Sister's Corner

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Tuesday, August 5, 2014


A TYPICAL spot to lounge a rainy afternoon away; an alternative study place while waiting for the next class to start; or simply, an eye candy space of good vibes.

Here’s one of those artsy, cutesy Korean cafes that have mushroomed all over the metro.

Noona Cafe sits along the curve of MH Aznar Road and HB Aznar Road on Urgello St., Cebu City. As the translation would read, it’s pretty, feminine and animated. Noona is the Korean term for older sister.

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Since the shop opened last February, owners Sunny Lee and Maxx Shin pegged Noona Cafe mostly for females. Sunny, who’s also majoring in English here, has lived in Cebu for a year and a half now with her two daughters. The cafe, so to say, is inspired by the girlish, youthful aura of her girls. With all these female intentions, interestingly, a significant volume of males also flock at the cafe.

The whole display was conceptualized by a designer from Japan, with Sunny pitching in ideas, too. The interiors exude a private bedroom atmosphere. Pastel colors, quirky decors, the spacious cribs and even small details such as pop art postcards contribute to an overall attractive little house. Wifi, books and cosplay items are also available inside.

Noona Cafe can accommodate 80 persons at a time. To complement a quiet stay is a collection of food and drinks in the menu. They have blended shakes, milk teas, cool aids, brews, light snacks such as sandwiches, waffles and what-have-you. Best sellers include Okinawa Milk Tea, Max Shave Ice Blue, the popular Korean pizza and ramen noodles.

“Hangout cafes are almost everywhere in Korea, with strong presence within university and school belts. Actually, it’s as if there’s already a sort of invasion happening here in Cebu (laughs). For Noona Cafe though, we’d like to put a twist to the fad. That is, emphasizing the Philippine-Korean friendship. We aim to bring in Korean culture for customers, Filipinos in particular, to experience,” shared Sunny, who at times, also teach Korean language to walk ins.

The cafe is open daily from 9 a.m. to 11 p.m. South Korean celebrity sensation Lee Min-Ho’s life-size image smiles at the entrance. Annyeonghaseyo (hello)!

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on August 06, 2014.

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