Update Oct 2014: I am sad to report that the menu at Hosoo has changed, and the bacon sandwich is no longer available. 🙁 It’s still worth going there though, for the view, good coffee, and other items on the menu.
This post is the first of a planned series about all the things, big and small, that we love about living in Seoul.
When we first moved to Korea 5 years ago, brunch was a pretty sad state of affairs. Outside of a few places in Itaewon (Seoul’s expat area), it was difficult to find a decent brunch, unless you were willing to pay upwards of $80 for one in a luxury hotel.
Fortunately, things change fast around here, and when Koreans finally jumped aboard the brunch bandwagon, the number of choices exploded. Coffee shops like Twosome Place started offering brunch sets, American chains Original Pancake Story and Butterfingers inaugurated locations in trendy Apgujeong and independent breakfast joints started appearing out of nowhere.
Being Canadians, a good Sunday brunch is something we have definitely missed over the years. There’s nothing quite like chatting with friends about the events of the week past, while dawdling over eggs benny and multiple cups of coffee.
For awhile, our brunch spot of choice was Twosome Place. For 8 or 9,000 won, we could get eggs benny or a farmers omelette, a quality Americano, comfortable seating and free wifi. Not bad for a Korean coffee franchise that literally feels like it’s on every other street corner of Seoul.
But that was before we discovered the Hosoo Bakery and Cafe. Walking distance from our new apartment, it’s the only cafe/restaurant located directly on Seokchon Lake (hence the name Hosoo, which means lake in Korean).
Away from all motorized traffic, the sole view is one of trees, lake and people out for a stroll or a jog. It’s a place of peace in the middle of a very chaotic and noisy city, and one of my favourite places to be in Seoul.
As for the food, I’m afraid I can only comment on one of the brunch choices – the bacon sandwich. It’s so delicious that we’ve never been able to force ourselves to try anything else.
And when I say bacon, I mean bacon. This isn’t some thin, salty piece of North American style bacon, but a chunky slab of Korean style pork belly (samgyeopsal), perfectly seasoned, grilled, elegantly placed on thick, crusty, European style bread and drowned in the fresh greens of the season. The first bite (and every one afterwards) is pure heaven.
If you visit on a Sunday in the spring, summer or fall, you can take a quick stroll over to the Seoul Nori Madang (서울놀이마당) and catch a traditional Korean folk performance for free.
Excellent food AND culture? You can’t go wrong. 😉
Directions to Seokchon Lake
Go to Jamsil Station on Line 2 and walk straight 200 metres out of Exit 3.
Do you live in Seoul? What’s your favourite brunch spot?