Café Review: Blue Bottle, Yeouido

the iconic blue bottle, set against a gray wall

Set in a sky garden (35,583 ft2) on the fifth floor of the Hyundai Seoul skyscraper, in the vicinity of the National Assembly building, our cafe offers respite to urban professionals and residents in Seoul’s bustling financial center. Filled with natural light, trees, and pathways, the atrium invites people to take a stroll in the park-like setting. A landscape designer helped us construct the cafe so it feels like a natural extension of the garden. To create a seamless flow, the cafe is set in a pergola and has no walls or windows, and its appealing curved layout and soft glow beckon people to it. Chairs made from light ash wood near the bar invite people to sit and rest with their carefully crafted espresso drinks and pour over.

My friend and I visited the largest mall in Korea, the Hyundai Seoul store, and to my surprise, we found a Blue Bottle there. It’s been my goal to visit all the Blue Bottles in Korea, unbeknownst to her. This post will be a mix of Blue Bottle and the Hyundai, as they are obviously intertwined.

You can read about the mall here.

First, we had lunch at Hao’sum located in the Food Truck Piazza. We had to wait a while, but luckily I was half an hour late because of the rain and didn’t have to wait nearly as long as my friend. It was neat seeing all the food trucks parked inside the mall and there were plenty of food options to choose from.

The mall itself features a lot of plants and even a sensory garden where one can listen to the sounds of nature. There are a lot of curves in the architecture which lend to a very airy feeling. Perhaps most interesting is the current summer theme: Where’s Waldo? (or Wally, as he’s known here). Every so often you’d come across an employee of the mall and even their uniforms had something connected to Waldo. There was also a robot prowling around one of the floors.

If you’re planning on grabbing coffee here, either come early or come at the start of your visit–we waited over an hour until our number was called. For however many people you see hanging around waiting on drinks, there are even more waiting around the mall. The Blue Bottle is an open space on the fifth floor and is mostly a generic Blue Bottle: light ash wood, minimalistic design.

I had the Cold Brew Fizz, a blueberry cold brew that was delightfully complex, and the iced Rwanda, which was light and tasty. We got our drinks to go, as we couldn’t find anywhere to sit, and then a standing table emptied but we weren’t allowed to stand there as Korea implemented a law stating that if you’re dining in a café, you must use “for here” glassware. As we had to-go cups, we had to leave. We managed to snag a spot overlooking Blue Bottle after much walking around.

If you find yourself in The Hyundai, stop by Blue Bottle first, but don’t go out of your way to visit this location.

glass entrance to the Hyundai featuring Where’s Waldo waving

Like what you see? Buy me a coffee!

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