16 (Wed) November 2011
Smoked Salmon with Romaine and Capers on Baguette Slices
-Oksu, Seongdong, Seoul, Republic of Korea-
Seorae Maeul (서래마을) is the French quarter of Seoul. It’s located in Banpo, near the Palace Hotel. Reportedly, about 800 of Korea’s 1,600 French expats reside in the area, which is also home to the French embassy and French school. Supposedly, therefore, the restaurants and bakeries there claim to be among the best in the city/country – those finicky French and their uncompromising food standards.
W, in her nascent capacity as a socialite, had brunch in one of those best-in-the-city/country restaurants and brought home some baguettes from one of those best-in-the-city/country bakeries. Much to her cynical husband’s surprise, the bread was indeed perhaps that best that he had ever tasted in the city/country. It had a perfectly chewy, almost leathery crust and a silky soft interior that was perfectly seasoned without a trace of the sickly sweetness common to Korean bread. Even more surprising, the bakery was Paris Croissant, a mainstream Korean chain with shops in every neighborhood, including the basement of the hospital at my school; the only thing French about Paris Croissant is the name, which doesn’t even sound very French. Purportedly, however, the Seorae Village branch eschews the recipes used in the other locations throughout Korea and instead employs an actual French baker who makes bread in accordance with the uncompromising food standards of the finicky French. After a single bite, I was convinced.
I need to try the restaurants.
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