The cupcake craze seems to have settled down firmly in Seoul: for example–who buys birthday cakes anymore, when a box of trendy, assorted cupcakes is available? All the same, I haven’t made cupcakes a priority and subsequently, I’ve failed to visit any bakeries specializing in them until today, when I was walking down one of the streets branching from Garosu-gil in Sinsa-dong and spotted GoodOvening Cupcake. GoodOvening is a chain of cupcake stores in Seoul, with several locations in Hyundai Department stores and three others including the one in Sinsa-dong. They offer buttercream and whipped cream cupcakes, in flavors ranging from “Peanut Pumpkin” to “Chocolate Cloud.”
I sampled “Mint Condition”–a chocolate cupcake topped with airy mint frosting and chocolate chips–and “Red Velvet”–red velvet cake topped with buttercream frosting. And although Korean pastries have probably come a long way from, say, a decade ago, I have to say I was disappointed. Priced at 4,500 won per cupcake and boasting a beautifully designed interior, I was expecting to be blown away. Instead, I was disappointed by the dry, flavorless texture of the actual cake: the one quality that can make or break baked goods. Granted, neither was the worst cupcake I’ve had by any stretch, but they were far too dry.
However, all but the pickiest connoisseurs will probably be charmed enough by GoodOvening’s aesthetic to overlook its flaws. Located off of Garosugil, GoodOvening never promises mouth-watering goodness but instead a small place to chat and share a cupcake with friends while sitting in a fashionable neighborhood. Even the appealingly crisp interior encourages socializing rather than gluttony. If you’re looking for cupcakes as soft comfort food, then GoodOvening will probably do nothing for you. On the other hand, if you’re simply looking for a place to pass time in one of the city’s nicest neighborhoods, then you’ve come to the right place.