Food Guides + Tips

Kissa Koguma Cafe: A Taste of Japan in Mullae-dong

When you’re checking out the trendy scene in Seoul, you know the first thing to do is hit up the popular cafes. And when you’re in Mullae-dong, that artsy, hip neighborhood in the west, Kissa Koguma is always right up there on the list of recommendations. Personally, I always made sure to squeeze in a visit to this cafe whenever I found myself in Mullae-dong. But it’s funny – it took me three tries to finally score a seat here! In this post, I’m gonna spill the beans about Cafe Kissa Koguma, toss in some tips, and make sure you don’t repeat the same blunders I did on my first two visits. Ready to dive in?

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    About Kissa Koguma:

    Kissa Koguma (킷사고구마) is a kissaten, a Japanese-style tearoom, tucked away on the second floor of the rustic Namseong Mansion Apartment, just a stone’s throw away from Mullae Park Intersection (문래공원사거리).

    Being a kissaten, the atmosphere here is quiet and steeped in nostalgia. What gives it that charmingly retro vibe is its vintage design and decor. You’ll find old-school touches like a wooden cuckoo clock, gothic blossom wallpapers, classic leather sofas, and grandpa-style chairs, all in earthy tones that blend beautifully with the warm lighting, courtesy of those adorable vintage lamps.

    But that’s not all; Kissa Koguma also transports you to Japan with its unmistakably Japanese character. Colorful books, magazines, affirmative travel posters, and various art pieces proudly display Japanese characters. 

    Another cute quirk about Kissa Koguma is the presence of wooden bear figurines hidden throughout the cafe. It’s a nod to the cafe’s name (koguma means small bear or bear cub in Japanese). You can even turn it into a fun bear-hunting game with your friends. Our record is finding ten of them! So, if you ever have the chance to visit Kissa Koguma, don’t forget to take up this little challenge.🙂

    What’s on the Menu:

    Kissa Koguma is all about sticking to its unique concept, and that’s reflected in its menu. You won’t find your run-of-the-mill iced Americano or a simple vanilla caffe latte here. Instead, they offer delights like café au lait, Vienna coffee, coffee with a dash of cognac, and coffee float for those in need of a caffeine fix. If you’re more of a tea person, they’ve got a few options to choose from, but the true stars are their fruity and creamy sodas, which practically steal the spotlight. You can’t leave Kissa Koguma without one of those colorful soda glasses on your table!

    However, when it comes to the real showstopper of the menu, it’s all about the desserts. Kissa Koguma proudly serves authentic Japanese custard pudding, which can be paired with a dollop of whipped cream or even crowned on an ice cream parfait for extra indulgence.

    If you’re looking for heartier fare, they’ve got some options for you too. You can dig into a selection of toasts and sandwiches, but do keep in mind that certain choices, like the sandwiches, are only available on the weekends!

    Drinks and Dessert Review:

    Let’s dive into a quick review! During our visit, my girlfriend and I decided to go for something sweet, choosing two cream sodas, one melon, and the other peach from their beverage menu. To share, we ordered a plate of their “Pudding of Memories (추억의 푸딩),” which came with a luscious custard pudding and a generous dollop of whipped cream.

    The custard pudding was a true delight – it had the perfect texture, and when paired with the sweet whipped cream, it created a wonderful balance. The star of the show, though, was the caramel sauce – intense, bold, and incredibly aromatic. It truly elevated the dessert to another level. However, the fruity sodas we tried failed to excite our taste buds.

    Planning Your Visit to Kissa Koguma:

    If you’re set on visiting Kissa Koguma, here are some essential tips to keep in mind:

    Ordering Drinks: When you step into Kissa Koguma, be prepared to order one drink for each member of your group.

    Patience is Key: Keep in mind that there’s only one person in the kitchen, so it might take a bit of time for your order to be ready. Stay patient.

    Leave Empty Dishes: Unlike many other cafes in Korea, there’s no need to return empty cups and plates. Just leave them on your table when you’re done and head out.

    Operating Days: Kissa Koguma is open only four days a week, from Friday to Monday. Make sure to mark this on your calendar to avoid disappointment.

    Lunchtime is Ideal: If you want to avoid waiting, try visiting during lunch hours. You’ll have a better chance of finding a seat without a long wait.

    Dinner Rush: Be aware that dinner time tends to get busier, with longer waiting times. I learned this the hard way on my second visit when we arrived around 7 PM and couldn’t get in before closing time.

    Restroom Alert: The cafe is located in one of the oldest buildings in the area, which means the restroom facilities are a bit outdated. During my visits, it wasn’t the most pleasant-smelling place.

    Summer Mosquitoes: In the summer months, keep an eye out for mosquitoes while waiting, especially after dark. The cafe has tried using floor fans to help, but it may not completely solve the issue.

    Getting to Kissa Koguma:

    Kissa Koguma is conveniently located just a short walk from Mullae Station on Seoul Subway Line 2. After exiting through gate 7, head straight ahead. Cross over the Mullae Mullae Park Intersection (문래공원사거리), and continue down the road for a brief distance. You’ll find Kissa Koguma tucked away in the two-story building at the road’s end!

    Access Map:

    Quick Info About Kissa Koguma:

    Address: 서울 영등포구 경인로77길 19 남성아파트 상가동 2층 2호
    Naver Map: Link
    Hours: 12:00PM~8:00PM (Fri, Sat, Sun, and Mon)
    Instagram: @kissa_koguma

    Gallery: Visual Tour of Kissa Koguma

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