Most people know I have a special place in my heart for dessert... or maybe it's a special place in my stomach - well, either way, I love sugar. And most of the time, I'll bake whatever it is I want to eat, but sometimes (and bakers, chefs, you'll agree with me here) you just want to eat something made by someone else. Something really good.
To be honest, bakeries in Seoul aren't really my thing. I don't love the overly sweet whipped cream that covers everything and I especially am not a fan of the margarine-flavor that seems to get in all the pastries here. But this place always hits the spot for me.
I'm definitely a fan - Maman Gateau is a sweet little cafe/bakery in Gangnam (with a branch in Garosu-gil) and they specialize in baking their own bread. They even have a baking studio and a gallery upstairs.
The atmosphere is simple and minimal, but something feels like home whenever I walk in. The display cases are basic, but clearly they keep the customers coming, even in those back alleyways of crazy Gangnam.
But I go here for their cakes.
My favorite is their carrot cake (top right). It's not too sweet with a strong scent of cinnamon. I've come here twice on separate occasions where I only had room for one slice of cake and couldn't really shake the thought of ordering anything BUT this cake.
People like to hate on Gangnam sometimes because it does tend to be more tourist-centric when it comes to food, but places like Maman Gateau remind me that if you really look, there are some gems out there. And even if I do move away from this neighborhood (more on that later), I know I'll be back.
To head to the Gangnam branch of Maman Gateau, head to Gangnam Station (line 2) and head out of exit 11. Right before the CGV, turn right, going up a steep hill that goes diagonally. Pass the first intersection and take the second left. Maman Gateau will be on your right about 100 meters down.