South Korea is famous for K-pop, K-dramas, shopping, and its booming café scene.
It has unique animal coffee shops and, in Hongdae—a famous street for students—there's a Harry Potter-themed cafe.
In Angeles City, Pampanga, there's a new Korean-themed coffee shop called Urban Garden Café & Bistro.
In an interview with PEP.ph (Philippine Entertainment Portal) via phone call, the café's operations manager Jocelyn Jimenez said the response from their customers has been positive.
She said, "Nagulat nga rin kami kasi in-expect namin, dahil nga pandemic, hindi pa ganun talagang pupuntahan ng mga customers. Pero nagulat kami, iyong first day namin na opening talagang napuno po talaga iyong area."
There's a lot to love about this coffee shop. Almost every corner of the Earth-toned café is Instagram-worthy.
The café features mostly Scandinavian furniture and modern visual art pieces—including prints of American painter Mark Rothko's works that are displayed on its walls.
Also, the café is filled with a variety of plants, much to the delight of "plantitos" and "plantitas" everywhere.
Jocelyn said, "Iyong owner kasi ng Urban Garden Cafe, kumbaga ang [hilig] niya is plants... And also, ang pinaka-investor namin is Korean."
But of course, good food and beverage are the reasons why people keep on coming back.
Jocelyn said their café offers caffeinated drinks, such as the White Chocolate Mocha and Hazelnut.
For smoothies, their must-tries are Oreo, Yogurt Strawberry, and Java Chip frappes.
The price range of their drinks starts from PHP140 and PHP170, depending on their size.
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For the cakes and pastries, the bestsellers are the crème brûlée cheesecake, matcha cheesecake, and blueberry cheesecake. Each slice is priced at PHP160 to PHP190.
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Later this month, they will be offering more food choices.
Jocelyn said, "As of now, since soft opening pa lang kami, ang tinitinda namin is more of coffee then iyong mga smoothie. Then, later this month, io-open na din namin iyong kitchen. So far may mga pika-pika, ganyan, like churros, pizza, mga ganun."
For those who are planning to visit, Jocelyn assured their customers that the café is strictly implementing the necessary health protocols to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Jocelyn told PEP.ph, "Ang binibigay lang namin sa kanila is iyong mga disposable spoon and fork, mga ganun. Kahit na occupied iyong mga seats namin, nire-require namin na may social distancing.
"And bago sila pumasok, kinukunan namin sila ng temperature, dapat naka-face mask sila, and iyong health declaration form, sinasagutan."
The Urban Garden Café & Bistro's exact address is 1639 Bldg., #101, Block 16 Lot 39 Fil-Am Friendship Highway, Angeles City, Pampanga. They are open from 10:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.