[编辑 Editor 吕大人 英译 Translator 刘大人 摄影 Photographer 黄大人]
萨郎嘿哟啊Droptop～ 由韩流女神全智贤所代言的韩国连锁咖啡馆让大人不作二想连续两天破戒大量摄取淀粉与咖啡因啊！不论堂食或外带，诱人的滋味与合理的价格皆让大人忍不住竖起拇指大赞一番。咦… 大人身在韩国吗？不不不，「幸好 Droptop 已落户马来西亚啦！不然大人可得千里迢迢再飞到大韩民国才能解馋～」
It’s now almost impossible to watch a K-drama that screams “Saranghaeyo” and not see a well-marked cafe or coffee joint in the background. With Jeon Ji-hyun getting us (and fans) in the mood for some cuppa, we are pretty sure by now most of you have caught news of South Korea’s famed cafe, Droptop opening up their first overseas store in Johor. Thanks to Roland for bringing in such goodness to us, no more watching countless tempting videos online and desperately clinging to a wishing coin, hoping it will magically surface in front of us.
而这家常出现在韩剧中的咖啡馆相信对哈韩人士来说必不陌生，刚在今年2月18日於新马第二通道旁的森林城市 (毗邻凤凰酒店的商品街) 盛大开幕的首家 Droptop 咖啡馆，偌大的长形室内空间占地3,564平方尺 (约可容140人)。自非常厚实的招牌大铁闸推门而入，一句暖心问候便在耳际萦绕「Annyeonghaseyo～ 」好宽敞！大人真的得以环视的角度才能将一景一物摄入双眼啊！全室采摩登复古轻暖工业风格，与韩国300多家分馆形似，「主人家刚告诉大人，由于座位相当符合人体工学，有许多访客常会不知不觉身心放松、就地闭目养神。 」不得不说这儿非常适合举办聚会或小型会议呢！由于大人还得为看官们推荐店家精选，当然得尽量回避椅子们的召唤，还是乖乖选择能摆满招牌料理的巨型长木桌吧！
Starting with Malaysia, the Korean coffee shop franchise is entering the Southeast Asian market. On 18 February, Café Droptop’s Southeast Asia flagship cafe has officially opened at Forest City. True to its origin, Droptop is aiming to be as inviting and dynamic as possible, one of the very first things we noticed about this cafe when it opened was the door handles – the ‘D’ forming the handles which we thought was ingenious and loved it!
Annyeonghaseyo! The space is a fascinating mashup of the rustic and the eclectic, boasting interior channels industrial chic inspired by edgy wood and steel elements with bare designer lightbulbs, ergonomic cosy sitting area, a dessert bar counter, a large communal table and the iconic alphabet wall that is present in every Droptop outlet. Much of the wood-heavy furniture was sourced locally, custom designed and inspired by European cafe culture, Droptop offers a relaxed atmosphere and tempting dessert menu that encourages customers to spend time at the store, be it for casual business discussion or catching a quick private snooze.
个性爽朗、处事认真的主人家 Roland 本身其实具咖啡师认证资格，对饮食向有食不厌精，脍不厌细的高要求，那当初是如何万里寻一挑中 Droptop 为其进军餐饮业的首炮呢？「在韩国经营咖啡馆可谓相当普遍，三步一家独立咖啡馆，五步一家星巴克，整个行业异常蓬勃，而竞争也相对增高。当团队跑遍韩国各地考察时，我们发现 Droptop 的咖啡品质极为稳定，真正做到了统一化的味道，能在短短数年内就展店300多家确实不无道理。 」
锁定了心仪的品牌后，Roland 及团队们即如火如荼地与韩国方面进行洽谈，「也许是机缘巧合吧，韩国方面也正有向海外扩点的想法，双方理念可谓一拍即合。」作为品牌海外据点的第一站，Droptop 在本地市场的定位与滋味是否又与韩国本土一样呢？
Roland is clearly serious about his brews and received his formal education over a year ago. Having set his sights on F&B, Roland made his first foray and went “Seoul” searching for the best coffee, with his unrelenting pursuit seeing him coming face to face with countless cafes (Starbucks included) every other few steps on the streets. However, it was Café Droptop which left the deepest impression for its commitment to consistency, and its aggressive expansion plans (over 300 outlets since 2011) that very much matched his own ambitions. With nothing to lose and everything to gain, Roland took the giant leap of faith into its head office in Gangnam-gu, and the rest, they said, is history!
We were initially hesitant to try any of the bread since they tend to be sweet in Korea from our previous experience, even if they’re a cheesy toast or garlic bread of some sort. Sensing our doubts, Roland was quick to assure us that the local menu has been carefully fine-tuned to appeal to Malaysians without losing any Droptop‘s original taste!
经常坐镇此处的 Roland 对于店内的食物品质与客户的意见极其重视，据悉马来西亚的 Droptop 除了设有自家的食品研发团队外，也会定期与韩国总部灵活进行交流。品牌对于品质的坚持充分展现於食材、口味搭配与氛围上，眼前所见的蛋糕皆为现场制作，仅有3天的保存期，「我们也自养酵母。」品尝后必能发现大人所言不虚；而用以泡制咖啡与各式饮料的水质也得经双重过滤后才算过关噢！(由于韩国水质相当纯净，店家毅然决定采用双过滤以保持相等水准及给予顾客食安上的保障。)
【 大人小分享】位于森林城市的 Droptop 乃品牌首家采用 Open Bar 概念的咖啡馆，而常入镜的招牌大型字母板可是拥有专利的噢，真可谓见字母板如见 Droptop 啊！店内一隅的大型枣红色墙面原来出自造型漆高手，大人起初还以为是壁纸呢！而由韩流女神全智贤所代言 Droptop 同时也售各式马克杯与周边商品，品尝了咖啡甜点后不妨到此瞧瞧有没有属于自个儿的心头好吧！
Roland spends most of his time interacting with customers and hears their feedback first hand, as well as in the kitchen working on quality control and in-house R&D for new products. To keep up with the latest food trends and technology, Roland also scheduled regular trips to engage with his principal at their HQ in Seoul. From making its own yeast to using only dual-filtered water to ensure the best tasting bakes and brews, Roland is fast making up for his inexperience with his high commitment, passion and diligence. After all, such attention to detail is not only appealing to die-hard aficionados, but also a pull for the casual consumers.
PS: Besides begging the accolade as the first overseas outlet outside of Korea, Droptop in Forest City also features the first “Open Bar” concept that better engage fellow coffee lovers. Even the crimson wall painting is a work of art itself that was hand-painted by one of the very few certified master painters outside of Japan. Fans of celebrity Jeon Ji-hyun has further reasons to rejoice and scream, with her many merchandises gracing the cafe and neatly displayed along the wall shelves.
今日的手冲咖啡 (Handbrew, RM15) 乃由来自中美洲洪都拉斯的咖啡豆子所萃取而成，「淡淡的果香好迷人。洪都拉斯咖啡的口感较醇厚，酸度不会太高，对于初次尝试手冲者来说更易接受。」
There’s nothing quite as divine as having a hand brew coffee in this cool weather, and a sip of this single origin hand brew from Honduras packs a rich aroma and full-bodied flavour that helped to conquer our post-lunch sleepies! Given its low acidity profile, we felt even first-time drinkers would find this acceptable, if not irresistible.
人气饮料 Top picks
店内这数杯人气饮料大人皆有亲尝噢！依序为特浓奶香热咖啡、绿茶多冰乐 、紫薯拿铁与特选伯爵茶 (Earl Grey, RM11.50)。
大人好喜欢这杯特浓奶香热咖啡 (Flat White, RM15) ，「饮了一啖后咖啡滋味直窜口腔，颇有冲击感。顶层那薄奶沫可经不起长时间的考验，谨记趁热享用才为上策。」；
这杯色泽呈渐层冷翡翠的饮料即是备受人客们青睐的绿茶多冰乐 (Iced Green Tea Dropccino, Regular RM15.80/Large RM16.80) ，说其是这儿的人气王一点也不为过，「浓郁的绿茶香与鲜奶油相融后犹如闺蜜的友情般：细腻而美好。」；
而紫薯拿铁 (Sweet Potato Latte, Regular RM11.50/Large RM12.50) 则为 Droptop 的独家口味，浅尝一口即能感受暖入心扉的淡香紫薯味，「谁能抗拒具抗氧化、抗衰老作用的紫薯拿铁！这可是杯大人会一点再点的饮料噢！」；
待会儿大人也将点选多类甜食，当然得试试这杯店家极力推荐的特选伯爵茶 (Earl Grey, RM11.50)！「主人家亲尝市面上约60％的茶饮后才雀屏中选的高端茶品，在人客中的评价甚高，大人即是其一。」
The Flat White is our unanimous choice that’s pretty much full bodied and feels like drinking an espresso, only yummier. With flavours that are nutty, chocolatey with an apricot fruitiness, this is best savoured with its thin layer of smooth velvet foam within 5 minutes of being served!
If you fancy a thirst quencher, we highly recommend this Iced Green Tea Dropccino where we can really taste the “green-teaness”, with the divine whipped cream making it one of the most “matcha” of many drinks we have had!
A Sweet Potato Latte? This lesser-seen flavour may sound strange, but that actually piqued our interest. Once we took a sip of this warming and the most royal of rich lattes, we have certainly changed our mind. Popular in Korea, the sweet potato adds an earthy sweetness to all that milky sweetness, as well as more antioxidants and nutritional value that warrants another refill LOL!
A long time classic well-loved by many (including us truly), this Earl Grey needs no introduction. Unknown to many, this premium blend was specially selected by Roland for its bold floral top notes and vibrant citrus flavours, having personally tasted and tested over 60% of what’s available on the market. What better way to relax our senses with this fragrant black tea blend while having some warm toasts and sweet bakes on standby.
食验味星 (一般为五星满级，偶尔会爆表) / Rating ★★★★
招牌蒜蓉奶酪蜂蜜面包 Garlic Cheese Honey Bread
激赞！大人不得不说这被一分为九的招牌蒜蓉奶酪蜂蜜面包 (Garlic Cheese Honey Bread, RM16) 实在是太好吃了啦！「蒜蓉、Mozzarella奶酪、蜂蜜皆互不抢味，却又能各自突显本味，比例好匀称！面包口感香Q有嚼劲，大人沦陷了～」主人家告诉咱们，这土司高度绝对与韩国一样噢！
The Garlic Cheese Honey Bread may look like your neighbour kopitiam toast next door, but trust us this tasted exactly how we would have it in Korea. Each of the nine toasted buttery honey golden brown cubes was crisp on the outside yet fluffy on the inside. The savoury mozzarella cheese and “aromatic” garlic only left us wanting more.
招牌蜂蜜黄油脆皮球 Honey Butter Crispy Ball
其实刚刚大人一进门就被这造型形似南瓜的招牌蜂蜜黄油脆皮球 (Honey Butter Crispy Ball, RM15) 给吸引了，不点一份来尝鲜怎对得起自己？「外脆内蓬松的招牌蜂蜜黄油脆皮球份量不小啊！这售价也未免太合理了吧！大人发现马来西亚的 Droptop 好擅长拿捏甜度比例，酥脆的皮衣搭上涂满湿润、充满牛油蜂蜜香的内里，好好味啊！此刻好想外带几份给数十公里外的新山挚友共享！大推！」
We were attracted by the curiously lovely big round shape when we first set foot into the cafe, and the Honey Butter Crispy Ball did not disappoint. While not exactly oozilicious, this “pumpkin” is a refreshing and luscious alternative to the usual toast, and the bread itself was thick and chewy but once cut open, oozes a flow of smooth and aromatic yellow lava that had our mouth full and literally speechless. Very tasty, full of flavours, but nothing overpowering, just make sure it’s warm when you have it. How we wished we could “tapao” this signature item for our fellow foodies miles away in downtown JB!
食验味星 (一般为五星满级，偶尔会爆表) / Rating ★★★★★
人气自制甜点 Homemade pastries
面包既已处理得如此出色，想必蛋糕甜点也非常值得期待！舒芙蕾芝士蛋糕 (Souffle Cheese Cake, RM13) 可是店家人气精选，「尤以蛋糕体底层脆度适中的饼座最为让大人惊艳！」
采用韩国草莓而制的草莓派 (Strawberry Tart, RM14.50) 与绵密稠香的提拉米苏派 (Tiramisu Tart, RM10.50) 滋味如何？「Roland 刚向大人提起平日就有好多食髓知味的人客们特地拨电预订这儿的塔派，品尝后才知所言不虚啊！这塔皮的脆度极合大人心意，尤以韩国草莓甜度宜人，剖开塔底还能瞧见真材实料的草莓果酱，再搭上鲜奶油，微甜而不腻，噢～大人此刻的幸福感绝非常人所能想像～」这儿的蓝莓派 (Blueberry Tart, RM14.50) 也颇受人客们青睐，咱们也得悉接下来店家将会推出更多精彩口味，看来得密切追踪 Droptop Malaysia 的社媒专页才行了～
How could we possibly forget the enticing glass display bursting with pies and pastries, if the toasts at Droptop is anything to go by? Not surprisingly, this turned out to be one of the best Souffle Cheesecakes we could find in town, with their rendition of the Japanese cheesecake being really fluffy and smooth, literally melting happily in our mouths!
The cheese tarts at Droptop were equally popular for dine-in or on-the-go, in particular, the Strawberry Tart which uses only Korean strawberries which blend well with the cheese, bringing out a savoury and subtly sweet and soft mousse that pampered our palate. If you like tiramisu as much as we do, you would love the Tiramisu Tart which is a slightly tweaked version of the original. Instead of entirely taking on the soft, pillowy texture traditional tiramisu has, the crunchy pastry base of this tart adds another layer of goodness to the dessert. Do go for the Blueberry Tart if space permits too!
食验味星 (一般为五星满级，偶尔会爆表) / Rating ★★★★
芒果雪顶 Mango IceTop
必点！这份量绝不欺场的芒果雪顶 (Mango IceTop, RM25) 最让大人无法忘怀的就是那幼滑绵密的雪花冰啊！「冰里还巧融入奶香，与浓甜香芒、椰香饼片搭配得天衣无缝！」除了芒果雪顶，店家还备有另一口味供人客们选择哟～ 红豆牛奶雪顶 (Milk IceTop, RM20) 就是下回大人的攻“顶”目标！
Even after a year, JB’s bingsu craze isn’t slowing down, with the opening of even more outlets selling these sweet, delicious shaved ice dessert. Seriously, the Mango IceTop here is probably the finest we have tasted in Johor in our opinion. Heaped with fresh mango fruits, ice cream and was clearly better with creamy sweetness with crunchy toasted almond slices, a spoonful will send you straight to heaven. Next up: Milk IceTop, but alas, we would have to go the “extra mile” to get to savour this though…
食验味星 (一般为五星满级，偶尔会爆表) / Rating ★★★★
新品 – 照烧鸡肉三文治 Grilled Teriyaki Chicken Sandwich
好吧，大人真的得说这儿不管甜点抑或是饮料皆非常合大人心意，就连这看似朴实的新品 – 照烧鸡肉三文治 (Grilled Teriyaki Chicken Sandwich) 也无预警掳获大人心胃啊～ 「刀具一下，立即将三文治给完美一分为二。自养酵母而制的面包果然口感一流！照烧酱并不会过于浓郁，与美乃兹鸡蛋极合拍，是道难以失手的轻食。」
If you fancy “meating” up beyond beverages and pastries, feel free to add the Grilled Teriyaki Chicken Sandwich to the mix. The teriyaki-marinated chicken was grilled to perfection such that the chicken skin still retained its juiciness, while the meat was tender and succulent, pairing excellently with the egg mayo and freshly baked bread using traditional bread-making techniques and homegrown natural fermentation.
食验味星 (一般为五星满级，偶尔会爆表) / Rating ★★★☆
外带包装 Droptop on the go…
真心不瞒各位，隔日清晨大人又再度回到店中外带另一口味的蒜蓉奶酪脆皮球 (Garlic Cheese Crispy Ball, RM16) 回酒店慢慢享用噢！大人内心的呼唤您听到吗？「Droptop 请你们快到新山区展店吧！」Kamsahamida~
Admittedly, we couldn’t resist yet another bite into their toasts that we went back the next morning just to get our breakfast “add-on” fix and tapao (take away) the equally enticing Garlic Cheese Crispy Ball, and Flat White and Earl Grey (again!)
Knowing us, we don’t come dropping into a top place for nothing, but this first overseas outlet from one of Korea’s most talk about coffee chain is really something. Thank you Droptop for making us one of your first port of call. And by the way, Johor Bahru is calling!
Café Droptop Malaysia
Address: Jalan Forest City 1, Forest City, Pulau Satu, 81500 Johor Bahru, Johor, Malaysia, Johor Bahru.
Contact: 012 – 773 0832
Time: 8am-8pm (Weekday); 8am-10pm (Weekend)
NO PORK, NO LARD