Friday 14 June 2013

Cafe MORAEBI (모래비) Woljeong-ri Beach, Jeju

Jeju has an abundance of white sandy beaches, and even during the touristy summer months it's entirely possible to find a whole stretch of coast to enjoy in relative privacy. During our drive around the island, we were given some time to walk around Woljeong-ri Beach, near the northernmost tip of Jeju. 

Apart from our tour group and a bunch of people busily constructing a boardwalk on the far end of the beach, the whole place was empty even though it was nearly noon. We dipped our feet in the water and examined the seaweed left behind on a stretch of walks, but after five minutes of this we were called towards the cluster of building across the road. With their whitewashed walls and orange and blue accents, they just screamed 'BEACH HOLIDAY!'.

Outside of the building to the right, someone was busy spray painting a table orange, and we figured that they were also responsible for the little chairs that lined the beach. 

There was also a rooftop terrace, but it didn't quite look like it was being used, so we tried our luck with the other building. And lo, to the left, was this cafe:

We wandered into the lovingly decorated Cafe Moraebi, where picture cut-outs of the drinks on offer were displayed on a wooden shelf near the counter. Our guide had given us twenty minutes to spend by the beach, so there was time enough to enjoy something. 

Apart from one guy sipping a frappucino on the patio, we were the only customers around and had our pick of the seats. We opted to sit inside where it was cooler, and look out to the sea. 

After parking our things on a table by the window, we went to properly inspect the menu. 

Very conveniently, the menu was in Korean and English, so we ended up getting a lemonade. The prices were all very reasonable and I toyed with ordering something more exotic, but it felt like a lemonade sort of day. It was a pity we didn't have more time, the Belgian Waffle they had on the signboard outside looked rather tempting. 

As we waited for our drinks, we found to our delight that this was yet another place in Korea providing free wifi, so there was much WhatsApping of photos to the people back home. We took pictures all over the cafe since we had the place to ourselves. Loved the fat crabs painted by the ceiling. 

Even with no one else around, it took a while before we got our lemonade. But the wait was worth it - think fresh lemon juice and mint in a mountain of crushed ice cubes, topped with soda water and a drizzle of sugar syrup. It was ridiculously refreshing and zingy with a good balance of sour and sweet and all the fizz my heart desired. 

The lemonade was gone too soon, so we resumed our circuit of the cafe. There weren't traditional name cards, but there was this little chalkboard by the door, as well as a rubber stamp that said much the same. The little wind turbines out the window were a cute touch. You can see the lot of them from the cafe. 

We had to leave and walk back across the beach to get back to the bus a while later, but not before I enjoyed the breeze rolling in on the hanging chair outside. 

536-4 Woljeong-ri, Gujwa-eup, Jeju-do, South Korea

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