunday: 11am to 9pm
Price
Atmosphere: Dim, with interesting seating
Service: Friendly

I’m a little glad I didn’t wander here last time, as I likely would have gotten even more lost and then eventually given up. We must have passed by the location of the cafe at least 5 times, and despite being aware that it was a 2F location, we could not see any signs that might lead one to believe there was a cafe on the upper level; that is, until I decided to read the signs for all the nearby stores, and found one that seemed to be the lower level of the cafe…

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At nearly 10pm, the cafe was packed. Seating at Bunkasha is a little out of the ordinary; it looks mostly like shelves or decorative tables, that you can place your drinks and food and sit around. There was some free space at the communal table in the middle, so we settled down there before preparing to order.

The menu items were beautifully hand-drawn, though a bit tattered on a board at the counter. The baristas informed us that they would be closing “at 50”, which I took to mean at 10:50pm, as their hours were until 11pm.

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The fruit sandwich had been what drew me to this cafe; I was most intrigued by the concoction, and determined to try it. The drinks were secondary to me, but the orange latte quickly caught my attention. My friend decided to go with the creamy vanilla.

The drinks came well-sweetened, and the dose of sugar and caffeine instantly woke me up after a long day of travelling; to be quite honest, the flavouring and sweetness matched my former caffeine-abhorrent self, but it may be off-putting to those who prefer black coffees, which they do also offer. My drink came with a generous dollop of fresh orange segments, offering some freshness for the late summer.

The fruit sandwich, was, quite literally, a sandwich. Fresh fruits suspended in whipped cream between two soft pieces of bread, was a little odd. Albeit beautiful, I think I would have preferred it to be sandwiched between two layers of cake, as the texture of bread, eaten with a fork, didn’t match well.

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This was the exterior of the store that is below cafe; if you look closely, you can see the tiny, tiny sign for Bunkasha, written in Hanja.

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There was also this street sign that we totally walked past, unnoticed, in the dark.

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