Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Delicious delights in sweet indulgence

Gateaux et M’amie located in Hongik University area offers rich chocolate
fondant as well as other desserts including pastries and mulled wine.
/ Courtesy of Rachel Lee

Over the last two to three years, Seoul has seen lots of coffee places spring up everywhere, especially outlets of massive franchises. And Seoulites have in tandem developed a sweet tooth. New small dessert cafes are sprouting throughout the city with simple yet unique and fresh menus attracting a steady stream of people.
40192 Roll
 Most roll cakes in Korea can be cloyingly sweet. But cafe 40192 Roll serves the softest, less sweet Japanese-style roll cakes.
“It’s much tenderer and definitely less greasy,” Kim Jin-a, a customer, told The Korea Times.
Gateaux et M’amie

Opened in April this year, 40192 Roll, has been doing well. With a seating capacity of about 15, the cafe is located in the quiet yet trendy residential area of Kyungridan in Seoul’s Itaewon-dong.
“Our customers ask what the number 40192 stands for. Well it’s the circumference of the earth,” Nam Ran, the owner of the shop said Tuesday in an interview. “I chose the specific measurement because you know, when I thought of the way our cakes are rolled up, it seemed the earth and the cakes have some sort of relevance in that sense.”
The cakes are available in five flavors; plain, green tea, tiramisu, caramel and chocolate. Of which, the plain ones are the best seller along with coffees. The shop also offers delicious choux pastry and a few other desserts including brownies and cheesecake.

“We have very limited menu but it means I am 100 percent confident about the quality and taste of our food, especially the rolls,” Nam said.
She added that all the patissiers at the cafe are Japanese-educated and make cakes with rice flour.
“Our cream is also made from 100 percent milk and it makes the cakes a lot softer. Many pregnant women and even diabetics visit our shop pretty often for these reasons. They are easy to digest, plus they are not sweet.”

40192 Roll in Itaewon-dong, top right, serves Japanese-style roll cakes, choux pastry and a few other desserts including cheesecake and brownies.

Prices for the cakes range from 4,000 to 4,500 won, and coffees and teas are 3,000 to 4,000 won. 40192 Roll is open from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Takeaways are available. For more information, call (02) 790-4192.
Gateaux et M’amie
The gooey chocolaty goodness of a chocolate fondant is irresistible to many. French dessert cafe Gateaux et M’amie offers this rich treat for the most devoted of chocolate lovers.
The small, cozy cafe is located in the heart of the Hongik University area, a trendy part of Seoul that meets the diverse tastes of young consumers. Gateaux et M’amie’s version is luscious and is served with three different sauces; cream anglaise, coulis framboise and glace chez M’amie. It’s optional.

“We have kept the same menu and prices since opening despite the rapidly increasing number of big coffee chains,” owner and chef Jung Sung-ho said Tuesday in an interview. Jung runs the cafe with his wife.
“You know, some places in Apgujeong and Garosu-gil in Gangnam tend to orient to fancier, pricier menus. I don’t want to follow suit and will just stay where we are now instead,” Jung added.
Apart from chocolate fondant, the cafe offers pastries like tarte tatin and ananas caramel, all of which the chef explains, are healthier since they are made with 100 percent pure butter, unlike big bakeries that use processed butter. The chocolate fondant takes eight to nine minutes to bake and the pastries take about 20 minutes.
Among the drinks menu including eight different hot chocolates, coffees, mulled wine and sodas, the citrus berry smoothie is a best seller, especially among women.
“It was my idea to add that smoothie and the funny thing is I didn’t expect it to be that popular. I realized women are into things with berries,” the chef said. “But it doesn’t mean most of our customers are female. More male customers are coming to our cafe these days. Men are also big fans of sweet dessert just like women.”
Jung describes his cafe as “a place where you can enjoy your free time as long as you want while enjoying homemade French desserts.”
Gateaux et M’amie is open from 2 p.m. to 11 p.m. Prices range from 4,000 to 7,000 won. For more information, visit or call (02) 326-1095.

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