I first came across Backen on Instagram, where my feed was pretty much jammed with pics of their amazing looking croissants. I took it for a sign and figured we were destined to meet. It was unfortunate that my visit was a mere two days into January, forcing me to cheat on my January diet so soon, but the heart wants what it wants, and I have no regrets. The cafe/bakery is located a few feet away from the fabulous Garosugil in Sinsa, one of my favourite shopping streets in Seoul. One often needs a good coffee and calorie laden pastry to revive ones self after a hard days shopping, so they placed themselves well.
From the outside Backen looks like your usual and typical Seoul style bakery, but their baked goods are well beyond par and it’s rare that I see anyone else making goodies like this. It was really hard to choose, but the Custard Croissant (4,200) had to be eaten. It was stuffed with an oozy light whipped creme patisserie (not really custard) which made the decadent croissant even more so. While I wouldn’t want one for breakfast (lies, I’d eat four in an instant) it made a truly lovely treat for dessert. The Oreo Chocolate Croissant (4,200) is equally popular, and even more indulgent. Dipped in white and dark chocolate and crusted with crushed Oreos. This is a treat for the very sweet toothed. Luckily it was cut into slices which made it easier to nibble on, instead of tackling it in one go. Possibly a touch on the sickly side to eat a whole one, but I was very happy to eat my share. One point to bear in mind, the croissants do not get served until after lunch, which I was annoyed to find out on my first visit after trekking all the way across town.
It isn’t just sweet offerings in this bakery, there are many a savoury treat too. The Egg and Bacon Tart (2,800), stood out to me, as I thought it would make a lovely breakfast. I’m a sucker for anything involving bacon, or pastry so it was hard not to enjoy this. I also couldn’t resist a mini loaf of the Spinach Garlic Bread (3,600). Garlic bread in Korea is often laced with sugar for some reason, making it rather unpalatable, but this was not the case at Backen. It tore apart beautiful and filled the air with its heady aroma, and had a hearty garlic flavour which refrained from being over powering. However I couldn’t taste much of the spinach, and felt was more there for decoration than flavour. I would be remiss if I didn’t even mention the coffee. the menu was quite small and simple, inferring that they are more interested in the quality of the coffee rather the exotic beautiful drinks that you find elsewhere.
Overall I enjoyed my afternoon of indulgence at Backen, though I don’t think my waistline could handle it becoming a regular event. The cafe is chilled out and a great spot to enjoy a few pastries if that is your jam. While I wouldn’t go out of my way to go again, I would happily stop by next time I am in Sinsa and pick up a few more of their baked goods to go.
Backen is located at 108 Apgujeong-ro, Sinsa-dong, Gangnam-gu, Seoul. To get there take a train to Apgujeong Station and come out of exit 5. Walk straight until you pass Garosugil and then take the next left after (7th from the station). Walk straight and then take the first right, keep going down this street until you reach the carpark, you will see Backen ahead of you, go through the first set of double doors. For more information you can call them on 02-516-8889 or visit their facebook page.