Before I fly off to Europe for Year 1 of med school in September, I’ve been trying to make the most out of my last few months of holidays in Korea.
Of course, other than witnessing the beautiful transitioning of Winter to Spring and the fresh cherry blossoms lining the streets with pink fluff; the best part of this holiday is… the food.
More specifically, the desserts and pastries. ( Just gonna put this controversial fact out here; I’m not exactly a huge fan of Korean food despite me being a Korean, because I don’t like red meat and spicy food…)
So, this post will be a compilation of all my favourites throughout the month. Maybe when you visit Korea, you could check these stores out because most of them are pretty popular, and located in central areas in Busan.
You could also visit the franchise branches in other countries (some have stores in US/ thailand etc!)
1. Gentz Bakery (겐츠베이커리) Gentz Bakery
A must-try from this bakery is no doubt, the Strawberry Cream Tart. The tart itself has a hard base with a pretty solid interior of bread that doesn’t crumble easily. There’s also this very slight burnt taste towards the crust/base that perfectly complements the gentle sweetness of the cream.
The cream is not the typical cheap whipping cream, but it feels rather like a combination of fresh yogurt with melted marshmallows (?) made into meringue form. The fresh strawberries also add a fruity zest to the very gentle foamy cream, which are a dreamy match for the almond-esque tart base. Literally the best tart I ever had, hands down!
2. Le Bread Lab
Le Bread Lab was a 3-storey cafe located at Nampodong (a tourist hotspot in Busan). My cousin and I ordered a row of mini pastries and a Vanilla Milk drink. The pastries were very ordinary, a little disappointing because they were so plain. But the Vanilla Milk drink was really good, perhaps because it was so cold that day.
Anyway, the Vanilla scent wasn’t too strong and came in very subtly but still significantly. The milk itself was very smooth and reminded me of hot, melted cookie dough but without the chocolate chips part.
Other than the food, the interior of the cafe was so pretty! There were a lot of pastel pink tones, sparkling chandeliers and also greenery to complement the pink.
3. Frozen Bride (available in Korea & Thailand)
Frozen Bride is a dessert shop that sells Gelato/ Yogurt/ Smoothies etc. I tried their strawberry yogurt smoothie at the basement of Lotte Dept. Store (Gwangbok branch, also at Nampodong), and it was SO GOOD.
The yogurt was like real, genuine yogurt and they added this rather authentic strawberry jam with chunks of liquefied berries that you had to blend into the yogurt. Everything tasted so fresh, just sweet enough, and yet with a very mild fruity sour-ness that completed the whole taste.
My mom had the mango one, which she said was just as good!
It was so good that I came back to try another flavor.
This time, I tried the blueberry yogurt smoothie, and it was just as good without fail. It was less sweet and more on the tangy side, but it was just right for my taste ❤
4. SulBing, korean dessert cafe ( 설빙 ) (available in Korea, Japan & China)
I’ve been almost a regular customer at Sulbing because I had a phase of serious addiction to their Strawberry & Mochi BingSu and Honey Toast Bread.
The Strawberry Mochi BingSu I always eat consists shredded milk ice, with a bit of red bean, topped all around with fresh strawberries and 4 pieces of chewy glutinous mochi with red beans inside. I swear, strawberries go so well with dairy products like milk or yogurt. I’m not a huge fan of mochi, and the mochi served at sulbing was very thick, so I just had one piece.
And yes… the real MVP…
HONEY TOAST BREAD!!
It’s like 3cm thick cube of toast with a nice crispy crust, reminiscent of the texture of garlic bread (without the garlic) and finally topped with a mountain of light cream, some almond slices and streaks of choco syrup.
There was honey drizzled all over the toast (below the cream) and it seeped into the top layer of the toast, which added a whole new level of sweet to the otherwise bland and hardened toast.
Seriously though, the combination of almonds, choc, and honey was simply wonderful. I came back 3 TIMES just to eat this same toast.
5. “Grandma’s” Handmade Red Bean Bread (available in US and Korea)
The store is pretty near my house so sometimes I stop by on the way home to buy some. They’re home-made pastries, not made from ordinary flour but from a mixture of flour/glutionous rice. So all their breads have a chewy texture which I LURVEEEE.
My favourite is the green tea cream cheese bread!! The cream cheese tastes more like yogurt (?) and the green tea infused dough is such a sweet and calm complement to the sourish cream cheese.
You can tell just from the picture how chewy the dough is, and it’s all handmade.
Another favourite is the Castella Bread. It reminds me of a mooncake, but it tastes less artificial. The custard dough itself is soft and dry, like a mooncake, with a very thin sugared layer. The inside filling is like a combination of mashed chestnuts/sweet potato, but maybe slightly sweeter. Overall, it tasted so GOOD and not so heavy/oily too.
Well, that’s a wrap for the compilation.
Hope this list was of some use, do give them a try when visiting Korea or whatever aforementioned franchise countries. 😉