I've decided to take on a new project. Since there is a dearth of macarons in Atlanta, I'm going to have my fill while I'm in Seoul by trying them all. By the time I leave, I will have a ranking of the best macarons in Seoul, as well as directions to the cafes and bakeries that sell them. In my research thus far, the macarons seem to be mainly concentrated south of the river, in Sinsadong, mostly. However, there are two places in Hongdae that serve them.
I stopped by Le Petit Four this afternoon on my way home. The space is small with around 8 tables. It also tends to be really crowded in the afternoons. But the macarons and desserts aren't lacking. They had a full case of macarons, and a half filled case of other desserts not photographed because I'm in the market for macarons and macarons only.
The cafe is run by chef Kim Dae Hyun who has an extensive resume that mostly takes place in Europe. After studying at the Paul Bocuse Institute, he's worked in Paris and Vienna before bringing his skills back to Seoul. And these skills are quite refined, indeed. The cafe may lack in the appealing decor that I've come to expect from Seoul cafes, but it definitely does not lack in taste.
First row: Multi-vitamin, orange creme, Boutiy (coconut cream)
Second row: Macaron Melba, pistachio creme, lemon & ginger cream
Third row: Cognac, vanilla creme, chestnut?
Verdict: The macarons didn't crumble very easily. They were less delicate than I expected and some were a bit chewy. The flavors, however, were absolutely perfect. Not too sweet, not too strong, just light and delightful. Except for the pistachio creme. I thought that was awful, which is unfortunate, because it's the classic macaron flavor. Best flavors for me were the multi-vitamin (raspberry flavors), vanilla creme, and cognac. The cognac macaron blew me away. Alcohol flavored macarons is a well married idea.
Price: 18,100 for a pack of 9.
How to get there: take subway to Hongdae Univ. (홍대입구) on the green line. Take exit #9 (the old exit #5). Go straight for one block. Make a left at the Citi Bank. Go straight, walk up the hill, pass the Starbucks until you get to this two storied building filled with restaurants. Le Petit Four is on the 2nd floor, next to a Japanese ramun shop.