I live for a good brunch spot, in fact my search for the perfect place is never ending thanks to the limited booze options at popular brunch cafes in the city. Seoul can nail it on the food and ambience, but it fails to complete the brunch experience by its lack of alcoholic beverages. So when I saw photos of Parnell Cafe on fellow blogger Soju4Two’s Instagram page, I was thrilled to have a new place to try.
The cafe is set over two floors and has a super modern trendy vibe. There is a large outdoor space, a private room, and a cozy nook of cushion style seating. The whole place seems very light and airy, and very brunch trendy. One of the best things about Parnell, unlike most popular weekend spots, is that it actually takes reservations which makes a nice change, so be sure to call ahead to snag a good seat.
If you hadn’t guessed from the name, Parnell cafe is a New Zealand style brunch joint. The menu is a mix popular Korean brunch and lunch items with a few Kiwi items like mince on toast, steak sandwich and fish and chips thrown in. The wine and beer list is also quite heavy on drinks imported from New Zealand. It is not a complete NZ style cafe, but it is a step in the right direction.
Being a very boozy group, the first thing we wanted to order were the drinks. They have a really good array of wine. We settled on two glasses of the house wine, a Giesen Pinot Noir (11,000 a glass), and a Giesen Sauvignon Blanc (9,000). They also have a variety of Malborough wines by the bottle (including Cloudy Bay) priced between (50,000-90,000). Sadly there are no cocktails on the menu, which is a shame as I was dying for a Bloody Mary. In the end I ordered the homemade Lemonade (7,500), and the Detox Smoothie (7,500) which was a mix of blueberry and watermelon. Both were nice, but would definitely taste better with vodka so BYO.
After much internal debate, I decided on the Eggs Bennedict (16,500). You can choose between bacon and salmon, and I of course had to get the bacon version. The eggs were piled upon a toasted soft baguette with mushrooms, spinach, and hash brown, and topped with hollandaise. This was a very nice mix of ingredients, and I did like the dish, though the hollaindaise was not as good as I had hoped it would be. It was a touch thin and not tangy. One of my dining companions got the Omelette (16,500), though she had it without most of the ingredients because she is a vegetarian. The omelette was served with a croissant, crushed tomato garnish, and an aioli sauce. I was too busy eating my own dish to try it, but she really enjoyed it.
My beloved hubby ordered the Steak Sandwich (18,000). The sandwich came open sandwich style and looked very appealing. The steak came on a pesto smeared toasted baguette and was topped with grilled veggies and aioli. It also came with a small handful of potatoes wedges. Steak sandwiches always remind me of my time down under so I was glad to see this on the menu. It was very tasty and filling, though we did find it a bit hard to actually eat.
Overall I thought Parnell Cafe to be a very nice spot for brunch. If I was meeting someone nearby I would certainly come again, though it would take them adding cocktails to the menu to make me want to go across town on a regular basis. The food is a touch on the pricier side compared to other similar places, but does offer something a little bit different. If you love brunch as much as I do, it is worth checking out.
Parnell Cafe is located at 645-8 Sinsa-dong, Gangnam-gu, Seoul. To get there take a train to Apgujeong Station (line 3) and come out of exit 2. Come out of the exit and take the first left and then the first right after that. Then take another left and walk straight until you reach the end of the street and turn right. Walk straight and then take the second left. At the end of this street you will see Parnell Cafe on the corner. For more information you can call them on 02-511-6492 or visit their Instagram page. They are open everyday from 10am-10pm.