Baking is not only an art but a science as well. Reaching and keeping the right temperature to keep the yeast microorganisms alive so they can help creating the perfect dough, knowing how to handle the sourdough so that the dough fermentation does not fail, and mastering the technique of skillfully creating tens of layers of dough to bake the perfect, crispy croissant. All this requires a dexterous hand and wise mind. No wonder then that the founder of Guillaume bakery was an engineer before opening his current two bakeries located in Hannam-dong and Apgujeong.
Guillaume combines a modern menu selection with choices such as rosemary or chamomile grapefruit ade, Kale and Apple juice and Rooibos sugar plum tea with a classic French interior in tones of faded pink. The layout makes the customer reminisce of vintage Paris apartments with a high ceiling, narrow but cozy hallways to the bathroom, ornaments and comfy seats. The lighting is not too intrusive and the music flows in the tones of both old and new, all the while a laid back atmosphere.
We opted for the Vanilla bean cafe au lait and the Grapefruit rosemary tea. As soon as our coffee was served, we instantly realized that regular coffee shops in Korea can’t even begin to compare with Guillaume. The coffee is served together with organic brown sugar that you can add to your own liking. The coffee itself tasted just the same, if not better than the tiny mom-and-pop stand-up coffee stores in France and Italy. The ade came with fresh slices of grapefruit, grapefruit pulp in the drink and a rich serving of rosemary twigs dipped in the drink. A very fresh choice, and you’ll feel the vitamin C pump through your veins.
After the citrusy drink we needed a sugar explosion. This came in the form of praline, raspberry and chocolate macarons. The macarons were perfectly crispy on the outside, giving some good resistance when you push with your fingers. On the inside awaiting a moist, soft, and utterly delicious filling. You could taste the freshness of the raspberry when your teeth identify tiny raspberry seeds. The chocolate was rich and thick and the praline just melts in your mouth.
What I was most excited about when entering Guillaume were the breads and pastries, seeing as the bakery calls itself Le Pain Véritable (The true/real/authentic/bona fide bread). The foreign clientele very much appreciates this side of Guillaume and many Germans come to buy sour bread, French come to buy all sorts of pastries and Swedes come for the healthy breads. When taking a bite into the pastries, you can almost taste the history and childhood in France of Guillaume himself.
The almond croissant covered in powdered sugar is perfect when you need something different from a plain croissant. The apple turnover is also perfectly crispy and you can hear the crunch from miles away when someone takes a bite before your palate hits the sweet and acid apple inside. My favorite of the day was the Éclair au Citron. I had no idea éclair came in so many different flavors and previously only knew the standard cream-filled éclair. I love when a bakery teaches me new knowledge and flavors, so I knew I had definitely come to the right place. It is very soothing to know that if I crave genuine French pastry, I can finally find the solution to my craving without leaving Seoul city.
Gangnam-gu, Cheongdam-dong 88-37, Insung Bldg #101, Seoul 135-954, Korea +82 2 512 6701