We’ve had cronuts and cruffins. Now the croiffle – yes, that’s a cross between a croissant and a waffle – has arrived in Adelaide. The pastry hybrid is one of the stars at Seoul Sweetie, a new Korean dessert bar from the crew behind Busan Baby (and located right next door).
Co-owner and head chef Jinny Shim, who’s behind the popular chiffon cakes at Busan Baby and Bai Long Store, says she’s been looking for somewhere to present her desserts as the main attraction. “I used to work in restaurants as a pastry chef, but the desserts were just a small section of the whole menu,” Shim tells Broadsheet. “I always wanted to do my own thing with more creativity, flavours and seasonal fruit.”
With a background as a painter and a furniture designer, Shim says she has an artistic approach to constructing her desserts. “I always think my dishes are like a canvas – the colours, textures and flavours have to go together,” she says. “I really like to mix Western and Asian flavours and surprise people with the combinations.”
Take the aforementioned croiffles, which are served with either matcha ice-cream, whipped white-chocolate ganache or chocolate mousse. Or the strawberry panna cotta served with strawberry-umeshu sorbet, chiffon cake, raspberry meringue, whipped cream cheese and white-chocolate ganache.
There are also two kinds of bingsu (a popular Korean shaved-ice dessert): mango with lychee popping pearls and mango-coconut jelly, and bubble-tea ice-cream with Oreo crumbs and boba pearls.
Shim’s rendition of dalgona coffee, a whipped instant-coffee drink that went viral earlier this year, is the product of countless hours of experimentation. It’s made with Starbucks instant coffee and topped with honeycomb, and available in three flavours (including mocha and matcha). The team’s also pouring T2 teas and Vittoria coffee.
While Seoul Sweetie is separate entity from Busan Baby, Shim says the new venue is a “natural progression”. Together, the two venues provide a glimpse into South Korea’s vibrant, late-night food and drink scene.
The earthy fit-out was designed by Shim, who took inspiration from the novel Norwegian Wood by Japanese author Haruki Murakami. The result feels like a cosy woodland retreat, with ambient light fittings hanging from wooden branches, greenery, and Shim’s own interpretation of The Arrival of Spring, a painting by English artist David Hockney.