We go to a café to get our caffeine and sugar fix. But there’s a shop in Seoul, Korea whose main draw isn’t the coffee or the desserts but the unique 2D experience it offers.
It’s aptly called Greem, a Korean word that means a cartoon or painting. It’s also called Café Yeonnam-Dong 223-14, which is the café’s street address.
With two-dimensional black and white drawings pervading its interiors and furnishings, you’ll feel like being transported to a cartoon series—or to the set of W, the Korean series starred in by Lee Jong-suk and Han Hyo-joo, which actually inspired it.
Every wall and corner of this café looks positively straight out of a coloring book. But what makes it even more picture-taking worthy are the decorative elements such as lamps, mirrors, books, and paintings that give off a strange optical illusion. No wonder it has become an Instagram sensation, and has been on the bucket list of customers on the lookout for a great shot and a good cup of coffee.
In Quezon City, particularly along Scout Limbaga in Tomas Morato, there’s actually a stand-alone milk tea shop that sports a 2D comic book inspired look as well. The shop’s name is Kurimi.
In an interview with metro.style, operations head Jaclyn Chung admits the design of Kurimi is inspired by her last trip to Seoul with her husband. “People cannot go abroad now. So this is timely for people to experience this type of concept,” she said.
The black-and-white drawings were done by 24-year-old artist Ralph Pangilinan. On the shop’s Instagram page, we see a sketch of Mt. Fuji on one wall, a cow peeking through another, and other cute sketches that look like they are lifted from a children’s story book.
I visited the @kurimitomasmorato branch and felt like I walked into someone’s drawing! Now we don’t have to fly to Seoul to visit Greem Cafe! Loved their honey peach fruit tea. 🍑 mural art by @ralph_pangilinan23. Read the full article and see all the photos at @metrodotstyle’s website. #interiors #art #interiordesign #2dart #restaurantdesign #milktea #fruittea #milkteabar #quezoncity #kurimi #クーリミ #kawaiiart #cutecafe
But enough about the visual experience—what’s in it for people looking to have a drink? In the same metro.style interview, Chung says their teas are sourced from Taiwan. They are teas are brewed and cooked fresh every day, along with the pearls. Kurimi offers milk tea classics (Brown Sugar Milk Tea with Pearl), Cream Cheese line (Blueberry Cheesecake drink, a non-caffeinated option), and refreshing fruit teas (Honey Peach which include a variety of jellies as sinkers). Chung says their branch may also start offering small Japanese snacks such as takoyaki and gyoza.
For those worried about safety, Chung assures the joint implements safety protocols—a hands-free contact tracing form that you can do on your phone, a thermometer stand and an automatic alcohol dispenser right in front of the store. The
shop sits 15 people. But for now, they are accepting only 50% capacity for everyone’s safety.
Kurimi is located at 88 Sct. Lijmbaga St., QC. It also has another 2-D cafe along Fabian Dela Rosa St. in Katipunan.