At Revisite, owner-chef Lee Seung-jun incorporates Korean ingredients like black sesame into traditional French desserts like the Paris-Brest.
For Lee, who studied pastries at Le Cordon Bleu-Sookmyung and worked at several prominent dessert shops and bakeries, this is the whole purpose of Revisite, the dessert shop he opened in Samseong-dong, Seoul this winter.
“Revisite” means to “reinterpret” in French, Lee explains, which he felt was the perfect name for his place, a place where he reinterprets French desserts in his own style as well as with ingredients customarily used in Korean cuisine.
Here one will find buttery financiers infused with fragrant field perilla seed oil and field perilla seeds and plump madeleines amped up with basil and draped in a citrusy lime glaze.
One will find a tangy and simultaneously creamy tart crafted with lemons sourced from Jeju Island as well as his particularly toothsome strawberry tart, the very tart that merited delaying the opening of his shop.
It was the strawberries for this tart, specifically, that prompted Lee to alert followers on Revisite’s official Instagram account that the official opening date would be pushed back a day to Jan. 6.
“If I got strawberries delivered the strawberries could become mushy,” Lee, 31, explained in an e-mail interview. “So I wanted to find strawberries that I could pick up in person. I was looking for strawberries that were firm in texture and intensely fragrant.”
In his search for the perfect strawberries, Lee found a farm that harvested “jukhyang,” a domestic cultivar that fit the profile he was looking for.
Now he visits the farm regularly to pick up the strawberries, which he uses to craft the strawberry compote and infuse the almond cream for his tart. As a finishing touch, he uses slices of fresh strawberries to crown this addictive dessert.
What emerges is a tart that marries a buttery, crisp shell with just the right amount of salinity and an incredibly satiny ganache montee --- a custardy cream fashioned with Madgascar Bourbon vanilla beans, fresh cream and white chocolate -- sweet strawberry compote and fresh strawberries.
Lee showcases his mastery of textures and layered flavors again with his take on the classic Paris-Brest.
This famed pastry, created in France in 1910 to commemorate the Paris-Brest-Paris bicycle race, is customarily made by taking two wheel-shaped choux pastries and sandwiching them around a hazelnut and almond mousseline cream.
At Revisite, Lee uses black sesame, pairing black sesame praline with buttercream to make the mousseline that fills the center of this dessert and then adorning the top of the choux pastry with a black sesame-based crumble.
The result is a very nutty, rich dessert, tempered by the airiness of the choux pastry, a dessert that for some may stir up memories of the sesame variation of “gangjeong” -- the traditional Korean cookie crafted with puffed rice.
At the moment, Lee is selling two tarts, a cake, several financiers, madeleines and a canele. Plans are to add macarons to his line-up as well as a change up of his desserts.
In fact, he revealed that part of the reason why he christened his shop “revisite” is because it also means “revisit,” as he hopes to bring dessert lovers back with new treats for each season.
115-45, Samseong-dong, Gangnam-gu, Seoul
Open Tuesdays through Saturdays from noon until 7 p.m. (will close early if sold out), closed Sundays through Mondays
Tarts and cakes cost 7,500 won to 8,500 won, cookies and tea cakes cost 2,700 won to 3,600 won
All desserts available for take-out only at the moment
By Jean Oh (email@example.com)
Copyrightⓒ Herald Media INC. All rights reserved.