Today I went to the Geumsan Lotteria with the intent of buying a pork rib sandwich when I decided to take Lotteria up on its waffle and coffee offer.
The Lotteria waffle is a unique item among Korean fast food restaurants. I don't believe McDonalds offers any waffles, but waffles are becoming a fixture among many coffee houses and specialty waffle and coffee houses.
In Jinju there has been a waffle pojang macha vendor downtown selling waffles and Boong uh bang (waffle batter fish with sweet bean paste in the middle) for all of the time I have lived here. At least five years. Also the local department store has started to sell waffles in it's food court.
The Lotteria waffle that I ate was alright. It wasn't very moist, and it kind of tasted like it was made from a modified doughnut batter. The blueberries were tart and sweet.
The waffle and coffee combination is a good idea for a snack, but I wish that Lotteria could open early enough so that the waffle could be eaten as a breakfast food, but in it's current incarnation it seems like a nice little light snack.
I also take issue with the range of coffee drinks that are available at Lotteria, to go with the waffle. I'm not a fan of espresso based coffee drinks, but I feel that the Lotteria cappuccino does in a pinch when there is no dunkin donuts around, because cappuccino has the ability to compliment a sweet food.
The Lotteria waffle combo is served instead with an Americano. Americano coffee is inferior to brewed coffee because the over roasting of the espresso beans and the subsequent watering down of espresso to make the Americano an altogether disappointing drink. The overpowering flavor of the espresso can't do anything in concert with any food that accompanies it because it's bitterness has been lost to the water. Likewise a moderate strength brewed coffee would work wonders with the waffle since the texture of coffee has more body than the body of Americanos. Likewise the milk in a cappuccino or latte would add body to an espresso that would be able to support the sweetness of the waffle.
In conclusion, the Lotteria waffle was alright, but the Lotteria coffee waffle combination failed to impress.
I still think that the Jinju si Geumsan Myeon Lotteria is among the best in Korea for it's courteous staff, and clean comfortable atmosphere. If one has to go to Lotteria, the only Lotteria that I would go to is in Geumsan Myeon.