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Review: Enjoy Crepes and More at Brunch Cafe Ean

 


BUSAN, South Korea — Haps readers who saw my September article about La Celtique, the creperie in Seoul, can now find relief in the knowledge that they do not have to go all the way to the capital to indulge in this dish. It is available with many other goodies at Brunch Café Ean (pronounced ee-ahn), which is tucked away on a side lane off of Suyeong-ro in Suyeong-gu. Besides its crepes, it offers a special atmosphere that makes finding it worthwhile.

Like most independent cafes in Korean, Brunch Café Ean is small, consisting of only three rooms equipped with basic tables and chairs; the walls are concrete and modestly adorned.  There is a widescreen Apple computer available for customers to use, and the natural lighting is good, but the amenities here are not luxurious—the main reason to come is the food.

This café was founded just two years ago by a 32-year-old Busan native named Ha Ean. I have never found out why she spells her name that way instead of today’s pinyin Yi-An, but the choice is up to her. She claims to have been inspired to open her own café when she tried crepes, pancakes and waffles on a trip to Canada. Judging from the number of customers she attracts despite her out-of-the-way location, she has transmitted her food interest to her compatriots effectively. The interior overall conveys a warm feeling.

It should be mentioned that besides crepes, Ean serves fare that can be found in most cafes, such as waffles. Scrambled eggs and sausages are also offered, as well as pancakes. She has created some interesting sets, too, such as French toast, for around 20,000 won, and sandwiches cost under 10,000. More unusually, there are biscuits for only 3,500. Standard beers are available, but this is mainly a coffee-oriented establishment, and all drinks include free refills of Americano.

With so much other good food to eat, you might never get around to the crepes, which are really what makes Brunch Café Ean distinct from all the thousands of other indie cafes in the city. There are only four available, but they are all worth trying. First, there is a simple cheese crepe for 6,000 won, followed by a ham and cheese one for 7,000. For dessert, there is a nutella and banana crepe for 7,500, or, at the top of the line, an ice cream crepe for 8,000. All are large enough to be a modest meal in themselves, and are served on a long rectangular plate that has some style.

Brunch Café Ean is open from 11 to 11 seven days a week, which means Ean is busy. She still finds time for her hobby of watching Japanese movies, though, and hopes more foreigners will discover her place. With more good food than the average Korean café, this is definitely worth finding, and may well attract foreign regulars when word of it gets out.


Getting there: Take subway line 2 to Geumnyeonsan and go straight out of exit 5. Walk south over 100 paces to the lane going left with a 3M store on its corner, turn left and head east for 150 paces before turning left again into a smaller lane.  You will see it a couple of doors down. Its address is 35-33 Namcheon-dong, and its land line is 051-628-5791. Ean’s mobile is 010-6510-5791, and her email is hea7125@naver.com. Visit its website at www.cafeean.alldaycafe.kr.         

      

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About Hal Swindall

A California native, Hal Swindall received his PhD in comparative literature from UC Riverside and has wandered East Asia as a vagabond prof ever since. He teaches English conversation, writing and presentation skills at Woosong University in Daejeon.

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