Co-written by Ben and Rae
This past weekend we had the pleasure of discovering a new French patisserie located in Noksapyeong. If you miss French pastry, or if you’ve never had it before, Maillet does it justice. Mind you, this is not a bakery which sells bread, so don’t expect to pick up a baguette or any croissants while you’re there. At Maillet you will find an assortments of beautifully made classic and original tartes, entremets, and classic french patisserie like macarons. This is seriously a throwback to when we were in Paris this past summer, visiting all the big and little pastry houses in different quartiers, and both of us agreed even better (Conticini, anyone?) or just as good as some of the big names we visited.
Maillet is tout petit, but very charming. Ben and I visited on Sunday, and it was quite busy when we arrived, so we’d recommend that you go earlier if you plan on trying to snag a spot. It’s walls are a lovely violet, which to me was very Lauduree-esque – but less old lady-like. There are chandeliers hanging from the ceiling, and the atmosphere is warm and cozy, yet regal at the same time. There is a small display when you walk in and each of the pastries are displayed under large glass bubbles, which again, to me was reminiscent of being in Conticini’s Patisserie des Reves. Actually most of the pastry shops we went to in France had horrid displays, besides Conticini and Pierre Herme, but we were both really disappointed by Coniticini’s products. Luckily, this wasn’t the case at Maillet’s.
We ended up ordering two different pastries, a tarte au chocolat and a type of entremet called “La premiere neige” (First snowfall). Let me just start by saying holy s – were we blown away by the tarte au chocolat. It’s so good!!! It’s like an extremely refined Snickers bar, in the best possible way. The crust was crusty and buttery, and there was a layer of caramel and nuts on the bottom. That under a layer of chocolate ganache, and topped with a salted caramel cream. How decadent and what a way to start a Sunday! This is what French pastry is all about.
La premiere neige was also very good, but it was really hard to compete with the tarte au chocolat. It had an earl grey ganache in between some thin layers of chocolate cake, and vanilla cream on top to remind us of the first snowfall. The bergamont flavor wasn’t too overpowering, and it was nice to taste real vanilla in a pastry, which makes it stand out. It was also beautifully crafted.
For macarons, we chose yuzu and Paris Ginza, which is a black tea with caramel and fruits rouges created by the famous Mariage Freres. Both macarons were very good, but the shells were a little soft for my (Rae) taste. The flavor was excellent, especially the flavor of the Paris Ginza which was unique and complex. It tasted like an oolong tea with cream and lots of floral notes. It had a nice delicate balance and neither were too sugary.
Benoit had the chance to talk with the very calm and friendly Ronan Maillet, the pastry chef and co-owner with his Korean wife – both who are new parents (imagine the chaos and delight of having a newborn baby and newborn business)! According to Benoit, he reminded him of this french kindergarten book named “Dinomir“, a very kind and cool giant living in a tiny vertical house. Above is Maillet in his tiny kitchen! Him and his wife met each other 11 years ago at Paul Bocuse Culinary school and worked in Paris at some prestigious places such as Hotel Georges V under the very talented amazing Chef Francois Perret brigade.
Overall, this place deserves to be mentioned as somewhere you can find some damn good authentic French pastry (we didn’t say bread!) in Seoul and we look forward to trying more of Maillet’s creations. Plan to leave with a very full and very satisified belly. Prices might be a little more than the average person wants to spend on a dessert (around W10,000) but making good pastry ain’t cheap!
It is located at: 211-19 Itaewon-dong, Yongsan-gu, Seoul / 서울특별시 용산구 회나무로28길 5 2층
You can find it by going up the main road in Noksapyong towards the Hyatt, and it’s on the right behind the GS25 (used to be 711).
You can also visit their Facebook page.