Sweet Seoul treats for summertime

Sweet Seoul treats for summertime

by Joe McPherson
Korea Tourism Organization

Korean winters are famous for their extreme coldness. Korean summers are getting increasingly famous for the opposite. This year is on the path for being one of the hottest summers on record, starting with all those early blooms in spring.

Thankfully, Korean cuisine adapts well to extreme points on the mercury. Seoul is also a land of intense trends. Fashion and music are not unique islands of this phenomenon. Food trends in Seoul live and die by the same intensity. Here are three that the food fortune tellers have in store.

Ice Cream

Of course, ice cream is always popular in summer. Three types of frozen dairy concoctions have grown to epic proportions lately. Organic soft serve with bits of honeycomb was first sold in a few shops with lines wrapped around the block. Now they are permeating most Seoul neighborhoods.

“Cane ice cream” is another treat originating in Insa-dong that pumps soft serve ice cream into a J-shaped puffed corn tube. Quite the gimmick, and honestly, there is no dignified non-pornographic way to eat this. The other trend slowly gaining traction is artisanal ice cream. Yes, the term artisanal gets bandied a lot. These ice cream shops are pushing the boundaries of flavors and combinations.

Fell + Cole 펠앤콜
This San Francisco themed ice cream shop features adventurous and whimsical flavors that rotate on a weekly basis. The flavors are announced on their Facebook page (facebook.com/FELLnCOLE) and Twitter account (@FELLnCOLE).

Some ice creams showcase Korean flavors, like Perilla Leaves and Makgeolli. Others are exotic, like Burnt Caramel with Smoked Sea Salt, Hokey Porky (with bacon) and even Foie Gras. Some have whimsical names, like Yoda’s Wisdom, Youth Potion No. 6 and Drunken Salty Watermelon. And still there’s always Plain Boring Vanilla. The ice cream itself is rich and smooth, and it’s no problem to ask for samples.

Fell + Cole has just opened a new location in the first basement of the new Gran Seoul building, Jonggak Station (Line 1), exit 1. Their Hongdae location is outside Sangsu Station (line 6), exit 1.

Take the first street to the right. In Apgujeong, Fell + Cole has a store at the Galleria Department Store.

www.fellncole.com, TEL. 070-4411-1434

Mango Bingsu

Korea loves bingsu, shaved ice topped with sweet treats. Each year there emerges some new bingsu trend. Last year, it was old fashioned patbingsu topped with sweetened red beans, marshmallowy rice cakes, and peanut buttery soybean powder. This year it’s all about mangoes. There must have been some bumper shipment from the Philippines because mango bingsu is everywhere. Best enjoyed on the hottest of hot days, a mango bingsu brings an ambience of Northeast and Southeast Asia in a refreshing dish.

Jiyugaoka Hatchome 지유가오카 핫초메
The street running north from Anguk Station (line 3), exit 1 is quickly getting filled with quaint cafés. Jiyugaoka Hatchome is known as a specialty cake shop, but it also serves a nice cup of joe and one of the best slices of carrot cake in town. They have a killer mango bingsu. It’s a small, small joint, but try to snag the outside table for some proper people-watching while gorging on your shaved ice.

Anguk Station 안국역 (Line 3), exit 1. Take the street running north, past Pungmoon Girl’s High School. It’s across Andong Presbyterian Church.

TEL. 02-6487-6156

Lobster Rolls

This prediction is the “out there” one. Sandwiches have been booming in 2014 with quality sandwich shops gaining popularity. What about lobster rolls?

Lobster is hardly common in Korea because of its formidable sticker price. Yet a few places have popped up this spring specializing in this crustacean. A lot of these places have that formidable price tag with skimpy portions, so approach with caution. Check the blogs and Facebook groups or read the recommendation below.

Lobster Bar 랍스터 바
Freshly opened in Itaewon, this little gem serves a mean lobster roll with a quarter pound of meat. Diners can choose between a butter version and mayo version. As of this writing, a lobster roll with salad and fries goes for KRW 17,000, which is a steal!

Lobster Bar is located around 500 meters from Itaewon Station 이태원역 (Line 6), exit 3, at the top of the giant stairs that lead to Spa Land.

lobsterbar.co.kr, TEL. 070-8225-3963

Korea Tourism Organization website

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