Until then, Mon Chou Chou sweets were only available at two kiosks in Shinsegae’s Gangnam store and Hyundai’s Apgujeong-dong outlet.
Both stores opened last August to an overwhelming response.
When the Osaka-based brand landed in both department stores in Seoul over six months ago, customers queued to purchase the much-coveted Dojima rolls, essentially cream-filled, supersoft sponge cakes, and other sweets.
Now, patrons can pull up a chair and enjoy their favorite desserts in-house in addition to trying new, salon-exclusive treats like souffle pancakes and pudding a la mode.
“We wanted to provide a comfortable place where our customers could drink and eat,” said Hong Sung-il, the brand’s Korea sales team head.
According to Hong, the new 22-seat space is nearly identical to Mon Chou Chou’s original Osaka-based store.
Christened Salon de Mon Chou Chou, the newly minted sit-and-sip spot, which opened near Seoul’s Garosugil, reads like a storybook sweet shop with its white and gold decor, opulent chandeliers and floral brocade chairs.
|Salon de Mon Chou Chou’s sumptuous strawberry parfait pairs fresh berries with Chantilly cream, strawberry gelato, crushed wafers, a slice of Dojima roll and a strawberry macaron. (Ahn Hoon/The Korea Herald)|
In addition to ready-to-eat cakes and cookies that can be selected from the showcase by the counter, patrons can savor assembled-to-order delights like the salon’s mouthwatering strawberry parfait ― a layering of fresh cream, berries, crushed wafers and strawberry gelato crowned with a slice of Dojima roll and a strawberry macaron.
From the fresh berries down to the creamy gelato, the parfait is the perfect picture of sumptuous decadence, all the more so because of the luscious, silken cream used to make it.
As fans of the brand already know, this is the very cream that helped put Mon Chou Chou on the map.
“Our fresh cream is our source of pride,” said Hong, 31. “It boasts a strong milk flavor.”
That very cream, which is specially sourced from several farms in Hokkaido, plays a key role in making Mon Chou Chou’s signature Dojima roll so memorable.
When more than half of a roll cake is filled with pure, ivory cream, it makes a difference if that cream is good, if it is light but dense, smooth and silken, rich but not heavy or too sweet.
That is what Mon Chou Chou’s cream is like.
In fact anything dairy-oriented is worth a try at Mon Chou Chou, from the egg custard-filled puddings to the multilayered custard and cream-filled mille crepes cake.
|Salon de Mon Chou Chou offers various, special, in-house desserts like the afternoon tea set. (Ahn Hoon/The Korea Herald)|
Then, of course, there is the whole experience of visiting the salon, taking a relaxed and leisurely break, sipping tea or coffee from elegant saucers while dipping into a tasty treat or two.
In fact, plenty of customers seem to have already taken a shine to the new salon. On most any given day, the place is buzzing with people who are busy catching up over afternoon tea sets, cakes and drinks.
|Salon de Mon Chou Chou opened this February near Seoul’s Garosugil. (Ahn Hoon/The Korea Herald)|
Salon de Mon Chou Chou
524-36 Sinsa-dong, Gangnam-gu, Seoul
(02) 3445-6054; www.mon-cher.com
Open 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily
Desserts cost 2,500 won to 12,000 won, dessert sets cost 13,000 won to 40,000 won, drinks cost 6,000 won to 8,000 won, Dojima rolls cost 10,000 won for half, 18,000 won whole
By Jean Oh (firstname.lastname@example.org)