European-style food in the center of Seoul

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European-style food in the center of Seoul


On some days, the only hint of pleasure (or on bad days, sanity) I am able to salvage from being stuck in an office all day is treating myself to the little luxuries in life; getting a cappuccino with a scone at mid-day, window shopping at a small clothes store near my office building, or treating myself to an indulgent lunch, instead of grabbing a roll of gimbap on the way back to the office.
Situated in the business center of Seoul, restaurant and deli Wood & Brick’s Gwanghwamun branch (there is also an outlet near the Hongik University and a brand-new deli/restaurant/tapas bar at Jongno), is filled much of the time, with workers in suits and stiff collared shirts, enjoying some sunlight and food by the open glass walls of the first-floor.
Wood and Brick has a selection of European-style breads, sandwiches, pasta dishes, soups, salads and desserts, including rye bread, multi-corn bread, ciabatta, foccacia, macaroons, quiche lorraine and paninis.
On a long, sweltering weekday lunch hour, I decided to stop by and get a curried chicken sandwich (6,000 won, $6.20) and a bottle of Perrier for a light lunch, and a tomato cheese foccacia (6,000 won) to take to the office, predicting I would be working overtime that day. Contrary to my initial fear that the curry flavor would be overpowering, the sandwich meat had a fresh, herbal curry flavor closer to southern Indian-style. The sauce was light as well, with a bit of Dijon mustard. The ciabatta it was served on, thankfully, was not sweet, as many breads in Korean delis have a sweetness that tends not to mix well with savory ingredients.
I also ended up eating two pieces of the tomato cheese foccacia (there were parmesan cheese and pumpkin cheese options), which the serving staff cut into squares from a giant-sized whole, almost the size of a child’s torso. There were half-baked cherry tomatoes drizzled with olive oil on top of the soft bread, which was thinly coated with mozzarella cheese. When I brought the squares to the office, co-workers who initially took one each, came back for more for the rest of the afternoon. Both items were simple and unpretentious ― with no need for fancy toppings or sauces to cover missing flavor, and both managed to make my afternoon a little more sunny.

by Cho Jae-eun

Wood & Brick, Gwanghwamun branch is located near the Gwang-hwamun subway station, line No. 5, exit 7. For more information, call (02) 735-1157 or visit
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