Soft-serve Seoul: Sweetruck
My search for soft-serve ice cream has taken us to the center of Itaewon where David Go’s Sweetruck is enjoying a strong second week after its grand opening.
Sweetrucks are all over Seoul — the royal blue and gold colors make it an easy chain to spot — but what Sweetruck does with its soft-serve is not common. Make no mistake: this concoction is nothing short of magic.
Go, an ice cream enthusiast and opportunist, couldn’t have picked a more action-packed spot for his store. Hailing from the United States, Go hopes to build up a loyal customer base in Itaewon’s regular crowd.
“I’ve always wanted to have a place where I could be myself and really relax … This presented the perfect opportunity,” he said. “Itaewon’s the perfect spot for the store. I’m from America, so this area is really comfortable for me.”
He’s not lying. Our conversation gets cut short because the store is inundated with a regular influx of customers salivating for a sweet treat, which Sweetruck is happy to deliver. Go’s secret weapon arrives in the form of the company’s specialty — the honey chip, a growing trend — but rather than having a variety of flavors to choose from, Sweetruck really embraces its honeycomb. It’s so deeply entwined with the brand that they decided to feature a bee in the logo and, according to a Sweetruck representative, their honey is endorsed by the Korea Beekeeping Association.
Go acknowledges that the menu is minimal, but assures us that there’s more to it than meets the eye. “It’s simple, but what makes us stand out is that we offer variety for our ice cream options. We have vanilla, chocolate and we also have a mix of the two.” That mix is a popular request. I decided to go for it and was not let down. The honeycomb was a fine addition too — the waxy texture shook things up a bit while also connecting the three flavors together as if they were one. Among the plethora of soft-serve brands claiming land all over Seoul, it’s a relief to know that classic vanilla isn’t the only option out there for those who want to keep it simple.
Despite competition running high in Gangnam, the soft-serve game still remains quite sparse in Itaewon, so Go is hopeful for his location: “It’s easy to access, it’s right by the subway and the ice cream we make here is fantastic.”
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