Just Desserts

I’ve started a new Korean language course with Global Village in Itaewon. For now, its via zoom, twice a week, for 75 minutes or so, with many students and, along with the revision each week, it’s a manageable amount of time to spend learning Korean. Last week we studied how to construct the future tense -을/ㄹ거에요 and phrases to describe what we can do/possible to do – 을/ㄹ 수 있어요 and can’t do/not possible to do 을/ㄹ 수 없어요.

Of course, the pandemic has made the future even more uncertain, planning difficult and has limited what we can do. A lot of the time it turns what we can do into what we can’t do.

Nonetheless, to my delight, cafes are now allowed to seat patrons where before, for what seemed like eternity but was actually only a month or so, they could offer takeaway only. In Seoul, visiting a cafe means an array of sweet treats. I have found that it is usual to eat your meal elsewhere first and then go to a cafe for dessert. I embraced this little ritual fully for I love sweets (my instagram is s_u.g.a.r) and whilst I do a lot of baking to satisfy my sweet tooth, I like nothing better than to visit a cafe, choose something delicious and enjoy it with a cappuccino.

Cafes in Seoul are plentiful, gorgeously designed, and the young and trendy frequent them. I’m neither young or trendy but I don’t care and I adore cafe culture so I try to get a fix at least twice a week. In fact over the weekend, with my husband Jeff, I visited two cafes on two consecutive days, earning the cakes by walking several kilometres first. Both cafes were in my neighbourhood. Here’s a sample of what we ordered…

We visited my absolutely fave local cafe, Glass Onion at the back of Itaewon, it’s run by a couple who lived in Sydney for a while. My hometown is Sydney so the menu just feels so familiar with lots of smashed avocado choices and cappuccino with chocolate powder on top. (The cappuccinos in Seoul are usually served with sprinkled cinnamon on top which I also love). Here, one of the desserts we had was this French toast muffin. It was amazing. You can find Glass Onion on Instagram.
The other dessert we shared at Glass Onion (one each naturally but share them because then you get to taste everything). This is the Croffle. A croissant pressed into a waffle maker. Hits the sweet spot for sure.
The next day- the presentation platter for these desserts is worth the ordering alone – a cafe down the road from us in Hannam, one of a little enclave of restaurants and cafes. We just fell into this cafe – hot tip, go upstairs if that is available to you for the seating is usually cosy and private. One cake was a rather plain sweet almond cake which was perfect with the coffee whilst the other was an apple crumble pie and that pastry was crisp and shortbready – we ate the lot, crumbs and all.
One of my own creations, a buttery cake with caramelised almond topping
We received these colourful local sweets as a gift over the Christmas period
Korean strawberries and grapes are renowned for their sweetness
Enjoyed this little number just before cafes went to takeaway only in trendy Sinsa. There are many restaurants and cafes in Sinsa and excellent boutiques too.
This salted caramel shake from Shake Shak in Gangnam
These cheese cakes in Seongsu. Seongsu was once the area in Seoul where shoe craft makers gathered and were well known. Today those factories have been converted to quirky and expansive cafes and restaurants. You can still find plentiful shoe boutiques and shoemakers. Over last summer I had a pair of red patent leather slip ons crafted. They are gorgeous and fit perfectly.
Mango Bingsu from a cafe in Coex department store, Gangnam. Bingsu is a shaved ice summer treat, refreshing, sweet and melt in the mouth. Coex department store has other treats too, an instagrammable library, plenty of boutiques and a huge video display screen out the front of the complex.

맛있어요! Delicious!

2 thoughts on “Just Desserts

  1. Oh,thanks. Such happy memories. We found some excellent coffee shops in Mapo- Gu . I can’t wait for a future when all this is possible again.


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