Pink palace of pies is Lucy’s diamondAround a quiet street corner in the middle of an apartment complex in Dongbuichon-dong, central Seoul, there is a dainty pink pie shop. From the outside it looks like the ideal dessert haven for the little girl inside all of us. The roseate girliness of the restaurant makes the Lucy Pie Kitchen irresistible. And yes, it does have a pink heart above the “i” in “pie” in its logo, so this place might not be for everybody but its range of pies should make even the most extreme cynic blush with pleasure.
Inside the shop, in a glass display shelf decorated with seasonal snowflake designs, there is every kind of pie one might want, from classic pecan to apple crumble, pumpkin, blueberry, cream cheese, mint chocolate and more. The restaurant also has a selection of meat pies (with a choice of either chicken or meatball), tarts, quiche and cookies, all priced between 3,500 won ($3.75) to 5,000 won.
This tiny two-year-old restaurant has had the media’s attention since it opened. Proper pie restaurants are rare in Seoul. This establishment’s pies are in sharp contrast to the frozen offerings many Seoul residents are familiar with from cafes. The owner, Choi Hwa-sun studied baking at the Cordon Bleu school in Tokyo.
Sceptical because of the media hype, I went into the restaurant with some doubts but after my first bite of Lucy’s apple crumble, these vanished. The moist apple filling had the right amount of density with no soggy crust or overly sweet aftertaste. Hypnotized by pies and with my defences destroyed, I (gasp!) dug into my second piece, this time the chocolate mousse with a top layer of heavenly marshmallow, a creamy chocolate mousse middle (although a richer, darker chocolate would have been better for the mousse) and a soft chocolate cake bottom.
Impressed, I asked for a meatball pie but the woman behind the counter told me that the restaurant usually runs out of these by 6 or 7 o’clock. My disappointment was so great that I bought pieces of mint chocolate pie, blueberry pie, and cream cheese pie before I had time to reconsider.
The Lucy Pie Kitchen is in Dongbuichon-dong, central Seoul. The nearest subway is Ichon station, line No. 4, exit 4. Opening hours are 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., from Mondays to Thursdays and 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. from Fridays to Sundays. For more information, call (02) 790-7779.
by Cho Jae-eun