Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Hongdae: Sura & Mobssie

The Hongdae area of Seoul reminds me of that all-consuming first stage of a relationship, where everything about the person you are falling in love with is new and fascinating.  There's excitement, but also a feeling of anxiety and longing: you want to know absolutely everything, and you want to know it immediately! 

So far, I've learned about the delicious gorgonzola and mushroom burgers, the hip Spanish bar, the cafe with oreo shakes that feels like a TV set, the gooey hot chocolate cake desserts that make my insides melt, and the clothing stores that boast original designs that occasionally even fit me (at 5'10'', this is news to sing about in Seoul), but there is so much more that I haven't been able to get to in my many visits to the area.

On the other hand, sometimes after the fourth amazing business we've been to in a day, I start to feel overwhelmed by all of the pleasing color combinations and perfectly mismatched vintage furniture. I need a little ugly in my life to balance it all out, which is I don't think I'd ever choose to live in this area; I wouldn't want to start taking it for granted or get bored of its loveliness.

We've been to Sura a couple of times now, and we love the hip-but-playful feel.  Both times there's been an equal number of people reading and socializing, and there's even a cool upstairs loft space for people who are interested in the latter.  This time, Dan and I started out at a table drinking an oreo shake and caramel latte (both tasty), then snagged the ultra comfy reading chairs.  Score!  As we continued reading our addictive novels (Motherless Brooklyn for Dan, Cranford for me), I celebrated the transition into the evening hours with a cool glass of sangria.

Later, we stopped in at Mobssie, which we discovered clears out just before 10pm (in the afternoons there's always a wait).  Mobssie is famous for their molten lava chocolate cake, and with good reason.  This cake doesn't merely have a molten center; it is liquid throughout, save for a half inch crust at the bottom of the mug.  It's essentially a hot chocolate cake, and it's made Mobssie famous; not a single table in the restaurant hadn't ordered one of the mugs, despite a large number of alluring chocolate desserts on the menu.  One bite and I understood why: it's a rich, gooey chocolate lover's dream. 

The interior decor is flawless as well, of course, with pretty tile tables and original photographs placed in groups on the wall just so. We also loved the mugs that the cake is served in: "Ideal for use at home or on safari."


  1. Love this post, makes want to be in Seoul even more.

  2. Thank you. Seoul is an amazing city and I hope you can make it here some day soon!