When Lia Hong came to Berlin from her home country of Korea in 2014, the only thing she brought with her were pastry cutters so she could recreate her favorite Korean desserts. First she baked just for friends and then for hungry passers-by from her food bike at the Kulturbrauerei market. Then, at the beginning of 2021, she took the next step and opened her own cafe in Prenzlauer Berg. Lia Ppang provides homesick Koreans and anyone else with a sweet tooth with traditional snacks and teas using recipes based on Lia’s childhood memories. The Hodoo Guaja cookies are particularly popular: these little energy bombs consist of walnut biscuits filled with red bean paste and not only taste of walnuts, but look like them too. Other highlights include the highly photogenic green tea cheesecake – which comes garnished with dried jujube slices and red currants – and the homemade strawberry milk finished with slivers of almond. An ode to Korean coffee culture, these treats are served in a self-designed interior that combines recycled elements, (mis)matched retro chairs and Asian knick-knacks. Add to this some strong coffee and Lia Ppang has all the ingredients needed to make it a go-to snack stop.
Text: Alison Musch / Photos: Arundhati Shenoy