Kimchi Call

A swig of strong Korean coffee or cold Caramel Caffe Mocha at Café AIM — Abide In Me,the newly opened Korean café at Outram Lane near Delhi University,has helped many students sit through a long session of study.

Written by RICHA BHATIA | Published: February 18, 2009 11:28:22 pm

This well-priced Korean café is a hit in North Campus

A swig of strong Korean coffee or cold Caramel Caffe Mocha at Café AIM — Abide In Me,the newly opened Korean café at Outram Lane near Delhi University,has helped many students sit through a long session of study. It’s where they come to soothe their hectic mornings with the sweetness of hot cocoa or a spoonful of vanilla ice-cream with a dash of espresso.

It is the place to hang at,after a laborious day at college or on a warm winter afternoon. Hyunsu Kim (in the picture),an undergraduate student at Delhi University and the manager of Café AIM explains,“Before we opened on December 15,we asked ourselves what young students want. They want leisure,but also an atmosphere where they can come to study or flip through an art magazine. There are hardly any cafes around North Campus. For a decent cup of coffee students have to go to Mukherjee Nagar.”

It was his father,Roo Seungyeol,however,who thought of the café. For a week,Kim,27,scoured the coffee chains across south Delhi,observing the décor,menu and customer tastes. “We are very reasonably priced. In any other cafe,if you ask for another helping of cream they charge extra,” says Kim,who mans the counter after college.

What was a scruffy space before,now has a cozy café spread over 800 square feet. The space,divided by an aisle,has deep red seats running along the length of the wall. Besides the menu,the décor is also Korean. Choi Tun-Joong,Kim’s fiancé,handles the kitchen. She looks at the five dainty lamps,hanging over the kitchen counter,imported from Korea. Though the walls are bare,Kim plans to cover them with pictures from Korea. Joong,a kindergarten teacher,is at the café in the morning and Kim joins after attending college,at 2 pm. “I worked before at a coffee shop called Mokambo in Daegu in South Korea,” smiles Joong.

The menu includes a Korean sherbet called Bingsoo. One can choose between Red bean bingsoo (Rs 75),that is a sweet mix of red beans,ice-cream and strawberry syrup topped with crushed ice,and the popular Ginger tea bingsoo (Rs 90),which is an elaborate mix of green tea powder,ice-cream,syrup and crushed ice. You can also try the sweet potato and coffee bingsoo,which costs Rs 75.

Another hit on the menu is the espresso,priced at a mere Rs 30. Even a milky Vienna coffee,laced with vanilla ice-cream,is affordable at Rs 53. “The first timers usually opt for the cheapest coffee on the menu and then they come for more,” observes Kim,wearing a black T-Shirt with Café AIM printed on it.

Though not many baked goods are on the shelves,the waffle topped with maple syrup (Rs 120) is a treat and the cupcakes are the most sought after in the confectionary section.

Besides Indians,the café sees a footfall of international students from Vietnam,Japan and China as well. “It’s quite popular among students from the Northeast,” says Joong.

The café offers a discount stamp card to all customers. Up next,Kim plans a breakfast menu that will include coffee paired with cupcakes,and happy hours from 10 am to 2 pm.

(Located at 1611 Outram lane,Kingsway Camp. Open from 10 am to 11 pm. Contact 47014696)

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