While many of my posts revolve around my foodie experiences in Seoul, I do tend to have great food experiences outside of Seoul as well. In fact, one of my favourite dessert spots is located in the Bundang area near 정자역(Jeongja Station). La Belle Maman is a lovely little French pâtisserie that I had the pleasure of discovering when it first opened its doors. After that I was hooked and I’ve been going there ever since.
The interior is a lovely balance of white and Tiffany blue. There are marble tables adorned with small vases of flowers and lovely lamps suspended from the ceiling. The space is modest and has a modern, yet elegant Parisian charm. I guess you could say it’s part Holly Golightly and part Marie Antoinette.
At the moment, I’m really loving all of their spring time inspired desserts like the Macaron aux Fraise. I’m always wary about ordering oversized macarons because they always end up being too stiff or tasting like cardboard, but I was pleasantly surprised this time. The outside of the macaron has a lovely crisp texture while the inside is soft and lightly chewy. The inside is stuffed with a tasty vanilla bean cream garnished with fresh ripe strawberries. I was surprised to also find a bit of sweet raspberry jam in the center. Finally it’s topped with a strawberry slice and delicate rose petal. It’s almost to pretty to eat.
Although cherry blossom season has come and gone, La Belle Maman is keeping the season alive with their sakura eclairs, tiramisu and macarons. The sakura aka cherry blossom eclair has a perfect choux-like body filled with delicious vanilla bean custard. The top is lightly coated with a sweet pink, slightly flowery tasting glaze and garnished with a very bitter tasting dried cherry blossom. It’s pretty tasty, but the flower was not my cup of tea. In fairness, they did warn me about the taste beforehand.
The sakura tiramisu is more strawberry shortcake than tiramisu, in my opinion. It consists of layers of bready shortcake, mascarpone cheese and fresh strawberries. The decorative cherry blossom silhouettes on top add a really nice touch to its presentation. I really enjoyed it overall as a dessert, but not as a tiramisu. It’s fresh, not too sweet and perfect for spring.I’m big fan of the macarons here and the sakura macaron is one of my favourites. The signature cherry blossom shape and alluring light pink color with sparkling hot pink sugar crystals in the center are all too much to resist. Photogenic appearance aside, it has quite a unique sweet floral flavour that I really enjoy. If cherry blossoms aren’t your thing, they also have 12 other types of macarons that you can purchase individually (2,300) or by box. They make an excellent gift, especially since they come packaged in pretty ribbon-tied boxes. My top three are the earl grey, salted caramel and lavender.
As far as drinks go, they have quite a bit to choose from. They have a nice selection of coffees and lattes, but their specialty lies in teas. I’m absolutely crazy about their caramel milk tea. The caramel flavour is nicely balanced with the black tea and milk. It really pops. In fact, it’s so well made that I have never found the need to add sugar or sweetener to it. It is hands down the best caramel milk tea I’ve ever had, hot or iced. Their earl grey shake is also a note worthy contender, with hits rich taste and creamy texture.
So, if you’re ever in the area stop by for a cup of tea and maybe a pastry… or two.
- 경기도 성남시 분당구 정자동 165-1
- 165-1 Jeongja-dong Bundang-gu, Seongnam-si, Gyeonggi-do