[eat] Brunch at Tartine Bakery & Pie cafe @ Itaewon, Seoul

Noone passes by Tartine without pausing for a little while and taking a brief moment to just stand there and admire the gorgeous little pies stored on the glass shelves inside the bakery shop. It doesn’t help either that the shops themselves are so visually pleasing with the bright yellow painted exterior and the cozy look derived from the lights inside. As I am always in a constant dire need of sweet treats, needless to say the sudden encounter with Tartine left me reeling with joy. Unfortunately, the trip to Tartine had to make me lie down and think about the decisions I’d made. Tartine was nothing but a disappointment.

Ok just to get this straight I haven’t tried the pies yet so I can’t tell if the pies can redeem the catastrophe that is the brunch they serve.  I know, however, there’s nothing they can do to make me try their brunch again. We ordered a Simple breakfast (11000 KRW) and a Banana cake (8800 KRW). The breakfast was served with our choice of 2 pancakes, 1 bacon, scrambled eggs and maple syrup. As this was the first time we went to Tartine, we thought it would be safe to choose something basic, something that a brunch specialized restaurant as known decent as Tartine should be able to handle.

First and foremost the pancakes! Maybe it’s just me, or maybe the pancakes were absolutely horrendous. Except for being picture perfect, everything else was a major fail. The pancakes were too thick, borderline gooey, barely seasoned or not seasoned at all for that matter.  The batter was too dense for my liking, raw in the center which obviously made the pancakes undercooked although I’d like to believe they were only slightly so. What’s more frustrating was that there was too little maple syrup provided. They gave us like 2 spoons of maple syrup and expected us to pay 900won for extra? We would never thank you very much.

Looking gorgeous

You can tell it doesn’t seem really cooked looking at this angle of the pancakes…

That was all we got for the maple syrup

Apparently I lost my appetite after eating the pancake, so it came as no surprise I started to find faults in everything else. The scrambled eggs were slightly dry but at least cooked and of course unseasoned. Nothing can go wrong with bacon so that was the only good thing on the plates.

What also got on my nerves was that 1) they don’t serve brunch outside where cute dining tables are placed along the alley and 2) you can’t sit at those tables if you don’t order the pies at the bigger Tartine! I’d never been so confused and frustrated in my entire life!

As we asked the staff to serve the cake only after we finished the brunch, we finally made it to the table outside.

Our only hope

I thought the cake was good. The sweetness was on point, the flavour screamed authentic and the cake itself looked utterly pretty as it was browned evenly and smelled wonderful. Unfortunately that wasn’t exactly what my friend thought. In her opinion it was overly sweet and didn’t really stand out from all the banana cakes she’d eaten before. So if sugary thing isn’t exactly your palate, you might have enough with only a bite or two. We quickly got sick of it and gave up gorging ourselves with the pastry halfway because it was a hell of a big cake and we were so not ready to take up that much sugar only in one go.

The topping which consisted of sour cream frosting, sliced carrots and lots of pecans was a joy! Together with the cake, not to mention the caramel sauce scattered on the plate, each bite is a perfect dose of energy.

Look at how thick and beautiful it is:

From the window you can see the other Tartine across the alley:

Everyone I know likes Tartine so I feel like it’s a sin to write such a bad review about this place. But honestly I wouldn’t recommend you to go here at least for the brunch. Maybe, maybe someday if I go back to Tartine and try the pecan pie and fall in love with it, I will move on and let this go. But right now, right here, right where it matters, Tartine is thoroughly mediocre.

For full menu and direction, please visit their homepage: http://www.tartine.co.kr/


10 thoughts on “[eat] Brunch at Tartine Bakery & Pie cafe @ Itaewon, Seoul

  1. Han! Good to see you back. Terrible to see that you had a horrible brunch. Tartine’s pies are awesome, but they are over-the-top expensive. Those eggs looked terribly uninspiring and the bacon looked like a doggie treat. Sorry you had a bad experience. Thanks for the heads up though, I was going to Tartine for brunch next weekend to do a review. I think I’ll put that on the back burner.

    • School has been hectic but yes, I’m finally back! Apparently Tartine is not as good as what people give credit for. You always write the nicest comments Derek thank you so much.

  2. Pingback: Brunch Day | emilykarn
  3. Pingback: Chef D.Garrett Edwards – The Insecure Chef from Tartines Bakery in Itaewon. | Derek Versus Lonely Planet

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