The colourful bunting waving gently above Choriner Straße leads a constant stream of customers towards Prenzlauer Berg’s hot, new Korean café. Lia ppang has “a lot of fans already”, owner Lia Hong says as gentle K-pop plays in the background. Otherwise known as the ‘Hodoo Cookie Lady’, Hong used to supply homesick Koreans with traditional walnut cookies, or hodugwaja, at the Kulturbrauerei food market; now her bricks-and-mortar shop is the latest addition to Berlin’s blossoming scene for sweet Asian treats.
Tastefully decorated with kitschy knick-knacks and mismatched chairs, this cosy nook is abuzz in the afternoon as sweet-toothed locals of all ages swing by to grab a soybean dacquoise, Hong’s take on the classic macaroon (€3.50), or a large slice of the cakes du jour. Our favourite: the matcha roll cake, a fluffy, swirled affair filled with full red beans and matcha cream – not vegan, not gluten-free, not lactose-free (as cheekily advertised on the door), but so full of goodness!
Eat it on the spot and it’ll come with a delicate branch of fresh thyme, a few dried jujube slices and redcurrant (€4.50) – testimony to Hong’s unique knack at creating the perfectly Instagrammable dessert. Wash it down with a glass of homemade, fresh strawberry milk, one of Hong’s many custom drinks. Too bad she keeps shop shut until midday: we’re craving one of her sweet buns for breakfast with a cup of her hand-dripped coffee!
Lia Ppang Choriner Str. 45, Prenzlauer Berg Wed-Sat 12-18 and Sun 12-16
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