Chocoart, Jeju, South Korea
Small hand-crafted chocolates sit arranged in two stout refrigerated cabinets. An accompanying low light casts an inviting shadow across those on show. And with a little extra luck a chef might have just delivered some fresh from the kitchens below. Owned by a professor at Halla College (who spent time in France learning her trade) JejuChocoart goes some way to satisfying those chocolate cravings.
At JejuChocoart there is no factory production line chocolate – each one that you pop into your mouth has been made by hand on the premises. It’s premium chocolate and it tastes good. Though the cabinets are not over-flowing with choice, the selection should still satisfy. Study the menu on top for a little time, and with a basic command of Korean you’ll be able to work out what some contain (green tea, soft truffle, etc). It may well be premium quality chocolate but there are premium prices too.
Each chocolate weighs around 10grams and costs about 900 won. If you’re feeling a little more flush then a box of chocolate roses on the second shelf cost 5,000 won for a box of three and 12,000 won for a box of seven. There are also premium chocolate gift boxes available from 10,000 won, with the largest fetching 25,000 won. A second display shelf has cheesecakes and small cakes at around 3,000 won.
JejuChocoart is the kind of place where the coffee compliments the chocolates. Coffee is adequate from its oh-so-standard menu. Hot Coffee is priced between 2,500 won – 3,500 won. Ice Coffee a little more expensive starting at 2,800 won peaking at 4,000 won. The sampled Ice Cappuccino came with a sprinkle of cinnamon.
Although the prices may be a little high and the coffee selection leaves something to be desired, you have to respect the level of craftsmanship that goes into making the fine chocolates at JejuChocoart. Spread out across the cafe – between the trees – sit sculptured chocolate creations made by the university professor and her students. Some of the most famous sights in Jeju have been made: including Cheongjyeon Waterfall and the Jeju Folk Village. Look for the little coloured details in among all of those dark browns to give you an impression of how much work went into each one. The colour extends to a small collection of Korean figures in traditional dress and culture. The centrepiece however is a large chocolate fantasy mansion.
JejuChocoart deserves a visit and makes for a treat especially with the colder winter months approaching. It could be a good place to curl up on a couch with some friends and chat away an afternoon or evening. There’s an added bonus of a free wi-fi across the cafÈ too.
If you are there for chocolates then it does its job. If you’re there just for coffee, you’ll be disappointed. And if you really want to take it a step further then there is always the opportunity to learn the craft of making chocolates.
JejuChocoart is located very close to City Hall.
If coming from the direction of CGV Cinema, continue straight across the busy Gwangyang Junction. JejuChocoart will be on your right, a few buildings down. Look for the white signage.