At first glance, Seoul Bakery might not stand out from the other similarly downtrodden Korean eateries lined up in the shadow of Centre Point “behind” Tottenham Court Road Station. Maybe a little, for its more more colourful signage and window displays, but that's about it. Once inside, however, the bakery's cosy vibe, simple menu and tasty dishes should win you over to the realisation that this sweet little place is a bit of a one-off wonder.
And if you happen to discover that you're as much of a fan as many of Seoul Bakery's customers, find some empty wall or table space…or more likely somewhere to stick a post-it note…to scrawl out a happy message like so many of the regulars have already done. Cutesy scribblings and doodles adorn much of the surface space here – adding to the K-pop piped-through atmosphere and the super friendly smiles of the staff while complementing Seoul Bakery's otherwise minimalist trappings.
So what winning-over menu items persuade Londoners to deface Seoul Bakery's walls and furniture? A fresh and healthy order of bibimbab is worthy of repeat visits and making a graffito note of. Options include vegetable, beef, tuna, chicken and tuna kimchi and range in price from £3.50 to £5. For a particularly filling meal add £1.49 to the price and get the “bibimbab set” which includes a cup of miso soup and kimchi or barley tea. Zanchi gooksoo, “Korean festival thin noodles with vegetables” for £4.99 is another ample and homey choice, particularly when it's dreary out. Add beef, tunam kimchi or chicken to your gooksoo for just a quid more. Another noteworthy mentionable is the moreish and fiery kimchi fried rice, which costs about a fiver.
Thirsty? The “best seller” iced green tea latte (£2.50 out/£2.65 in) is a yummy chilled out slupper. Warm honey plum tea soothes for about £1.50. And, yes, as the name implies, there are baked goods available. Cheap and pretty good, green tea cakes or choco-pies are a nice way to round out a lunch if you still have some room.
A bit of a hidden gem and a brilliant spot for spur-of-the-moment budget bites of impressive size, Seoul Bakery is located at 55 St Giles High Street, WC2H 8LH. There doesn't seem to be any official web presence for Seoul Bakery, but all the review sites and blog posts are vastly positive. Reach Seoul Bakery by phone at 07763 278681.