Where to go for your fill of Patbingsu in Chennai
So it’s almost official, Chennai has more Koreans than any other city in India. The city’s Korean restaurants have developed a cult following (mostly from within the Korean expat community). Chennai is also home to one of the country’s first Korean cafes . This tiny cafe (that includes an alfresco section) is located within the InKo Centre in the swish Boat Club neighbourhood (just down the road from Amma Nanna)
It’s a perfect venue – flanked by an aesthetically landscaped outdoor area, for a business meeting or even if you want to anchor somewhere with your laptop or iPad to get some work done. Most of the bakery selection is stuff you can find at any other cafe (and not Korean) but it’s the beverages section that has a definitive Korean slant. Try their Ginseng (Korea’s cure for the world) Tea or the refreshing green plum soda. There’s also room for unusual beverages like the purple coloured Sweet potato latte. The scene stealer however is the Patbingsu.
The Patbingsu (literally red beans with ice) look formidable and somewhat similar to the Ice Kachang. A plate heaped with ice shavings, red bean paste and a variety of sweet toppings. It’s common for a bunch of friends to order a large portion and dig into it at a cafe in Korea. That’s probably why the ‘small’ serving at the InKo cafe still looks like dessert for a family of four. But it’s easy to polish this off (it is mostly ice shavings after all). This ‘not so sweet’ dessert is reason enough to visit this cafe. If you don’t fancy red bean try one of the other options like Oreo.
The Cafe @ InKo Centre is at 18, Adyar Club Gate Road, Boat Club, Chennai 28. Phone: 99404-44159. The cafe is open from 10 am to 9 pm (Mondays – Saturdays) and from 10 am to 7 pm on Sundays. Beverages cost Rs 150-200 while the Patbingsu costs Rs 300/450 (Small/large)