Retro-mod soft-serve on Garosugil

By Korea Herald

Swirls of salted caramel at chic ice cream parlor

  • Published : May 16, 2014 - 20:15
  • Updated : May 16, 2014 - 20:15
REMICONE owner Kim Ye-lim and team racked their brains over how to bring a fresh vibe to summer-friendly soft-serve ice cream.

After some serious brainstorming, a retro-mod ice cream parlor was born.

Located near Garosugil, REMICONE opened on April 25, dishing up its take on soft-serve to the masses.

“We went for ice cream that would be tasty and cool and chic,” Kim, 25, explained.

Kim detailed how before she decided to jump into the ice cream business, she was working as editor-in-chief for an indie fashion-design magazine called NO-NAME.

Enlisting the help of the staff at NO-NAME, Kim, who is still the editor-in-chief, culled from their design aesthetic to create the foodie project that is REMICONE.

Kim and the team’s fashion roots play a determining role in giving the snow white space its retro-mod vibe.

The interior is a shiny, gleaming ivory with red-and-white striped detailing. The exterior was designed to resemble a classic ice cream truck, a sweet nod to soft-serve’s long mobile history as the place where kids (and adults) line up for a lick when the truck with its catchy jingle drives by. 
REMICONE’s salted caramel topped with French crepe wafers (left) and cacao nib-adorned real chocolate soft-serve ice cream (Lee Sang-sub/The Korea Herald)

That same playful attitude is channeled into REMICONE’s ice cream, with special flavors like Thunder Bomb and Hawaiian Beach already winning over the Instagram crowd with their photogenic toppings.

“We thought it might be a hit,” Kim said of Thunder Bomb, which features a swirl of plain milk soft-serve adorned with a grey cloud of cotton candy and a yellow lightning bolt.

For Hawaiian Beach, Kim said after initially going for an island feel, she and her team landed on the final design, which she says really looks like “the sea and the sand.”

Blue soda syrup drizzled over milk soft-serve mimics the ocean, while toasted coconut grated into a fine powder stands in for sand. A small cocktail umbrella gives the ice cream its crucial oomph.

“People really like the umbrella,” Kim said.

All the cute decorations might mislead some to think REMICONE is all style and no substance.

Yet, as flavors like salted caramel prove, Kim was right when she said REMICONE’s ice cream is tasty.

“We use real caramel,” she said.

Dense, rich and buttery sweet, REMICONE’s salted caramel is good all by its plain, simple self. There is that hint of burnt sugar and a hint of salinity that elevates the ice cream.

For the real chocolate, Kim said Valrhona was used to give those swirls of creamy goodness its bittersweet depth.

Valrhona cacao nibs are also available as a topping option and add a fragrant, potent crunch to the ice cream.

Other gourmet topping options include crushed French crepe wafers and fleur de sel.

“Flavor really matters,” she said, stressing the amount of attention that was paid to the ingredients used to make the ice cream and for the toppings.

When it comes to soft-serve, however, flavor is only half of the equation. Texture, which REMICONE has managed to get down pat, definitely plays a key role in the soft-serve experience, and one lick of the dense, soft, cool creaminess of REMICONE’s soft-serve makes it clear that the folks at this parlor know what they are doing. 

REMICONE, which opened on April 25 near Seoul’s Garosu-gil, was designed to look like a classic ice cream truck.(Lee Sang-sub/The Korea Herald)

- 1F, 547-12 Sinsa-dong, Gangnam-gu, Seoul
- Open 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily
- (02) 6207-1029
- Soft serve ice cream costs 3,500 won to 5,300 won, toppings cost 500 won to 1,800 won, special flavors cost 5,300 won to 6,300 won

By Jean Oh (