[Nonhyeon] Gateau de Voyage-More Technique, Less Flavor
It was such a bizarre experience; the cakes were pretty and immaculate, looked really promising. But it had almost no flavor. I thought that I was missing something, so I came back. It was even worse. At the second visit, I couldn’t proceed after first bites on each. More or less, I felt like I was eating models of cakes, not the real ones. I have never felt this kind of feeling anywhere. It was that bizarre. The only flavor I can remember is the tartness of cherry jelly in the ‘Cherrissimo’, but other than that, there are no assertive flavors in any of the cakes. It wasn’t like the situation where the flavors are too subtle to recognize; they were just all muted, without exception. It is ‘more technique, less flavor’ simply because I don’t want to be impolite to the cakes with that much of aesthetics, but it is more like ‘all technique, no flavor.’ There are more details to dig into, but not really meaningful.
In fact, I felt the cakes were the extreme examples of technicality in pastry; you can erase all the flavors, even including sweetness which is related to texture and everything, and still make such beautiful cakes. It could be meaningful for teaching as visual appeal is the first aspect you need to achieve to lure customer, but not much for eating. In other words, they don’t seem to be something for eater; rather for producers or his students.
I have thought about numerous ideal scenarios where expats generate win-win situations in food culture: contributing to better quality and diversity and garnering publicity and financial stability. The more I eat, however, the less I feel that there are such cases. Some are very mediocre in a way they don’t deserve credits, while others are going totally unnecessary and meaningless directions. The cakes of Gateau de Voyage belongs to the latter. To some extent it is one of the best cakes you can have today in Korea, but unfortunately, that extent doesn’t cover flavor department. He seems to know too well, too much. What an empty voyage, that was.
* Capsule coffee isn’t a bad choice in normal circumstance, but ‘Voyage’ isn’t the normal one. The cakes with 8,000~10,000 KRW, you need to provide better coffee to match. In this context, capsules are halfhearted, even lazy choices.
** I believe it was an exception and an abnormal situation, but in second visit, there were very loud people who seemed to be the students of owner. It was so loud that I couldn’t appreciate the cake well.
*** Chipped plate, both visits. Maybe the same one? Possibly the only one they have? Sigh.