|The Oliversweet pastry and catering shop in Seorae Village, Bangbae-dong, Seoul.|
(Ahn Hoon/The Korea Herald)
If succulent Earl Grey and grapefruit cake and richly moist strawberry red velvet cake with plush cream cheese frosting spells heaven on earth, then the mouthwatering offerings of Oliversweet are truly a sweet tooth’s dream come true.
Specializing in sophisticated yet cozy boutique-style pastries and catering, Oliversweet opened its doors in 2007 and since then the quaint dessert shop that boasts some of the city’s most inventive approaches to classic homemade treats has expanded to four locations across Seoul, including Seorae Village and Apgujeong-dong in southern Seoul. It is set to open its newest shop in the GS Tower in Gwanghwamun next month.
“I think one of the things that really sets us apart from other dessert shops is that we really emphasize using proper ingredients to make the most authentic and original tasting products,” said Oliversweet founder and CEO Yuni Chung.
|Strawberry red velvet cake. (Ahn Hoon/The Korea Herald)|
Coming from a family of chefs, Chung had wanted to use her passion for food to give Seoulites a place where they can enjoy desserts “the way they were meant to be made.”
“I think many Koreans are unaware of what an authentic tart or red velvet cake should taste like because they have just been consuming commercial products,” she explained. “One of the things that I wanted to do through Oliversweet is give not only the local people here, but also foreigners living in the country an opportunity to try authentic desserts.”
Chung has taken the shop, which was named after her firstborn, and raised the bar in terms of offering confectionary lovers both classic and innovative dessert creations. In the December issue of Korea’s Coffee magazine Oliversweet’s red velvet cake, carrot cake and caramel eclairs were crowned with three first place prizes during a blind-tasting competition for desserts.
The 80 or so selections at Oliversweet are essentially inspired by classic French, American and Japanese pastries such as madeleines, finaciers, pecan pie, brownies and cakes. From classic eclair flavors such as chocolate, caramel and espresso to peach, mango and green grape, Oliversweet offers a sweet and sometimes head-turning twist on popular favorites ― whether it’s meringue cookies in black pepper or even squid ink and sea salt, or tarts that come in frozen Cognac pecan or chocolate chock-full of smoky bacon.
“Some people may be surprised by this, but bacon actually goes very well with chocolate,” said Chung. “The smoky flavor of the bacon and the sweetness of the chocolate create a great balance for the palette.”
Oliversweet also has a number of treats inspired by Korean flavors such as bokbunja (wild berry), omija (red berry named so because it is thought to have five different tastes), jujube and yuja (a type of citron).
“Instead of people coming to Korea and bringing back gift packs of dried seaweed or kimchi, I think it would be nice if people could bring back these kinds of desserts that are unique to Korea,” she explained.
For more information on Oliversweet and its shop locations, visit www.oliversweet.com.
By Julie Jackson (firstname.lastname@example.org)