Tag: Cafe

Bistopping

It is hot as hell right now, and nothing cools you down like a beautiful and very Instagrammable ice cream. I came across the Sinsa ice-creamery online and thought it was such an adorable spot, that I couldn’t resist paying them a visit. I also brought a whole host of friends with me to try it too. The ice cream shop is located in between Sinsa and Nonhyeon. The shop itself is quite small and was packed to the rafters with hungry girls waiting for their frozen treats. Luckily they have a small seating area outside, and an air conditioned restaurant next door for you to wait in while they make them. We visited on a busy afternoon and we probably had to wait 20 minutes for them to be made after ordering.

The ice creams come in three different flavours Milk (3,500), Yogurt (4,000) and Chocolate (5,000), you can then pimp it up with one of the fabulous decorated cones for an extra 1,500 won. There was a huge display area with 20 different numbered designs for you to choose from.  You then choose your cookie and chocolate add ons, which are what make the dessert look so magical. The simple chocolate stars and hearts are 700 won, while some of the prettier cookie embellishments are between 1,500 -2,500 won. If you want to get a super crazy cone it will be closer to 10,000 though I managed to make my cactus cone for 7,800.

The ice cream itself was quite nice and reminiscent of the one you get from Sweetruck. It has that slightly sour, almost cheesy like taste. Kind of like milk gone bad, but it in a good way. Our group was rather boring and we all got milk, except one of us who got chocolate so I didn’t have chance to try the other flavours. I did get to try some of the other embellishments though. A definite thumbs up for the fruity pebbles, never had these before and thought they were tres delicious. I cant believe it is a breakfast cereal though, it would be like eating a bowl of sweets for you morning meal.

Overall I thought Bistopping to be just as adorable as it looked on Instagram. If you are looking for really good ice cream then this is not the place for you, but if you want a really fun dessert that will look great in pictures it is worth a visit.

Bistopping is located at 68 Sinbanpo-ro 47-gil, Jamwon-dong, Seocho-gu, Seoul. To get there take a train to Sinsa Station (line 3) and come out of exit 4. walk straight and take the third right. Walk straight again and take the third left, the road kind of curves round. follow this road and you will see Bistopping just ahead on the left hand side. for more information you can call them on 070-7792-0409 or checkout their Instagram page. Bistopping is open from 11am -10pm everyday.

C27

I’m not sure if you will believe this, but this year I didn’t have a birthday cake. A tragic tale I know, but it ends very well because my very wonderful friend Lizzy offered to cheer me up and take me the land of cake, a magical place in Sinsa that offers 27 different kinds of cheesecake! There is nothing like a dazzling array of wondrous desserts to put a smile upon your face, and forget your troubles.

The dessert cafe is set over four floors, a true tower of cake filled goodness. The main cafe is on the first, making it easy for you to order your drinks and desserts, then you go and find yourself a seat and wait for your order. While every floor of the cafe is different, being two rather lazy ladies, we settled for the ultra comfy sofa nook in the back of the first floor. However there are dozens of cute selfie spaces  strewn throughout, just check out this mannequin and beauty mirror combo, obligatory selfie taking girls included.

Life is full of hard decisions, and none so hard as choosing which of the 27 different cheesecake we were to try. Since my companion was the president of the cake club and much more experienced than I when it comes to desserts, I left the decision up to her. It was for the best as I was getting carried away, if I had had my way i would have tried them all. A dream that one day I hope to fulfil. On the drinks side they offer the usual assortment of coffees and a teas, plus a couple of yogurty type smoothie things and wine. Nothing that overshadows the cakes though.

In the end we narrowed it down to three. The Earl Grey, the Dutch Apple and the Chocolate Cherry Cheese all 8,800 per slice. All the cheesecakes are the same price which I think is a nice touch, and allows you to make a choice based on flavour rather than price. While all the cheesecakes were orgasmicly good, I’d have to give the Earl Grey my star prize. I never would have chosen this one but it was rather magical. The cheesecake itself was sweet and creamy and incredibly delicious. It was topped with a very light fluffy creamy topping, and had a tea flavoured sponge at the bottom. The Earl Grey flavour wasn’t particularly strong, but there was enough to give you a hint of flavour as the cheesecake melted in the mouth. Each of the plates comes decorated with a trio of grated cheeses, not sure if it really works but it is a playful idea, and I’m always willing to eat a bit of cheese.

Our second choice was the Dutch Apple (8,800). This one was topped with a very crunchy and sweet and crumbly biscuit topping, this made for a nice contrast of textures against the silkiness of the cheesecake itself. We also loved the chunks of fruit strewn throughout giving a fruity pop now and then. This one didn’t have a sponge bottom like the others, it had more of a pastry bottom instead of the sponge, which made it a little more like an apple pie.

Lastly we ordered The Chocolate Cherry Cheese (8,800), which was probably the most decadent of the three we tried. This one had a chocolate sponge bottom, and was topped with a chocolate cheesecake which was studded with little bits of cherry, then a layer of fresh cream, and finished with a thick layer of chocolate ganache.  This one was he sweetest of the bunch and very chocolatey, the chunks of cherry were nice when we found them but I would have liked a lot more. If you are a chocolate lover then this one is likely to be a winner, though there were at least half a dozen other chocolate versions too.

Overall you couldn’t find a better place for cheesecake. The array of flavours was incredible and the cheesecake was excellent.  The cheesecakes are baked but have a similar silkier smoothness to the non baked ones that are more popular in the UK, so I especially enjoyed them. The cafe itself is quite stylish and has plenty of room and is a nice place to while away an afternoon while enjoying some good desserts.This is the main branch of  C27 but there are several other locations, including a new one opening soon in Hongdae.

C27 is located at 545-12 Sinsa-Dong, Gangnam-Gu, Seoul. To get there take a train to Sinsa station (line 3) and come out exit 8. Walk straight and take the fourth left (the one after Garosugil). Walk straight down this road, you will see C27 about four blocks down on the left hand side. For more information you can call them on 02-544-9901 or check out their website.

Plant Cafe & Kitchen

As it is summer and we’re all showing an ungodly amount of flesh at the moment, I thought it might behove me to share somewhere that is a little bit more on the healthy side. So today, I will talk about the amazingness that is Plant, the vegan cafe and kitchen. Plant has been a stalwart of the vegan and vegetarian community for years, however their home was a tiny little place in a back alley location that you would never come across unless you were looking for it. Just recently they have moved to much bigger premises, which can fit a lot more hungry vegans. The old location is still there, and is now being used a Plant bakery.

The new plant restaurant is located in the old Left Coast location on the furniture street in Itaewon. They have really transformed the space and made it feel very homely with their plants and cute cushions while at the same time making it feel light airy and slightly tropical. I was getting a real Bali kind of vibe going on. The menu like the new location has grown too, and has some great new additions to it.

We started off with a drink each. I went for the Mango Coconut Smoothie (7,500), this was divine and a taste of tropical bliss, though I found the addition of coconut milk made it a touch on the pricey side. My fellow pals got a Kombucha (6,500), and the Power Green Smoothie (7,000)  which is made with soy milk. I know that many people struggle in Seoul to find coffees and drinks that are made with dairy free milk, and at Plant they have options with both soy milk and almond milk, which should be music to lactose intolerant ears.

My favourite dish of the day was the fabulous BBQ Jackfruit Tacos (12,000). These are the vegan version of pulled pork and while I have had them before elsewhere, these ones were by far the best I have ever had. The shreds of Jackfruit were charred on the outside and tossed in a tangy BBQ sauce. With the cabbage slaw and salsa and chips on the side they were very filling. I’m pretty sure that if no one mentioned it to you, you would have no idea they are meat free. Unfortunately they are only available on Tuesdays, so you will have to plan your visit accordingly if you want to try them.

For my lunch I ordered the Sesame Peanut Soba Bowl (11,000). This was a wooden bowl filled with soba noodles, sesame-peanut satay sauce, fried tofu cubes, cherry tomatoes, cucumber, green salad, and pickled slices of carrot and radish. The peanut sauce was very morish and I found the tofu was a nice change from chicken while the noodles were very filling. A good hearty lunch for sure.

Lastly we got the Plant Cheeseburger (12,500). There are three kinds of burger on the menu, but this one is my friends favourite. This one comes with the Plant veggie patty, vegan cheddar cheese, lettuce, tomato, sprouts, pickled cabbage, sriracha aioli, and yellow mustard. I tried a bite and have to agree it was really lovely, the bun in particular was very good. This one might be even better than the vegan burgers they serve at Huggers. It also comes with a nice helping of fries on the side, because lets face it, who wants a burger without fries?

Overall we had a very enjoyable lunch. The tacos in particular were really something special, so I’ll certainly  be visiting again on a Tuesday. The new space has a great vibe and is very relaxing, and I’m sure absolute haven for the vegans of Seoul. Though we didn’t partake this time they also have some incredible vegan cakes and their previous location is now a full time vegan bakery.

Plant Cafe & Kitchen is located at 117 Bogwang-ro, Yongsan-gu, Seoul. To get there take a train to Itaewon Station (Line 6) and walk out of exit 4, turn back on yourself and take the road on your left (the street where Taco Bell is) and walk straight. Keep walking on the same side you’re on for about 150 meters, Plant is on the right on the second floor. For more information you can call them on 02-749-1981 or check out their facebook page. They are open Mon – Thurs 11am – 9pm, Fri + Sat 11am-10pm, and closed every Sunday.

Scoff Bakehouse

I’m almost ashamed to admit this, but for the past three years I have known about the existence of a British bakery, and have never been to visit it. Its located up in the depths of Jogno and not easily located by subway which always kinda put me off, I am a very lazy girl after all. However just recently they opened up a second branch which is still in Jongno, but a more reasonable walk from Gyeongbukgung station. It  is located in the most adorable area by Tongin-dong that is really worth a visit by itself. After hearing about the new location I knew I needed to go give it a try, but it wasn’t until some friends of ours brought some of the fantastic Scoff goodies to a BBQ that I hosted that I was compelled to go at the next opportunity.

Scoff is located in the most gorgeous cute and quaint neighbourhood, I have written about it before as it is home to my favourite croquette place Nalari, and Ellay’s Icecream (which is sadly no longer there as its moved to a different hood). The Bakehouse is set over several floors, with the main bakery on the ground, and then cafe seating up above, the most heavenly aroma wafted down the street as we approached and my mouth was watering before I could even feast my eyes upon the array of baked delights.

The bakehouse itself is very modern with a rustic twist. The whole place is filled with reminders of my very British childhood, from the old wooden art desk draws, to the old teapots and china chickens for keeping eggs in. The owner Jonathan told me that every time his parents come to visit they bring his another car-boot sale treasure to cement him to his heritage, and decorate the cafe. I was very charmed by it all.

The first thing that has to be talked about are the Sausage Rolls (6,000) which are so orgasmic we bought another two straight after devouring the first one. This really is the gold standard of sausage rolls as far as I’m concerned, I’m not even sure if I have had a better one back home. We make them ourselves quite often, but they cannot even compete with these bad boys. The sausage itself is short and stout, kind of chode like in appearance, but wrapped around the well but simply seasoned pork is a duvet of thick and and golden pastry. The layers in it are awesome, some of which cling on to the meat with all their might. I’ve always though good pastry has layers you can peel off and enjoy just by themselves. This was very filling, one was plenty to fill me up, so get one to take home for later, you wont regret it.

Now we have talked about the amazingness that is the sausage roll, we can talk about the cakes. The brownies are very popular and after sampling several I can see why, we loved the simplicity of the Scoff Brownie (4,000), but to me the stand out was the Raspberry and Cream Cheese Brownie (5,500). I am not one for foreign objects in my brownie unless it’s more chocolate, or an occasional nut, but the tart combination of the raspberries and the creamy swirl, was heavenly. The gooey fudgey texture of the brownie itself was enhanced by the pop and sweet tingle of fruit, and I almost found myself longing for them.

The Raspberry and Almond Tart (4,500), also must be mentioned, as it is kind of like an unofficial Bakewell Tart. The pastry bottom was perfectly crisp, the spongy middle was soft,moist and punctuated by more of those fabulous raspberries. My own mother made this regularly during my childhood, but I was never all that partial to it until now. Another popular item for Brits I’m sure are the Hot Cross Buns (3,000). The sticky glazed buns were perfectly spiced and sumptuously soft. It might not be Easter but I just couldn’t say no.

Being a cafe, they have an array of drinks for you to enjoy while having your cake and eating it too. I stuck with my usual Ice Vanilla Latte (5,000), while TFB went for their Scoff Lemonade (5,500). This was exceptionally good, nice and sour with a tickle of sweetness at the end. They also have a few fruity variations of it which also sounded delicious. I found the drink prices to be very reasonable and cheaper than most chain stores, especially considering they have a captive audience and could charge a lot more.

Overall I was thrilled with Scoff and am kicking myself for not going sooner. They have an amazing array of baked goodies that can be enjoyed by both Brits and non Brits alike. For those who are looking for delights that cant be found anywhere else in Seoul like sausage rolls, hot cross buns, Chelsea buns, carrot cake, lemon drizzle, scones, and the best brownies ever you need to plan a trip to Nuha-dong immediately if not sooner, this place is not to be missed.

Scoff is located at 90-2 Cheongunhyoja-dong, Jongno-gu, Seoul. To get there take a train to Gyeongbokgung Station (line 3). Come out of exit 2 and walk straight for 3-4 blocks until you reach Tongin Market, Its an adorable place filled with lots of traditional foods and is worth visiting by itself. Walk through then then exit the other side, keep walking straight down the road almost opposite and then take the first left, you will see Scoff just up ahead. For more information you can call them on 070-7761-1739 or check out their Instagram page. Scoff Bakehouse is open Tue-Sunday from 10am-7:30pm but I’d advise you to go earlier in the day to avoid disappointment. 

Thanks Nature Cafe – Sheep Cafe

Seoul has some really amazing and quirky things going on, and none quite so vividly different as the Thanks Nature Sheep Cafe. The coffee shop capital of the world, started off with the pedestrian cat and dog cafes but soon moved on to include other farm yard themed caffeine dispensaries. Being a Somerset girl I’m accustomed to spending time with barn yard animals, I was in the Young Farmers after all. Despite its farm yard theme, the Thanks Nature Cafe is actually located right in the middle of Hongdae, which is as far away from a sheep’s natural habitat as you can get. The cafe is really big, with a huge outside space, and tonnes of room inside. The pair of sheep Sam & Anna were absolutely adorable, roaming around in their lovely large pen. so if you aren’t quite so interested in the sheep, you can head inside.

The cafe offers all the drinks you would imagine (coffee, tea, juice, ade, frozen concoctions), plus waffles and bingsu. Despite the cafes unique selling point of having their own livestock, the prices on the menu are actually very reasonable and pretty similar to most of the other evil chain cafes in the area. As I visited late in the afternoon, I wasn’t really in the mood for a coffee so decided to get a Chocolate Frapuccino (6,000). This was really big and very refreshing, it was clearly made with a powdery mix, but the frappuccino was very thick and topped with the yummiest marshmallow creme and chocolate syrup.

It being a ridiculously hot and sunny day I also decided to cool down the Korean way with a Pyrex jug of bingsu. There really aren’t enough desserts in the world that are served in Pyrex jugs as far as I’m concerned. There are 7 different kinds of bingsu on the menu and I settled on the Cookies & Cream version (7,000). The bingsu comes in two sizes and I went for the medium one, the large was (9,000) but I found mine to be more than enough to satisfy my mammoth appetite. I adored how the bingsu almost looked like a sheep face, and this was actually one of the best ones I have had in a long time. Sweet enough without being too much so, it was very refreshing and I liked the texture from the crushed oreos. The waffles all looked pretty great too, if I go again I will certainly try one next time.

Once you have ordered your drinks or desserts (though no minimum spend is required) you can then go and play with the sheep until your heart is content. The cafe was quite quiet when I was there so I really didn’t have to wait long for my turn to take pictures or play. They were a little shy at first but soon perked up once I neared the food bucket, the staff will give you a small handful of feed so you can feed them yourself and once you have done that it is much easier to get picture. Be forewarned getting a sheep selfie is not so easy, but it was a lovely way to spend the afternoon. If you are in Hongdae and grabbing a coffee anyway why not go see some sheep.

Thanks Nature Cafe is located at 486 Seogyo-dong, Mapo-gu, Seoul. To get there take a train to Hongdae Station (line 2) and come out of exit 9. Walk straight then take a left at the main road. Keep walking straight towards the university, you will see the stairs to get to Thanks Nature Cafe, at the end of the arcade of shops. For more information you can call them on 02-335-7470, or check out their facebook page.

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.

Root

I like to consider myself a healthy eater, (seriously lol). I believe in the ying-yang approach, super healthy followed by super unhealthy to create balance in an otherwise unstable world. Now while I spend most of my time looking for Seoul’s more fattening fair, and reserve the healthy stuff for home I do enjoy a nutritious and delicious meal out and about once in a while. For the past few months I have read dozens of good reviews for Root in Hannam-dong, so after putting on some serious weight due to sheer laziness on my part, I figured it was about time I got back on the wagon and gave salads another try.

The cafe is located at the Hannam end of Itaewon, an area I often fail to visit, but hosts a whole load of cute and quirky places. The restaurant is located just off the main drag on the second floor.  The place is very white, light and airy, and makes you feel virtuous just walking into it. It also has a mix of indoor and outdoor seating which is a real rarity in this city. I’m sure come summer this place will be a packed to the rafters with sun worshippers try to get their beach bodies in shape.

The menu is located up at the counter where you will need to order your food, and has a mix of salads, sandwiches and Korean inspired dishes. After much humming and hawing I decided to order the Avocado Toast (8,500), since both of my dining companions had ordered salads. I really liked this dish a lot, I mean avocado and poached eggs is always a winner, and it came served on a lovely thick slice of toast. The bacon added a nice saltiness, and the cherry tomatoes a little acidic zing. My only complaint is that I wish the portion was double the size, but if you are a light eater this is ideal. Slap a mimosa on the side and you’ve got brunch, although as Root doesn’t serve alcohol you will have to bring your own!

As well as my Avocado toast I thought I would treat myself to a smoothie. They have two on the menu and I went for Orange, Banana, and Greek Yogurt (6,500). This was really disappointing, first the way it was served was just quite sad. They make an extra effort to put their water in biodegradable cups then serve their rather expensive smoothies in cheap plastic cups. The whole thing was utterly tasteless too, I was so uninspired I could barely bring myself to take a photo of it. Be sure to give it a miss.

One of my dining companions went for the Green Bowl (12,500). A mix of chicken, kale, romaine, avocado, cherry tomato, Parmesan cheese, Parmesan chips, and Caesar dressing. Honestly this was alright, but nothing to write home about, it was a nice enough salad, with a good ratio of ingredients but it didn’t really have me longing for more. The dressing was a bit wishy-washy too, I like my Ceasar dressing to really sing to my taste buds.

My other gal pal about town ordered the Red Bowl (13,000) which consists of chicken, brown rice, romaine, avocado, corn, black bean, salsa, sour cream, mozzarella and cilantro chipotle dressing. This was definitely my favorite of the two. A little bit more flavour from the dressing but again not a salad I would go out of my way for. She also ordered a bowl of soup on the side, which looked good, and she seemed to enjoy.

Overall I’m not really sure if Root lived up to its hype. I’m certainly happy to see more of this style of restaurant opening in our neighbourhood, though I don’t think the salads here were as good as the ones at nearby What A Salad.  I did however enjoy my dish, and I’d be happy to give a few of their sandwiches a try. I’d certainly be open to eating here again if i was making an extra effort to be healthy.

Root is located at 2F 741-19, Hannam-dong, Yongsan-gu, Seoul. To get there take a train to Hangangjin Station (line 6) and come out of exit 1. Walk straight along this road, then take the second right. Walk straight along this road and you will see Root on the second floor in the right hand corner above Bistro Al Li. For more information you can call them on 02-797-9505. They are open everyday except Tuesday from 11:30-9pm with a break between 3:30 and 5pm on weekdays.

Cafe L’Assemblage

I love a good natter over a cake and a coffee. It’s one of life’s greatest joys. Luckily for us gossip girls, Seoul is filled to the brim with lovely coffee shops, and you are never more than a stones throw away from the nearest one. Before Christmas I was lucky enough to be invited to Cafe L’Assemblage for a meeting. I had walked past this Garosugil cafe dozens of times in the past and looked longingly at the beautiful pastries in the window, but always feared it was far too fancy for the likes of me so never ventured inside. If I had ever had the balls to walk in, I would have noted that the inside is just as fancy as the outside. The whole cafe exudes an opulence that is ten a penny in Europe but not so much in the ultra modern and sleek cafes in Korea.The cafe has been part of the local landscape since the 90s, but has changed hands several times over the last few years. It now belongs to the original owner’s daughter, which I thought to be an utterly enchanting story.

Since I was meeting with the owner on a separate project we decided to make the most of her generosity and try as many of their cakes as we could fit in our bellies. One of which was their signature Golden Cheese Tarts. My god are these babies addictively good. You may remember that towards the end of last year I had a give away of the golden cheese tarts, and this was where I was first lucky enough to try them. They are a touch pricier at (3,000) each rather than 2,800 for the take out stores, but I think you’ll agree it is certainly worth the 200 won extra to sit and enjoy your tart in such a beautiful cafe. If you have yet to try one yet, the cheese tart is made up of a very crumbly and biscuity pastry which melts in the mouth and has a very similar texture to a graham cracker crust you usually find on a cheesecake. The filling is rich and creamy thanks to the French soft cheese and has just a slightly sour note at the end. If you are a baked cheesecake fan then you need to try this delightful mini tart version asap because they are absolutely scrumptious.

As well as the exceptionally yummy golden cheese tarts, we also tried The Earl Gray Crepe Cake (7,000). I do love a good crepe cake, even more so when I haven’t had to spend hours over a hot stove making one myself. This English tea version was absolutely lighter than air with a delicious flavour of Earl Gray swirled in at the end. I always thought that crepe cakes would be too filling with their many layers but I’m always amazed by how many pieces I can eat. You can’t really tell from the picture, but this crepe cake was topped with a sweet and flavourful layer of earl grey frosting which really intensified the cakes overall flavour.

Lastly we tried the Orange and and White Chocolate Tart (8,500). Orange and chocolate is always a classic combination, just think about a Jaffa Cake or a Terry’s Chocolate Orange. But white chocolate and orange are a match made in heaven that often gets overlooked in favour of milk or dark. The tart itself was exquisite, in the way that only French pastries can be. The pastry was crisp and biscuity. While the orange topping was juicy and sweet with just a hint of citrus sour. It paired well with the rich and creamy filling underneath. I loved this tart so much and could eat a slice every day for the rest of my life, it was sinfully good.

Overall I found Cafe L’Assemblage to be the most delightful of spaces. It is the perfect spot to to fritter away an afternoon gossiping with your friends. The cakes and pastries were exceedingly good, and very well priced for the area. Unlike many dessert cafes in the city, they tasted as good as they looked, and I wouldn’t hesitate to pop in for another dessert next time I am in Sinsa.

Cafe L’Assemblage is located at 118 Apgujeong-ro, Gangnam-gu, Seoul. To get there take a train to Apgujeong Station (line 3) and come out of exit 5. Walk straight along this road. its located on the corner just after you pass Garosugil. For more information you can call them on 02-3477-2046.

Cre8 Cookies

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I’ve been known to enjoy a cookie or two from time to time, although I wouldn’t say I eat them that often. When it comes to sweet treats cookies are generally at the back of the line, I’d choose a brownie or slice of red velvet any day of the week. But after seeing the numerous photos of the Cre8 Cookies from friends and other bloggers, I couldn’t resist going to see what all the fuss was about.

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Cre8 cookies is located in one of the tiny alleyways off the main street in Gyeongridan, and is dangerously close to my home. When I was walking to get there I could smell the place a good few minutes before I saw it, it was heavenly. The shop itself is cute, pink, and totally adorable. I was lucky enough to arrive just as the cookies were being brought out of the oven, it was incredibly good timing on my part.

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There are currently nine different cookies on the menu, although seasonal specials seem to be added all the time. For those who want to sit in, there is also an array of hot drinks available. The cookies on the menu vary from 1,900 – 2,500 each. I oped for the Peanut Butter (1,900), Double Chocolate Chip (2,000), and a Red Velvet (3,000), which was a special for Halloween. The server also very kindly gave me an MnM cookie on the house because they didn’t have any of the stuffed cookies ready.

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All of the cookies were especially delicious, the peanut butter which was still warm from the oven just melted in mouth, while the double chocolate had a rich cocoa flavour which is sure to please all chocolate lovers. However my favourite of the bunch had to be the red velvet, oh my god was this good. I nearly killed TFB after I found he had eaten a rather large portion of it whilst I wasn’t looking. The cookie itself was studded with white chocolate cream cheese swirls that just danced upon the taste buds. It was so, so, good. I wish I had bought a dozen of them.

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Honestly I cant wait to go back and try more of these fantastic cookies especially the stuffed ones, I have certainly been converted into being a cookie lover, and I am thrilled it’s so close to my house. This is the perfect way to add on a few extra pounds to keep me warm this winter. One tip if you are coming from afar and want to avoid disappointment, you can pre-order your cookies via their facebook page. Some of the large stuffed cookies like the Nutella and coffee marshmallow ones need a little extra time to be made so have to be ordered in advance.

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Cre8 Cookies is located at 36 Hoenamuro, 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 and you will see Cre8 Cookies in an alleyway on your right. For more information you can call them on 02-792-8890 or check out their facebook page. They are open everyday from 11am -9pm.