Siwon’s Café in Myeongdong: Twosome Coffee

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The members of Super Junior have recently been opening up coffee shops left and right recently, with business mogul Yesung leading the charge.  He opened his first café, Handel and Gretel, in posh Apgujeong (압구정) for his parents in 2011 and when it closed, he opened a café with his younger brother Jongjin called Mouse Rabbit in 2012 near Konkuk University (건국대학교).  The mothers of Leeteuk, Sungmin, and Kyuhyun opened a branch of  coffee brand Kona Beans in Apgujeong in late 2011.   Eunhyuk’s mother has owned a branch of popular coffee and bread shop Tous les Jours near Guro Digital Complex station (구로디지털단지역) since 2012.

And then Siwon decided to dive into this sea of coffee shops with his Twosome Coffee shop in Myeongdong (명동) on January 30, 2013.  He seems to have only tread water though, as his shop closed at the end of April.  Maybe the rent was “too damn high?”

Welcome to another episode of Where I’ve Been and the premiere episode of SJ Coffee Shops- Siwon’s Café in Myeongdong! 

Initially I intended to visit  Siwon’s coffee shop in June before I return to the States, but once I found out that it was closing at the end of April (via a friend and the FYEAH Siwon tumblr), I decided to move up my timetable.  But then I had to find the place, which turned out to be quite difficult in densely populated Myeongdong.  So my first trek can be summed up as me thinking, “Maybe I should go this way” or “Maybe I should look around here” in addition to

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when I wasn’t sure if I had already been down that street.  And when I thought I found it, it turned out to be another Twosome Coffee that happened to be on the second floor of another Olive Young. So I left in disgrace on that Friday morning.

However, undaunted, I regrouped and returned on a rainy Saturday morning and tried again.  I still got mightily lost; “Siwon, could you have put your café in a place where I can find it?!” I shouted in my head.  Then about 10 minutes later I found it (I guess Shisus really does hear your thoughts).

Here’s the map if any of you can interpret it.

But it wasn’t time to go in just yet.

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Don’t give me that look Eunhyuk.

I had other plans, such as buying books for school. I vowed to return next week.

And I did.

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It was a bright and sunny Friday morning when I arrived in Myeongdong a bit after 9:30.  However, the Olive Young wasn’t open until 10, and since you have to walk up the stairs to access the café ,I ended up looking to accomplish the other task on my list: buying a swanky new purse.   A little after 10, I returned to the Olive Young and it was open.  Now, you have to walk up a flight of stairs to get to the café, which is on the second floor of the Olive Young, so you get to see a lot of Olive Young beauty products.  The second floor also contains a mini Kpop CD and merchandise store, full of things that you can probably find cheaper online or in a bookstore.

Anyway, I walked up to the back of the wall café, smiled at some Japanese ELFs, and looked over the menu.

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True Fact: He authored the menu.

True Fact: He authored the menu himself.

Now a word on how I evaluate coffee shops: I don’t drink coffee.

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So I (usually) judge all coffee shops by the quality of their Hot Chocolate and a select sweet.  I walked up to the sweet counter, trying to decide which sweet would be sufficient enough to judge.

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And then I saw the cheesecake. The “Choi Cookie Cheesecake” (second on top from the left) that was labeled as one of Siwon’s favorite cheesecakes (the other was some type of berry cheesecake).

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Anyone who knows me knows that my favorite cheesecake of all time is the Cheesecake Factory’s Oreo Cheesecake: I was quite, quite irate when they discontinued it and replaced it with the Oreo Dream Extreme Cheesecake-yes I tried it and didn’t like it! Too rich and too much chocolate! Now I have to choose between their Key Lime Cheesecake (which can get boring if you’ve had Key Lime Pie before) or Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough (sometimes I want a smoother cheesecake experience).  Because the truth is:

…for their entrées.

If you’ll excuse my tirade,  back to the Choi Cookie Cheesecake …

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and so I ordered it along with my hot chocolate and a chicken olive sandwich (also one of Siwon’s favorites; for you beef lovers, there was some beef sandwich that he liked as well (I don’t eat beef or pork so of course I don’t remember the name of the sandwich).   While I was waiting, I took a looksie around the shop, which often felt like an art gallery rather than a coffee shop (the tunes emitting from the ceiling could have been replaced with a live ensemble of classical musicians).

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The entrance to dark side room (but seriously, why is there a comma after their given names-shouldn’t it be Choi, Siwon & Kim, Hongrok or no comma at all?)

A wall of fanwritings from all over the world.

A wall of fanwritings from all over the world.

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And soon enough, my order was ready.

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Now it’s time to get to the nitty-gritty about the culinary quality of the food.

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The Hot Chocolate

The Long Answer: Finally. Finally. Finally I found a hot chocolate in a coffee shop/café that doesn’t taste chalky, lose its sweetness after a couple of sips, or make me want to reach for a fistful of sugar packets.  It was rich and thick, the equivalent of me dumping two packets of Nestle’s Hot Chocolate with Marshmallows into one of my coffee mugs at home.  Except to get on Siwon’s level of Hot Chocolate, I would need to get one of the huge coffee mugs (basically the size of the cup in the picture) and dump four or five Nestle’s packets (and I’m trying to not put my health in danger).  Definitely a potent and powerful drink.

The Short Answer: “This is how Hot Chocolate is supposed to be.”; “You [drink] the hot chocolate, the chocolate bites back my man!”

The Visual Answer:

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It’s some strong stuff.

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The Choi Cookie Cheesecake (CCC)

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The Long Answer:  What does this dessert not have? It has the Oreo (or Oreo-like cookies), vanilla ice cream, and a plain cheesecake sitting underneath it all.  It perfectly merges all the key components of dessertology into one: cookies, ice cream, and cake! The Oreo cookies and vanilla ice cream tasted like, well, Oreo cookies and vanilla ice cream.  The cheesecake was smooth and sweet, but not too sweet so that I wouldn’t mistake it as a Key Lime pie cheesecake. All together, these elements created a kick-butt dessert. I really wish that the Cheesecake Factory would bring the Oreo Cheesecake back so there could be an Epic Cheesecake Battle of History-

Oreo Cheesecake

VS.

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Choi Cookie Cheesecake

(Begin)

The Short Answer: “Oh my goodness, oh my dayum, oh my goodness, they’re going HAM.”

The Visual Answer:

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THE Power Walk.

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This cheesecake deserves a two step.

YAHOOOOO!

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Expert!

Now THAT is a cheesecake!

The Chicken Olive Sandwich

The Long Answer: I was too distracted by the hot chocolate and cheesecake, but the sandwich was pretty good, though I personally would have preferred a Chicken Pesto Sandwich.

The Short Answer: Very Good.

The Visual Answer:

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Okay. Now that that’s over (and I’ve used a fair amount of GIFs), here are a few more pictures of the shop.

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Final Thoughts

The way I see it, there are only three possibilities for the infinite goodness that is the cheesecake:

a)  Siwon marched into a Cheesecake Factory in either New York or LA and  bought the Oreo Cheesecake recipe (which would explain why it’s no longer on the menu).

First-

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Second-

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But wait a minute ….

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Well then.

I mean, the Choi cheesecake was excellent, but for removing the Oreo cheesecake off the menu…

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b) Siwon plagiarized the recipe (even a little plagiarism will get you a zero on your assignment).

Well then.

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c) Siwon is a Sweetie (or Sweetaholic or whatever we call ourselves these days).

Now you’re speaking my language!

Siwon’s a man after my own heart, and thus

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끝나다 (The End)

P.S. Siwon will donate all the proceeds to various charities.

Date of actual visit: April 12th

Credits:  Google Search (for the SJ coffee shop rundown),Too Damn High! Song (schmoyoho on Youtube), http://welovechoisiwon.com/2013/02/28/direction-to-twosome-coffee/, OH MY DAYUM (schmoyoho on Youtube)

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24 thoughts on “Siwon’s Café in Myeongdong: Twosome Coffee

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