In Myeongdong you’ll find plenty of things to shop for. But when your feet are tired and you need that caffeinated pick me up, where else to go then… a cat cafe? Yes, a place where you enjoy your coffee in a room full of frolicking felines. A hellish place for those with allergies yet a bewildering place for people like me. There’s also a dog cafe around the corner. I stopped by. The place looked rather small and having dogs roaming around may be a recipe for disaster. Plus this post is title “Cat Cafe”, so let’s get back to that.
The place was rather difficult to spot and don’t count on Google maps to get it right. Streets in Myeondong can be small and the naming/numbering convention can lead you astray. You could probably also ask the people holding up signs for it. A group of foreigners told me about them when I came out of the dog cafe. We happened to be going off directions to an old place that shut down. This place was new-er. Okay. Wish I knew the whole story here. Oh well, we were able to find it.
First off, I love dogs and cats. Never had one growing up though. So when I walked it, the first thing that hit me wasn’t how nice and clean the place looked, it was the smell. Best way to describe it was, it smelled very, err, feral. No matter what, animals are animals. With cats, they tend to mark things. And if you probably know how they go about marking. The owners are well aware of this and supply every customer with a plastic bag to store your belongings. And trust me, you need it. I happened to witness a lady who didn’t seal up her bag. And in slow motion I saw a cat casually walk up to the lady’s bag while she gleefully held up her phone snap off a picture, I muttered “I think that cat is going to…” The cat let the lady know what it thought of her Louis Vuitton bag. Yikes.
On the positive side, there were a great variety of cats. From Saimese, to Siberian, and even Sphynx, there were more than enough. Most slumbered away, but the social ones came to visit us.
I think this place is great for cat lovers, though for the rest of us. I don’t think mixing a cafe with a petting zoo quite works. And I have to say, this place seemed to have it together. Just not my cup of tea.
3F, 37-14, Myeongdong 8-gil
Seoul, South Korea
Verdict: Pass. Intriguing concept, but for the most part, you’re not missing much.
I have to admit, it was cold and rainy, so I wanted something soupy. And of course, something healthy to fight off any chance of a cold. Getting sick in this town of eats would be devastating. So off to a popular destination in the heart of Myeongdong, Baekje Samgyetang. It’s on the second floor which we missed the first time we walked by.
Inside, it’s a very spacious establishment. Plenty of tables for all party sizes. We got a table for two pretty easily. Not to say it was empty, it was almost full and a bit early for dinner. Yeah, being a tourist has its perks. After we sat down the waitress came over. And guess what, she spoke Chinese to us. She assumed we were Chinese and at least she was half right. But the thing we learned was, this place was heavily advertised in Chinese tour books. And of course they get lots of Chinese tourists so they are staffed with Mandarin speakers.
We ordered the basic meal of stuffed chicken soup. I chose the one with ginseng and black chicken while my friend chose the the normal ginseng chicken. The food came out quick along with the banchan. At first, we were disappointed. Adding the salt and pepper, upped our feelings to a little disappointed. Then came the kimchi. That got us to meh. Unfortunately, that was the overall feel here. I really wanted it to be awe inspiring. Gotta find local recommendations next time.
Baekje Samgyetang (백제삼계탕)
8-10, Myeongdong 8-gil,
Jung-gu, Seoul, South Korea
Verdict: You can probably find better places than this and I recommend you do so.