08 Oct Orang Orang 오랑오랑

It’s best to come down to Orang Orang from Namsam tower, but the hike up from HBC isn’t too bad and you might find a new favorite restaurant on the way. Orang Orang has a bombed-out dusty neon charm to it that feels both at home and out of place within the twisting streets of its market maze. The owners have made sure to leave the building looking unfinished and rustic and it makes a nice contrast with the modern furnishings. They did such a good job that when I first went I wasn’t sure if they would even taken cards since orders were recorded on pencil in a lined yellow notebook. An ancient Probat from divided Germany rests in a corner of the bar, but from what I understand it’s just for looks these days as they do their roasting off-site in another part of Seoul.

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Technically Orang Orang has three floors, but there aren’t any seats on the first and the third is strange and beautiful enough that it’s difficult to find a spot most days, but its definitely worth scaling the incredibly steep staircase to take a look. Seating on the second floor is a bit helter skelter with box stools making small tables of window sills and larger boxes. There is a bench at the far end big enough for eight people, which is usually packed. Since it’s a smaller shop I don’t think the usual rules of Korean coffee shop ettiquette apply and the turnover rate of people in chairs is faster than a chain so I won’t worry too much about finding a seat. All the same I think the place is hidden and interesting enough that I doubt they need to squeeze in more people.

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The coffee at Orang Orang is darker roasted than I normally like. All the same if you like a darker roast, it will be a nice change from the light roasts you can find at many Seoul third wave coffee shops. I bought some beans when they were still roasting on their antique Probat roaster and by the bitter taste I think they made a good decision to modernize. As a newer shop I think Orang Orang is finding their own balance between aesthetics and quality and I’m confident their coffee will only get better and better in the years to come.
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Atmosphere:  Beautiful, Antique
Beans: Roasted in Seoul
Price: $


26-14 Sowol-ro 20-gil Yongsan-gu, Seoul
서울특별시 용산구 소월로20길 26-14

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