The Butter Room is a small shop, so it’s not easy to find. Here are the best directions: walk to Katherine Place and look for rabbits – a lot of them. The glass facade is covered in bunny decals, from the heart-shaped herd in the window to the ears on the door. And they keep coming – on the menus, the crockery, the coffee bags. Non-rabbity elements of the interior are more restrained. Butter-coloured walls, combined with gingham tablecloths and mismatched chairs, create a warm and inviting feel.
“We wanted it to be somewhere where people would spend time enjoying the space,” co-owner Hong Kim, who runs the Butter Room with his wife Ara Cho, tells Broadsheet.
Despite the eatery having been open for only a month, plenty of people have been enjoying it. That is largely thanks to Tik Tok, and the many video-friendly items on the menu. The pick of the bunch is the lava pandoro. This Italian sweet bread, baked as a one-person serve, arrives topped with a chimney filled with strawberry, injeolmi (rice cake) or matcha sauce. Once you remove it, the sauce cascades down the sides, almost in slow motion. It’s high-key baked goods drama at its finest.
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Other photogenic options include the cream cheese garlic bulb – a Korean take on garlic bread, popular as a street snack in Seoul. Also on offer are big slices of cake, from fluffy sponges stuffed with fruit and cream to cheesecakes.
The drinks are also theatrical. There are purple sweet potato lattes; Dalgona coffees; a Dirty Matcha, which layers espresso with matcha cream; and the Rabbit Cream – a creamy coffee that’s just as good hot as it is cold.
Modular shelving elegantly displays a range of pastries, in a nod to Korea’s many self-service cafes. Viennoiserie classics such as croissants (some filled with injeolmi cream) and pains au chocolat are present and accounted for, alongside Korean specialties such as soboro – a pastry stuffed with red bean paste. The canelés dipped in matcha-flavoured chocolate are a crowd favourite.
As for Kim’s favourite thing on the menu?
“My favourite is the injeolmi bun,” he says. “I told my wife it reminds me of my son’s squishy little butt.”