Wednesday, December 12, 2018

yeesh: bad, bad bread

I shouldn't have done this, but when I left work Tuesday evening, I made a beeline for Kim Young Mo Pâtisserie, the high-end bakery just up the street from our office. The place makes decent baguettes and croissants; they're better than the bread found in almost all the other bakeries in the neighborhood. I had seen that Kim Young Mo was selling Christmas-y breads, and since I always look forward to a yearly Stollen, I decided I'd buy that plus an Italian panettone. Both were on display and available in various sizes; I went for the mini-Stollen and the half-panettone.

When I got home, I eagerly unwrapped both breads and cut myself a small slice of each.

Both were horrible beyond words.

I've eaten Stollen in Korea before, and I know that Korean bakeries can and do make decent versions of this German classic (pronounce it "shtoh-len"), so I blithely assumed that Kim Young Mo, which normally makes pretty good bread, would knock this out of the park, given that its bakers and pastry chefs are supposedly trained in Europe. So what on earth happened? I have no clue. The Stollen was simply awful, with a sickening aftertaste, and the panettone was, unbelievably, even worse. Both breads were so bad as to be inedible, so I threw both of them in the food trash, 99% uneaten. What a goddamn waste. I'm angry, too: the mini-Stollen had set me back W12,000, or a little over $10, US.

I have to wonder whether any other customers in that store have had the same experience. Both breads were below substandard. Kim Young Mo is also selling these cute little candy/gingerbread Christmas houses; they come in various sizes, and they're all hellaciously expensive. I had thought about buying a house for our office, but given what just happened, I'm now worried that this will be another case of looks good, tastes shitty.


John from Daejeon said...

Bakeries in South Korea are mostly a huge miss for me when it comes to foreign baked breads, cookies, and cakes. My brother never understood why I've always mailed so many ingredients overseas to myself over the years or had him send me care packages with the likes of tapioca in them.

Due to your foodie love, I found a cute Irish lass trying out some Texas fast food for the first time while blindfolded. I have to give her props for not tainting her rankings based on either visual or preconceived notions of the establishments. I can see why she has so many patreons. I just wonder how long before she gets shutdown by those on the left crying about her privilege of being born white and beautiful and making money off of it.

Charles said...

This post made me weep.

Kevin Kim said...


I almost wish I had saved some of the bread so you could see for yourself how truly suck-ass it was. I'm not exaggerating when I say I was shocked at the poor quality. Anyway, if you have a Kim Young Mo in your neighborhood, stay away from the Christmas bread and just stick to their baguettes, croissants, and other, less daring/seasonal fare.

Maybe I should go back to the Cheongpa-dong/Huam-dong area, where I used to live (Sookdae is in Cheongpa-dong); I got a really nice Stollen from a small, unprepossessing bakery in that area.

Charles said...

Oh, I believe you. It does come as a shock, though--like you, I've known KYM to have good quality bread. Something terrible must have gone wrong.

We do not have a KYM anywhere near us, but should I come across one in the future I will remember to stay away from the Christmas breads.

This reminds me of my own Christmas loaf--a sweet bread with spices and bourbon-soaked raisins. Haven't made that in years.