Caramel Bingsu from Maman Gateau in Hongdae/Hapjeong.
So, this is my first official post here. It is slightly nerve wracking.
I am a HUGE FAN of bingsu/bingsoo/빙수. In case you don't know, bingsoo is Korean shaved ice. Over the past few years, it has gained popularity...like ridiculous popularity. There are bingsoo cafes popping up everywhere, making this a year-long treat.
Typically, I enjoy bingsoo as a refreshing way to escape the Korean heat and humidity of the Korean summer.
Anyway, enough with a brief intro to bingsoo.
My friend and I were in search of this Caramel Bingsoo. We walked up and down the streets of Hongdae. Initially, we had received some bad information about which cafe sells this delicious treat, my bad. 😓
Eventually, we found the cafe. The cafe is named Maman Gateau (the original store is in Garosugil - Sinsa Station, line 3). We did have to wait briefly, around fifteen minutes, as other customers finished their bingsoo. We made the decision to only come and eat the Caramel Bingsoo since that is their popular item at the time we visited. It was a good thing we did. There were so many tempting treats there. Maman Gateau is also known for their fresh caramels and their cakes with fresh caramel pieces on them. Luckily for us, we did receive a fresh caramel for each of us with our order. The workers give one caramel for each person sharing the bingsoo...that is so considerate.
The bingsoo was worth the search. It did have a very strong flavor. I had been worried it was going to be ridiculously sweet since, often, Korean desserts are too sweet for me. It was refreshing. In addition to the pieces of caramel, they also gave us caramel sauce on the side. The consistency was very liquid and made the flavor of the bingsoo even better, through to the last bit of ice. Too often, places with unique bingsoo flavors do not think about the need to make sure the flavor goes all the way through to the end, so this was a great touch. There was a caramel brittle on the top of the bingsoo, yet another great touch.
There were some options for extras "chuga" to add to the bingsoo. One was espresso. I actually think this would have been great with an espresso shot.
생카라멜빙수 saeng caramel bingsoo (Ice flakes with homemade/fresh caramel)
Price: 12,000KRW, espresso shot 2,000KRW, additional caramel syrup 1,000KRW
Overall, I was happy to have crossed this off my eat list. It is a great treat, but it is slightly pricey (less expensive than I expected, though).
UPDATE (10/17/2013): I had forgotten to include directions because I was trying to do this entire blog in English, but thanks to an Instagram user, I was reminded. Sorry that the map is in Korean, but I think my directions should be specific enough for you to find it! Let me know if you go and what you think of it! :D
From Sinsa Station (line 3) exit 8, go to the Tous les Jours and Caffe Bene and turn left. Walk straight towards the GS25 and turn right toward Smoothie King. From the Smoothie King, turn left and walk straight towards DinerPub, about 400 meters. At the DinerPub, turn left and go to the corner. Maman Gateau should be on your left.
The Hongdae location: I included a map and directions from Hapjeong and from Hongdae Station (line 2), but both refer to the same location, the location I visited.
If you know Hongdae well, go to Castle Praha and walk to the corner by 5ton Station and go down the little road to the right.
From Hongik University/Hongdae Station (line 2) exit 9, go straight to the second of the four-way intersections - Seogyo-dong Intersection. Turn left and walk to GS25 and cross the street. At the first corner, turn right and walk to the next intersection and turn left. Follow that road and you should reach Maman Gateau.
From Hapjeong Station (Line 2/6) exit 3, walk straight until you get to the Samsung car dealership. Turn right. Walk straight. You will cross one road, just continue walking straight and follow that road. You will come across Maman Gateau on your left.
READ OTHER BINGSOO POSTS:
Hongdae Peony - http://eatstretchexplore.blogspot.com/2013/12/hongdae-cafe-peony.html
Myungdong Battery Park - http://eatstretchexplore.blogspot.com/2013/12/seoul-myeongdong-restaurant-battery-park.html
Ewha Women's University Pop Container - http://eatstretchexplore.blogspot.com/2013/12/sinchonewha-university-cafe-pop.html
Hongdae/Garosugil Maman Gateau - http://eatstretchexplore.blogspot.com/2013/10/hongdae-cafeseoul-cafe-maman-gateau.html
Gangnam Paris Croissant - http://eatstretchexplore.blogspot.com/2014/10/seoul-gangnam-cafe-paris-croissant.html
Twosome Place - http://eatstretchexplore.blogspot.com/2014/10/korean-cafe-twosome-place-tiramisu-bingsu.html