To be perfectly honest, I’m actually not a big fan of anything that has to do with Korean – K-Pop, K-drama and the likes. I’m not sure why I can’t find myself to attune to their culture like many of my peers here in the Philippines. On the other hand, if there’s one thing that still has me partial to their culture; that’s their food.
Maybe because I’m such a big fan of eating and very much interested in trying out cuisine from different parts of the world. So when I got invited for a lunch event at this Korean coffee shop called ‘Cafe Tiala’ a few weeks ago, I immediately grabbed the opportunity.
Anyway, Cafe Tiala is pretty much like any other cafe except its heavily themed Korean concept.
Wait, make that heavily Korean royalty themed concept as well as their quintessential Korean recipes in the food they serve.
Korean cafes have seemingly gained popularity in the Philippines ever since Koreanovelas entered the country. Many Koreans have also decided to migrate here and open slews of coffee shops in the recent years. I can remember as far back as when this Korean band called F4 was a massive trend for many of the young generations in the early 2000’s.
For the most part, students and young adults would particularly enjoy these kind of coffee shops because of how the shops are designed – where you have to remove your shoes and sit on the floor cross-legged.
According to the owner of the shop, Ms. Sunshine Lim, a Korean national living in Cebu with her husband, ‘Tiala’ means Princess, or like a tiara for a princess and they had intended it be named as such to conform to the princess room theme.
You can even dress like royalty at their shop with the costumes they provide and have your food served by waitresses dressed in girly maid garbs.
The shop opened sometime in 2014 and it was just recently this year that they have decided to revamp their menu.
Instead of just variants of hot and cold coffee beverages as well as their signature Honey Bread that they still serve (and am I glad that they still do!), they have decided to add appetizers, main course as well as snacks and desserts on their menu.
What makes their dishes interesting are the traditional Korean ingredients that surround them; like the popular Kim Chi, Bulgogi, Bibimbap, Tteok Bokki (rice cake) and etc.
I think my personal favorite that afternoon was their rice cake that was slathered in so much melted cheese, and the Bibimbap as well as their spicy Ramen paired with heart-shaped rice. The sandwiches were unique and delicious too as with the others on the menu that they served.
Needless to say, it was certainly a one-of-a-kind experience at Cafe Tiala for me. I am certain that I will find myself going back there for more Korean food fix soon, not only because their food is superb, but the prices are unbelievably reasonable as well.
So, if you’re a big Korean nut looking for affordable chow, then I would definitely recommend this place. Or perhaps you’re looking for a study or hang-out joint with friends and sip coffee since they also serve roasters as well, you can try and check out Cafe Tiala.
Address: 2nd Floor, The Forum Building, Archbishop Reyes Avenue, Cebu City
Opens everyday from 10 AM to 12 MN