Glamorous Penguin

Glamorous Penguin Hannam-dong Seoul

I've provided a picture of the outside of the building just so you can be sure I am not at all making up or mistranslating this amazing name.

Glamorous Penguin is one of those places I walked by a million times, marking the absurdity of it's name and thinking to myself "I should really go there just to see how strange it really is" but I just kept prioritizing places that seemed, well, less crazy until one day one of my friends asked if I had tried it remarking that she really liked the cakes and wanted to know what I would think of them. I kept that knowledge in the back of my mind for a few more weeks until one day after physical therapy, hot, tired, sweaty and not quiiite ready to climb back up the hill to my house, I passed by and decided that what I really needed was a cake break.

And then I did that twice more.

The first cake I tried was the Lemon Meringue. Thin layers of vanilla sponge alternating with a perfectly tart and creamy lemon curd. I am a lemon curd fanatic, so this cake could've easily been a huge disappointment but it definitely was not. I am very picky about meringue and found it slightly too dry for my taste but not so dry that I didn't eat it. Of the cakes I've had so far, this is definitely my favorite.

The Apple Maple Cake wasn't super maple-y but the cake had nice big apple chunks. Part of me is fully willing to say that the apparent trend of not leveling cakes really bothers me just because I'm a formally trained snob but now that I've actually tried some of the cakes towards which I was feeling disdain, I realize that it bothers me because it throws off the proportions of cake to frosting. Because this cake was little dry and wasn't frosted on the sides, I think I would've enjoyed it more if the top layer were thinner giving a higher frosting to cake ratio.

Similar to the Apple Maple Cake, I found the Carrot Cake well spiced but a bit on the dry side. The thicker layer of frosting in the middle did help some but I'd still rather have either a moister cake or a leveled cake with slightly more frosting. I do like that even though some of the cakes are not leveled, it clearly doesn't have anything to do with laziness or lack of caring since the presentation for each cake is unique and well done.

I've been pleasantly surprised by the coffee here. It's all espresso beverages, nothing crazy or super fancy but the iced lattes I've gotten have been consistently good with a smooth espresso taste and milk that actually feels and tastes full fat. Even in America, it can be a rarity to find bakeries where coffee isn't an after thought.

Like, Parc, Glamorous Penguin is located near Leeum, Samsung Museum of Art so if you're not looking for a full meal before or after a day of museum-ing, it's good place to stop for a rest and snack.

The address is 743-41 Hannam-dong. From Exit 1 of Hangangjin Station walk towards Itaewon Station, turn right on the side street between the Audi showroom and Trevia. Walk up the short street to the street that runs perpendicular and Glamorous Penguin will be on the street that runs diagonal and to the left.

You can also check out their Facebook page and adorable Instagram.