Part Italian bistro, part dessert cafe, this four-story establishment exudes an industrial vibe. Neutral colored paint chips on barren walls. Lifeless dried flowers perch on windowsills. Bundles of moss hang from metal ceiling beams.
The interior is aesthetically dark and drab, even though it is filled with an abundance of natural light. Perhaps this was the designer’s intent, to not take away from the real star of the show: the cakes. Sweet, colorful treats that stand out in stark contrast to the rest of the cafe.
The display cases at the counter at Dore Dore are hypnotizing and lure customers like moths to a flame. Stocked with mile-high layered cakes of every color and flavor, it’s impossible not to order a slice.
Most patrons go straight for the rainbow varieties, of which there are two kinds: “Precious Cake” (소중해캐이크, ₩9,000/ slice), made of rainbow-colored cake layers separated with fresh cream, and “Feel Good! Cake” (기분좋아! 캐이크, ₩9,500/ slice), a similar concept that uses Philadelphia cream cheese in place of fresh cream. Other options include red velvet, chocolate and lemon, but the cold weather had me craving carrot cake, which Dore Dore calls “Congratulations Cake” (축하해 캐이크, ₩8.500/ slice).
From the first bite, I was completely satisfied with my decision. Eight layers of dense cake flavored with cinnamon and bits of carrots alternated with thick slabs of rich cream cheese and topped with roasted coconut flakes slowly sent me into a high like no other. (Not sure if it was because the cake tasted so good or because it contained so much sugar.)
The cafe also has an extensive beverage menu of standard coffee drinks, premium teas and real fruit juices. But I decided to go all out and ordered the Irish Whisky Cream Milk Tea (₩8,000). Frothy and creamy, the tea boasted sweet cocoa flavors and a subtle hint of whisky. Put simply, it tasted like winter.
I feared being judged by fellow diners, considering that the slice of cake was obviously meant to be shared, and I was dining alone. But after looking around, I noticed the couples and groups had at least one slice per person and didn’t feel so alone in my gluttony.
If you’re looking for a damn good slice of cake, go to Dore Dore. You’ll be hard pressed to find better. Just be sure to leave your conscience at the door, as these treats are purely sinful.
More Information: Dore Dore
Address: 544-4 Sinsa-dong Gangnam-gu Seoul, South Korea
Words and photos by Mimsie Ladner of Seoul Searching. Content may not be reproduced unless authorized.