Playing hide and seek around the small alleys along the residential area of Mangwon Dong is quite fun. The old buildings turned shops are not sophisticated, nor are they grandiose, but each and every one of them has its own uniqueness. In the midst of theses cafes and restaurants full of character, Viva Salon with its vivid scarlet color exterior instantly draws your attention. The small space of around 200 ft2 is filled with dolls and tons of teeny tiny miscellaneous goods, and it makes you feel as if you are invited to your doll lover friend’s house. Looking through authentic Disney character dolls, Mario figures, Iron Man goods and kitsch design items including Coca-Cola design products, you won’t even realize you are in the “doll loop” already. All the items on display are available for purchase.
Once you take enough photos of the cuteness overwhelmed dolls and items, move on to the next fun stop of Viva Salon – the “Gacha Gacha” machine. It’s a Japanese vending machine with capsule toy prizes, so test your luck and see if you can get what you wished for.
Now, it’s time to quench your thirst with Viva Salon’s signature menu, Monster Latte. This latte is made after Cookie Monster from “Sesame Street,” and it just looks too good and too cute to eat. The mocha latte is topped with soft blue colored whipped cream, 2 marshmallows for Cookie Monster’s eyes and one Oreo cookie for his mouth. The drink is served on a small wooden tray with his friend Elmo and Big Bird sitting next to it. The taste is not particularly impressive, but who cares! It’s a cute latte that makes you take one too many photos of the drink while having a huge grin on your face.
As mentioned before, Viva Salon is a bit too confined to sit for a long time, but with the right timing and luck, you can always capture the perfect instagram-worthy photo of your afternoon Monster Latte.