Tag: Bakery

Mal Car

My neighbourhood of Gyeongridan is a treasure trove of unique and one of kind shops, bars, and restaurants. And one of its most hidden gems is my new favourite coffee shop Mal Car. Mal Car is a vintage automobile themed cafe, which is set over three floors and is full of quiet nooks and crannies to sit in. The place is festooned with all sorts of car themed knickknacks, even the outside tables are made from what looks like old bus doors. It is certainly a quirky place, and like no where else I have been before. It is located up on the Hyatt hill in a hidden residential alley, if it wasn’t for the sign on the main street you’d never find it, luckily I was invited so had the address.

It being a coffee shop and all, we thought we should start with a coffee. After placing our order we were given the most adorable shopping basket to help carry everything upstairs which I thought was a nice touch. I went for their signature Cloud Coffee (6,500), which is their version of the Vienna style, probably the coolest coffee in the city right now. I love creamy coffees so this was perfect for me, my only complaint is that I wish it had been sweeter, I would probably add a shot of vanilla syrup next time, but overall it was nice drink and coffee lovers should be impressed. My assistant Elizabeth ordered herself a refreshing Sunset Ade (6,500) to beat the heat. The colourful ade was super refreshing and had an almost sherberty fruity taste. We both really enjoyed it, but I thought it could be even better with a shot of vodka!

The Cinnamon Rolls are a speciality at Mal Car, so we had to give one a try. They have several different variations but we opted for the Original (4,600). Just looking at it, it was easy to tell why they are famous for them and boy were they good. Warm in the middle so the frosting kinda melted and you could sop it all up like a sweet and buttery gravy. The texture of the bun itself was super soft, and it had a good blend of spices without being over powering. Honestly I don’t think I have stopped thinking about these big bountiful buns ever since, they are addictively good, and not to be missed.

Besides the buns, Mal Car also offers a whole range of baked breads and cakes. After gazing over their dazzling array of desserts we decided to try the Humming Bird (6,600), as it was too pretty to resist. The banana and pineapple spiced cake was topped with a nice thick layer of cream cheese frosting and an adorable pineapple flower. The sponge had a lovely hint of pineapple, though I didn’t get much of the banana coming through. We both enjoyed the lovely creamy cheese frosting, and appreciated that it wasn’t too sweet. Being two very greedy girls we also got a Carrot Cake (6,200) too! This was really incredible, so moist and had a really nice balance of spices with a hint of orange. The cake itself was the star here, but the frosting was also good too. I was green with envy when eating this because it was even better than my recipe which I have always considered to be one of the best around.

Overall I thought Mal Car was a gorgeous cafe with fabulous cakes, breads and coffees. The Cinnamon Rolls in particular were incredible and I’ve not tasted one as good as this in Seoul before. The theme really sets it apart and there is seating inside and out. In a city filled with big chain places, these are the small places I love to support, so I will definitely be going back again soon, especially as it is very close to my house.

Mal Car is located at 48-10 Hoenamu-ro, Yongsan-gu, Seoul.  To get there take a train to Noksapyeong Station (line 6) and come out of exit 2. Walk straight until you reach the underpass, go through and exit using the stairs on the left hand side. Follow this road around passing the church and Paris Baguette, walk up the hill towards the Hyatt. Keep going up the hill and look out for the Mal Car sign after you pass the big GS, its in a small residential alley way just after passing Baskin Robbins. Go down the alleyway and you will see Mal Car on the right hand side. For more information you can call them on 02-790-2310 or visit their facebook page. They are open from Tuesday – Sunday from 1pm – 11pm

Brooklyn Bagel Cafe

Last weekend I decided to embrace the spring weather and get my fat arse out for a workout. Much to his dismay I dragged TFB out with me too. After a bracing walk around the park and quick sop at the HBC Ogari fruit and veg lady we headed back down. For being so virtuous I thought we were both in need of reward so we stopped by Brooklyn Bagel cafe on the way home for a treat. The small store is located at the far end of the main drag of HBC almost opposite the CU. Up at the counter is a menu and a refrigerator full of different cream cheeses and 8 different flavours of bagels. The cute cafe has seating inside and out which is always a plus on a sunny day.

After much deliberation, I decided to go for one of the sandwich style bagels and settled on the Chicken Salad (4,000). The best thing about this sandwich is that they let you choose your bagel, and after looking at their selection I went for the everything bagel. The bagel was nice enough, and it came stuffed with a rather nice chicken mayo and a little bit of salad. For 4,000 it was definitely a bargain, you rarely find a sandwich that is under 5,000 these days and although it was small I think most people would be satisfied.

TFB true to form opted for the Salmon with cream cheese (6,000), probably because he knew I wouldn’t ask for a bite. He got his salmon on a jalapeno bagel which personally I thought an odd choice but each to their own. I didn’t actually try this, as you know my feelings about salmon well, especially stuff at the cheaper end of the scale. But he said it had a nice flavour, and there was plenty of salmon with a little bit of zing from the red onion. He agree that the bagel was decent for the price, though wouldn’t have noticed that it was jalapeño flavoured.

Overall I cant say its the best bagel I’ve ever had, or even the best one I have had in Seoul, so I wouldn’t go out of my way for it. However if you are in HBC and in need of a sandwich style snack on a budget or fancy picking up breakfast for you and your latest Tinder hook up then its worth swinging by especially if you are up early or on a walk of shame because it opens at 7am.

Brooklyn Bagel Cafe is located at 44 Sinheung-ro, Yongsan-gu, Seoul. To get there take a train to Noksapyeong station (line 6). Walk straight out of exit 2 for about 200 meters and take the first left and walk straight along the road with all the kimchi pots. Keep walking straight along this street past Phillies and Casablanca, you will see Brooklyn Bagel Cafe up ahead on the right hand side next to 8 Piece. For more information you can visit their facebook page. They are open every day from 7am-8pm.

Mr Holmes Bakehouse

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I first tried Mr Holmes Bakehouse, an import from California, when they opened a branch in Sinsa earlier this year. Upon opening the store became particularly popular for its Cruffin, a croissant and muffin hybrid. While it was no cronut, the cruffin certainly proved to be rather popular here in Seoul and created some rather ginormous queues. I tried several times to get my hands on one before giving up altogether and moving on to the next dessert trend.

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However all that changed recently when someone brought a delicious box of Mr Holmes Bakehouse goodies to a Thanksgiving pot luck I attended. As you can see there was a  fabulous array of decadent desserts including a box Cre8 Cookies which I am also currently rather obsessed with.The thanksgiving feast was epic in itself and for me to remember the Mr Holmes baked goods so fondly in amongst all the other treats spoke very highly of them, I particularly fell in love with the pumpkin spice cronut and ferrero rocher croissant.

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So as luck would have it, the very next day I passed though Shinsegae department store at the Express Bus Terminal which has a small pop up store in house for the next four months. All my dreams came true when I noticed they had an ample supply of cronuts (5,500). My favourite was probably the traditional. A swirly cupcake style shape of flaky buttery croissant pastry that can be peeled off layer by layer. Did I mention that is is filled with a rich and creamy custard and covered with sugar? It was orgasmic. From what I can tell online, they have a different flavour available each day plus the traditional. So check out the facebook page to see the filling of the day. This also applies to their brioche donuts which I’ve also heard are rather popular. While they aren’t the cheapest baked goods in town, they are damn tasty and would make an excellent gift for any seasonal events you may have coming up as they come in really beautiful boxes if you buy more than a couple of things. So if you’ve yet to try one, I’d certainly recommend you give them a try.

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Mr Holmes Bakery is located at 524-16 Sinsa-dong, Gangnam-gu, Seoul. To get there take a train to Apgujeong Station (line 3) and come out of exit 5. Walk straight for 6 blocks and take the next left and walk straight up Garosugil. Take the next right and walk up the street that is parallel to Garosugil, you will see Mr Holmes Bakehouse a few blocks up on the right hand side. For more information you can call them on 010-8766-7613 or visit their facebook page. They also have a small pop up store in Shinsegae Department store at the Express Bus Terminal (lines 3/7/9).

Gateaux De Voyage

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Life is a piece a of cake, and sometimes that cake is an exquisite French pastry that you get to eat for free. Or at least that was my recent experience when I was invited to Gateaux De Voyage. The French Patisserie in Nonhyeon has been open for the past six months. It’s owned and run by the handsome Julien Favario who has been making pastries for over 20 years. Early in the morning, or late at night for some of us, he wakes to create his decadent desserts. As a fairly avid baker myself, I was honestly blown away at the amount he can accomplish in a few short  hours. (more…)

Magnolia Bakery

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On almost any best eats list in NYC, one place you can always expect to see is the Magnolia Bakery. The cupcakes were made famous by Sex and the City, though the banana pudding is also well favoured and keeps queues around the block on any given day. Last year in New York I was lucky enough to visit the original location, but since then they have opened up a store in Seoul! (more…)

Gontran Cherrier

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I love bread, pastries, and desserts. And while the big Korean chain bakeries have made big strides in the 7 years that I have been there, they still can’t truly compete with what we have back home. So when I read that a new French artisan boulangerie had opened in Itaewon I made sure it went on my list of places to try. (more…)

Sugar Daddy

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Hello my lovelies I hope you will forgive me for my long leave of absence, I was enjoying myself in England far too much to have any time to write. But to make up for my neglect I thought I’d bring you this extra sweet treat in the form of my favourite Itaewon bakery. Despite the popularity of cupcakes there really aren’t all that many places in the hood to get them, and I was heart broken when my old favourite cupcake store “Life is Just a Cup of Cake” closed down last year. Luckily I had Sugar Daddy to pick up the slack and fill the void of baked goods left in my life. (more…)

Brötchen 1552

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A good bakery is hard to find in this city. Things have certainly improved since I first arrived on these shores almost seven years ago, but there is still far too much faux cream and red bean for my liking.  Living here so long, I’ve come to appreciate Korean baked goods for what they are but I still miss the goodies we are so used to finding in the European bakeries back home. So when I was invited to Brötchen 1552 in Seocho, it was nothing short of a miracle. (more…)

Éclair

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Éclair is the latest dessert cafe to hit the Itaewon area. As the name suggests, it unsurprisingly specializes in French éclairs. Eclairs are one of my absolute favourite desserts of all time. Choux pastry filled with flavoured creams and topped with fondant or ganache, what could be more yummy?

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At Éclair they have a large range of different flavours which will make your mouth water the moment you look at them. I have been a lover of éclairs for as long as I can remember so was very keen to try as many as possible. I would have got one of every flavour had my budget allowed, but 3 seemed to suffice. But I will definitely be back to try the rose, chocolate, and caramel next time!

 

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We got the double vanilla, cafe, and a cherry macaroon éclair.  The macaroon eclair was delightful, filled with pistachio crème and sour cherry jam. A crispy outside with a slightly chewy center, the flavour of cherry came through well and really complimented the pistachio creme inside. The vanilla eclair was filled with vanilla cream and topped with vanilla icing. You really can’t go wrong with vanilla. The cafe coffee flavoured eclair was also nice, although I wish the filling had had a touch more flavour as it was rather on the mild side. My only complaint were the little stickers which had been put on them. There really was no point to them at all, and really should be made of edible paper if they want to use them advertise the bakery (no one want’s paper on their food).

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As well as éclairs, they have a range of macaroons and chocolate drinks.We were lucky enough to sample the chocolate and it was exceptional. So rich, thick and decadent, it took me right back to Paris, where they serve it so thick, you need a spoon of whipped cream to water it down. They also have a tropical chocolate flavour which combines passion fruit and chocolate in the most delightful way. Well worth a try if you are eating in.

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Éclair is located at 247-9 Itaewon dong, Yongsan-gu, Seoul. It’s open from 12 to 8, however they close when they run out of delicious treats so I advise you to get there early to avoid disappointment. To get there take a train to Noksapyeong station (line 6) and come out of exit 2. Walk straight until you come to the stairs and an underpass. Go through the tunnel and take the stairs on the left. Keep walking straight and follow the road around until you get to Well Being Mart. You should see that the road forks, cross over and take the left side. Keep walking straight, past Beer O’ Clock Pizza, and past the Ace Mart, then take the road that turns right directly after Ace Mart. There are lots of cool bars and restaurants along this street. Keep following the road until you reach Éclair. It’s on the right hand side opposite the CU. For more information call 02-337-8090 or check out their website.

Tartine

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Last week we were having a browse around Itaewon and passed by Tartine. Tartine is an Artisan style bakery specializing in pies. However they also have various cakes and breads for sale too, as well as a restaurant opposite serving food.

It had been a while since I was last there so I thought I would treat myself to a few of their cakes. It was very busy inside so we just got them to take away. I have had their chocolate cream pie once before, but although I enjoyed the filling, I didn’t think much of the pastry. Especially since it cost about 7,000 for one.

This time I opted for the lemon bar 4,800. I have been rather obsessed with lemon flavoured delights lately and was looking forward to this. It tasted like sherbet lemon candy, which is good but left a very artificial after-taste in my mouth. The pastry wasn’t all that great either. It was okay but a little disappointing.

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I also bought a pecan brownie 3,800. It was fine but  nothing special, a little dry actually. I think mine is  much better. I would rather buy one of the dollar ones from Paris Baguette than shell out for one of these again.

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The last dessert I purchased was the Cheesecake 7,000. It looked the part and the texture was great but sadly it was really lacking in flavour.  The topping was very bland. Indigo’s is much better and almost half the price.

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Overall I don’t think I will be a regular at Tartine. It’s way too pricey for desserts that are not really all that great. However if you are in the mood for pie they have a large variety (including rhubarb!). They also have a loyalty stamp card where you get something for free after every 5 pies that you buy.

Tartine is located in Itaewon at 119-15 Itaewon, Yongsan -Gu, Seoul. Take a train to Itaewon station (line 6) then come out of exit 1 and walk straight. It is in one of the alleys up to your right (the second or third one I think). You can call them on 02-3785-3400 or check out their website for more details.

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