Coffee and Cake at Café 436
Peaches and Cream. Peanut Butter and Jam. Coffee and Cake. In life there are things that are just natural pairings. I recently had a wonderful pairing at Café 436 located on Geoje Island here in South Korea.
The southern coast of South Korea is very beautiful. One of the nicest places is Geoje Island. Over the past few decades, a number of large shipyards, originally owned by Samsung and Daewoo companies, have led to quite a bit of urbanization on Geoje Island.
There is also an increasingly large tourism business taking place on the island, with both large resorts and small mini-hotels (called pensions in Korea) springing up around the island.
Fortunately, there is still lots of beautiful coastline and natural forests, especially on the southern part of Geoje Island, and that’s where Café 436 is located, on the eastern side of Geoje.
Driving up, the building looks nice with a modern design. You can see from the outside that it is two floors, and there is also some outside seating.
Walking in the front door, the wonderful smells and sights are something to feast upon.
One of the most impressive things to see is the wide cornucopia of desserts that are located next to the ordering area.
I don’t know if all of the treats are made on a daily basis, but there was layered chocolate cake, blueberry and raspberry jam bars, and carrot cake to name just a few of the absolutely mouthwatering treats available.
Before ordering, I looked around the shop a little bit. The inside seating was nice, and as I ventured up to the second floor I was absolutely amazed.
On the second floor, there is what looks like a teaching area, and also a baking room that is enclosed and away from the seating. Inside you could see the baker hard at work making all the fantastic snacks available on the first floor.
This made me very excited. Usually in many smaller cafes or chain coffee shops the desserts are not made on site, and you cannot always be sure how fresh they are. It was very heartening to see the baker hard at work on the same treats that they sell there.
Going back downstairs, I took a look at the seating area outside of the first floor.
The view was absolutely spectacular. Seeing the wonderful evergreens, large hills, and the ocean cove made for a beautiful landscape, and the sun was warm and bright on the day we went.
Finally it was time to stop enjoying the banquet for the eyes and actually order some real food.
This was a real challenge as it was so hard to choose between all the wonderful desserts at Café 436.
After much deliberation, we decided to have a piece of what is called a Raspberry Party Cake with a Café Latte. We also got a piece of the Blueberry Jam Bar to go, which we had later at home.
After choosing our seat in the outdoor seating area, we waited for the buzzer to announce that our order was ready.
Finally the little black box vibrated, and we went and got our order.
The cake and coffee looked gorgeous, almost to the point where it felt like a shame to actually disturb their beautiful looks.
Unfortunately we had no choice, as they looked so tasty, and we tried the Raspberry Party cake.
Café 436’s Raspberry Party cake was nothing short of amazing! There were a fair number of different flavors involved, and they harmonized to make a fantastic dessert.
The top of the cake was covered in a raspberry puree. This was quite tart, which was absolutely a good thing, and you could really tell that fresh and real raspberries were used to make the puree, as opposed to just covering it with jam.
The tartness of the raspberry topping contrasted so well with the icing. I’m not sure of the exact composition of the icing. There was definitely some butter cream, and this was so sweet and scrumptious! I think there might have been some cream cheese in the icing layer under the raspberry topping, but the round outside of the cake was definitely a real buttercream icing.
This was also a joy as many of the bakeries here have icing or frosting that is simply sweet with no real distinct flavor.
The cake itself was a bit dense, almost similar to a loaf, and had a touch of lemon flavoring to it.
Combining the three different elements, the cake was out of this world good. I almost wanted to order the whole thing to take home with me, but it would have been quite pricey!
Next, we tried the Café Latte. There was some nice latte art on top, and the smell was quite good as well.
Café 436 included a little card describing the type of beans and flavoring that were used to make the drink.
As you can see from the picture, it was Guatemalan beans, and the flavors were supposed to be sweet and citrus fruit, nutty cocoa, and almond walnut.
After a few sips, it was easy to taste the notes of the citrus fruits. The coffee was not bitter at all, and was so easy to drink. The cocoa taste was also evident as I drank through the latte. I didn’t notice any nuttiness to the flavor, but this did not take away from my enjoyment of the latte.
All in all, it was a very enjoyable cup of coffee.
After we got home from Geoje Island, we opened up the Blueberry Jam Bar. Amazingly, the presentation was very different from when we had ordered it in the shop, and included two pieces of fig and a large dollop of whipped cream on top! It was almost unbelievable that it looked so good after a two hour drive!
The Blueberry Jam Bar was quite dense, but you could really taste the fresh blueberries. I’m not sure why they call it at Blueberry Jam at Café 436, but that was fine as it tasted better with fresh berries. Perhaps they make their own homemade blueberry jam to include in the bar.
The bar itself (although I’m sure some might called it a cake) was topped with a layer of streusel. The bar was sweet and delicious. The blueberries mixed throughout were also delicious! The softness of the whipped cream added some much needed variety in texture to the bar.
It was with great regret that we finished the final bites of the Blueberry Jam bar.
Overall, Café 436 was a real find. Beautiful views, good coffee, and great desserts made for a wonderful Sunday morning in Geoje Island.
If you ever find yourself there, I highly recommend taking a drive around the island and stopping at Café 436.