Tag: Sinsa

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.

Normal by Ryunique

Last week I was invited back to Normal in Sinsa to try their new quick and simple menu by Ryunique. If you read this blog religiously you will know that I enjoyed a sumptuous 16 course meal at Ryunique earlier this year, then another fabulous but slightly less grand meal at new sister restaurant Normal. The team behind the two restaurants are now offering patrons the chance to experience the magic of the food you’d enjoy at Ryunique at Normal, for those who have neither the time or money for the 16 or 22 course extravaganza at the original location. (more…)

Sponsored Post – Golden Cheese Tarts

‘Tis the season of giving and eating too much, so today’s dessert giveaway is the perfect culmination of Christmas spirit. If you like to keep your finger on the pulse of Korea’s dessert trends you may have noticed that one of most popular desserts right now is the humble cheese tart. While it bears a remarkable resemblance to the Portuguese egg tart, its taste is deliciously different. Golden Cheese Tart is the original Korean brand and its popularity has since spawned several copycat varieties, even Paris Baguette has got in on the action. (more…)

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).

Cafe Able

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It has been rather a long time since I posted a new brunch place, in fact I cant even remember the last time I shared one. Although that doesn’t mean I haven’t been out there looking, I just haven’t found one worth sharing until now. The search for new brunch spots is never ending, but if you want to reap the rewards you have to put in the work. This place was recommended to me by my friend John Kim so I have to say a big thanks to him because it is an excellent find.

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Cafe Able is located just off the end of Garosu-gil in a renovated two story house The whole concept of the place is farm to table freshness and the serve organic fruit and veggies some of which are grown on their own farm. The restaurant itself is huge and very light with a real country chic warmth throughout. I adored all the jars and baskets of jams and candles that they had used to decorate the place. They also had the nicest smelling toilet I’ve ever been in, kind of like a vanilla latte.

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The Cafe Able menu is mostly made of sandwiches and salads but also has half a dozen brunch items. One of them being Eggs Florentine (15,000) which is my favourite brunch dish of all time. This one was served in frying pan which was utterly adorable. My two poached eggs were sat atop a thick and creamy sauce which was strewn with potatoes, spinach, sun dried tomatoes, asparagus, and bacon. It also came with two pieces of toasted whole grain bread. I adored this dish, it was just so warm and comforting. I lapped up every bite but didn’t feel in the slightest bit heavy afterwards, it was the ideal brunch dish.

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My dining companion opted for the Eggs Benedict (14,000). He chose the ham version which I think he regretted once he saw it and wishes he had gone for the salmon instead. The ham was kind of a round slab, and not really what he was hoping for. The hollandaise was also rather thin and there wasn’t much of it, though I’m sure you could ask for more. The poached eggs themselves were perfect and came on a quinoa bread which I have never tried before. It was slightly sweet and has a very soft texture. The fried potatoes on the side were also very tasty and a small salad. Not the best Benedict as the ham and hollandaise let it down. The salmon version might be worth a try though.

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Booze wise there are no cocktails (boo) but they do have an ample selection of wine and beer (yay). The star of their drinks menu are their huge selection of homemade juices and teas, which seemed to be very popular judging by the other tables. The juices are not cheap at 9,000 each but they are made with organic fruits which somewhat justifies the price tag. We decided to splurge and get one each. My dining companion got the Red Field (apple and beet) while I got the Green Refresh (grape, kale, and cucumber). Both were delicious, and made a nice treat. I make juices a lot at home so it’s unusual for me to buy one, but I was staying off the booze and figured I needed a reward. If you want to drink, bottles of wine start at 23,000. They had a couple of sparkling options so I’m sure they could make you a fantastic freshly squeezed orange juice if you cant live without that mimosa.

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Overall I really enjoyed Cafe Able and I thought my dish was perfect. Seeing what others ordered around us the french toast and the English breakfast looked great too. If they had a cocktail menu I’d be here very week. The space itself is really cool and a wonderful ambience. Sinsa is also a great area for wandering around and walking off your lunch after, so if you are looking for somewhere to refuel after a spot of shopping then this is it.

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Cafe Able is located at 12 Apgujeong-ro,14gil, Gangnam-gu, Seoul. To get there take a train to Apgujeong station and come out of exit 5. Walk straight for several blocks and take the fifth road on the left (the one before Garosugil). Walk straight down this road for just over one block, you will see Cafe Able on the right hand side on the second floor. For more information you can call them on 02-3445-7335.

Made – Brunch

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Unless you live under a rock you have more than likely heard about the new Pokemon game, where you go on your own quest to catch as many of the little critters as possible. Well my life is also like that, though instead of looking for pretend animated characters, I’m looking for brunch spots. For some reason brunch seems to need to fill far more criteria than a simple lunch ever would. For starters they have to have a western style menu filled with egg and carb heavy options, secondly, strong and reviving cocktails, and thirdly, outside seating. It is rare to come across in place in Seoul that manages to satisfy all three,  but thankfully Made just about does. Whenever I am in Sinsa, it is the only place I like to go to. Its location in between Apgujeong and Garosugil makes it the perfect place to stop and take a rest and watch the world go by. The large open doors give you the feeling of being outside while still being very close to the air conditioning. The best part is that they serve brunch all day everyday, with an extra special bunch menu on weekends. (more…)

Conversation

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Monsoon days are usually pretty damn crummy and depressing, however every cloud has a silver lining and I have just the post to turn that frown upside down. Cake! Lots and and lots of beautiful cakes! Conversation is the hottest little cake shop in town. It has only been open for just over two weeks but has already garnered quite the following as you can see from the picture below. At the moment there are no queues, but I can’t see that lasting too long once the Korean bloggers find out about it, so i suggest you pay a visit sooner rather than later. (more…)

Rose Ice Cream

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Two things that Korea seems to absolutely adore are faddy trends and ice cream. And last summer they were combined to make the rose ice cream, a cone of your favourite flavours shaped to resemble flower petals. If my finger was more on the pulse or one had opened in my neighbourhood then I probably would have written about this last summer, but it’s not and it didn’t, so I only just got around to trying it. Compared to the honey chip or the macaroon ice cream sandwich fad it can’t even compare in terms of queue longevity, and it is more gimmick than taste but if you pick your ice cream parlour wisely you should leave with a delicious treat and have a great photo for your instagram account. (more…)

Normal

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A few months ago I was lucky enough to be invited to enjoy an incredible 16 course tasting menu at Ryunique. And, since my visit, Chef Ryu has been very busy opening up a new bistro called Normal. The food is, unsurprisingly, a simpler version of the theatrically styled gastronomy he does at Ryunique. While the menu would lead you to believe that the food is standard bistro fare, I knew from my previous dinner that it would be anything but simple. There seems to be a bit of an influx of new bistros opening in the last month, and the few that I have been to haven’t really impressed me all that much, despite receiving high praise from other reviewers. So I was very interested to find out how Normal would compare. (more…)

Ryunique

Occasionally my life is very charmed, and last week was one of those occasions as I was invited to try the tasting menu at Ryunique in Sinsa. The name rang a bell as it was where the In-N-Out Burger pop up had been located but I had no idea about the restaurant itself. A quick search revealed that it had been voted one of Asia’s 50 best restaurants in 2015, in fact it was voted 27th. So after a quick peruse of the menu, I said they could count me in, and as an extra special treat they let me drag TFB along with me.

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