I may have fallen in love with my first Korean.
Meet Topokki – a popular snack in Korea made out of rice cakes, shaped in fat tubes and fish cakes, all in a tingly combination of sweet spicy red sauce. It is then topped with hardboiled egg, garnished with a few spices and thin wanton crisps. This popular Korean snack was first served in the royal court and was considered gourmet during those years. In modern day Korea, Topokki is a favorite dish served for everyone to enjoy. Now, you can get this in Cebu! Visit Topokki Man.
In Topokki Man, they offer a few touches that customers can add to their topokki to fit every palate. Diners can choose to add cheese and/or seafood to their orders. They can also opt for the Rapokki, which is just like topokki, only with noodles. Not a fan of anything spicy? Then better add cheese to your tapokki or rapokki, the dairy cuts the spiciness of the dish.
For the best experience, pair the Topokki with Frieds (it’s like Japanese tempura without the Panko bread crumbs). The sauce is awesome, but sometimes the spiciness becomes too overpowering. If you dip your Frieds, it’s literally awesomesauce in your mouth! For a better deal, order their set of Frieds, which consists of 7 variants. My personal favorite is the sweet potato and squash. The batter is just right – not too thick that the vegetable or shrimp loses its natural taste.
The owner sees to it that customers are served hot meals made out of quality ingredients. He even uses mozzarella cheese in his topokki or rapokki. He also imports Korean drinks and soda to provide the customer with an authentic Korean dining experience. When the restaurant is busy, he even waits and serves orders.
They also have Korean food favorites like ramen, Kimchi, Bibimbop and Spicy Pork, Spicy Squid or Korean BBQ on top of steaming white rice. Interesting finds in their menu are the Fishcake Que (Korean’s version of our street tempura/fishballs), Baby roll (their version of a Maki without the mango) – dipped in a mixture of sesame oil and soy sauce, and their bite-size Fried Chicken mixed with chopped rice cake in sweet and hot sauce. To cool off your taste buds from all the piquant dishes, they offer their over –the-top Mango float sprinkled with chocolate sauce and peanuts.
The interior is cute, artsy and fun. The wall is decorated with Polariod pictures and snapshots of frequent customers. They also make sure to upload the photos on Topokki Man’s Facebook page. The wallpapers are pretty. You can’t leave the place without taking a photo of yourself.
This quaint Korean café is located a few blocks away from the University of San Carlos, as a result they keep their prices affordable. They even have a value meal called USC (Unanimous Student’s Choice) – a choice of ½ Korean Ramen + Rice + Kimchi/Vegie Salad or Chicken Curry rice + Kimichi/Vegie Salad.
That’s the story of my first Korean love. <3