SKINFOOD Café



I was on a spaceship bound for the moon for a special 'eat crusty crackers and cheddar' mission. Quite unrealistic reason for not having posted in a while, I know. And what a while, you'll say. January was for me all about packing and unpacking my suitcases. Add life and school reports in-between and I have neglected this blog a bit. Conclusion: haven't I blinked that it's already mid-February. Please someone tell me it was yesterday we were having champagne and strawberry roll cakes to welcome 2016. Please, tell me that I haven't failed all the New Year resolutions I took yet. Was it a bit too ambitious to say I'm gonna have a prettier handwriting and will stop harrassing my cat?

At least there is one thing I bet we all said we will aim to: having a healthier lifestyle. Fiber and vegetables, walking instead of subway – call it sport –, a regular sleep pattern, less stress and more time to treat yourself*. The key is to create a good environment you'll love to grow in so that efforts simply become new habits you enjoy. As strong as I think good food is the main step to a healthy life (hey I mean, quinoa salad looks sexy), the korean cosmetic brand SKINFOOD believes ''food that is good for your health is also good for your skin''. First to market food for beauty, they use exclusive natural ingredients to concoct care products and makeup. Rather than a skin that gets better in 14 days, it's all about a skin that remains beautiful even in 14 years. Last August, they opened a concept store in the main street of Garosugil, Sinsa-dong, built on three floors – popular and limited items on ground floor, café on the first, and an adorable tiny farm on the rooftop. As a follower of the brand and a coffee shop seeker, I had to try it out. Ready for a dose of bright yellow and some refreshing fruity cocktails?


* Yes, I consider a tasty slice of brownie as part of the job. 


SKINFOOD Café
12-37 Apgujeong-ro, Sinsa-dong, Gangnam-gu, Seoul
Concept Store, 1F (2F in Korean)
11AM - 10PM
Sinsa (line 3/orange)


Opening a café and selling skincare products are two different things. Well, not for Skinfood apparently. Who said one cannot put avocado in both lotions and sandwitches? They thus started a new business keeping the same brand spirit – giving something natural and healthy that is good for your body and soul. They really wanted, and I won't prolonged the suspense, they managed, to make the place a relaxing, homey-like little café, with a cosy and revitalizing interior. Now please read again this last sentence with the word 'little' in bold letters. The place itself is much bigger than the shop at the ground floor, but the number of seats indoor is not that high. There is one large table where you can sit at six, one for four, a leisure corner with a sofa, but all the others are counter seats. There are two reasons for it (except the it's a cool design one): 1, they make coffee in the middle of the room, 2, half of the place is a grocery shop where they sell tea leaves, berry cereal bars and banana chips.

The atmosphere is really cheerful and vitalizing – well, not surprising when you're surrounded by yellow and white e-vry-where. The lightening is very bright, they have different lamps but mostly light bulbs without lamp-shade hanging here and there. The ones near the coffee counter are adorably hung and their metallic shade adds some modern touches. I like the idea of having a lot of different textures – wooden chair, metalic stool, brick wall, succulents. Greenery makes the place less agressive (I mean, if you dislike yellow, it is). There is a real effort in decoration, you'll find lot of nutrition books on shelves, dried flowers bouquets, jam and fruits jars, and, of course, cosmetics. From nail polish to handcream, you can try out some of the newest Skinfood products, and at the restroom, you'll even find mists, soaps and balms!





Great, but what do they serve? You can have one of the three 'light lunch' dishes – fresh tomato and avocado bread, Garden in my Pocket tacos, honey x camembert panini – about 9.000 wons (7$) each, or a set of five sweet potato-based toasts. For drinks, count around 4.000 wons (3.5$) for coffee and infusions, 6.500 wons (5$) for ades and yogurt, and up to 8000 wons (5 to 7$) for smoothies and fruit iced teas. I expected them to have a wider range of hot herbal teas than just their two earl grey and chamomile ones, it would completely match the healthy theme.


I went for a pomegranate ade and my friend ordered a peach yogurt. The fruit pieces in the lattest were very fresh, the syrup adds sugar to the plain yogurt and the whole is simply delicious (I did regret not having gone for the straberry one instead of mine). I'm the type of girl who loves her coffee very, very hot and dislikes sparkling drinks, but who also seems to never learn lesson as I ended up ordering an iced, fizzy water juice again. So if you are like me, go for a pineapple smoothie or a kiwi ice tea. Or you can still enjoy ades, because hey, the visual rocks. They bring you a tall glass full of shaved ice, fruit ade in a carafe, and it's you who do magic. I would advise you to go for lemon or apple mojito versions, as pomegranate seeds are a bit unpleasant when sipping. Hopefully every of them have mint leaves in it, bringing it a very natural, fresh touch.

Along with the drinks, we had a basic velvet cake – a part I'll go quick because it was utterly forgettable. The taste was almost same as industrial cakes, very flat, it needed some hints of citrus to twist it up. The cream glaze was what made me go for another spoon, maybe. A full-of-vitamin-C salad or an exotic fruit jelly would be much more appetizing and refreshing. Well, they certainly added things on their menu since.



SKINFOOD Café is a must for anyone who loves the brand, the place is as sweetly decorated as their packagings are, colorful and peachy. I would say it's more of a quick late breakfast, healthy lunch place rather than a cafe where you can spend hours in talking. I mean, sat on a metallic stool, facing a window, you don't neccesseraly feel like babbling off about the last sushi place you wento to (except if you get comfy seats or if that sushi place was really damn good). The rooftop will be a great spot on spring or summer days to sip your smoothie and enjoy the view over the street. I wish they had some muesli or granola options for breakfast, some fruity sorbets and much more choices for hearbal teas.

If you're looking for good, flavorful coffees and mouthwatering cakes, Garosugil offers better places – and by this I'm saying Doré Doré and their coconut latte – to satisfy your cravings. SKINFOOD Café is still a nice option if you're on the go, shopping around and in need for a refreshing, vitalizing drink.


May your 2016 be full of sparkling events,
good coffee, good food and good projects,
and your everyday filled with love and laughs
(I, personnaly, muffin dates and long time calls)

 Stay tuned for the next café review!

Comments

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