Soboro Bakery is the latest venture by Dong Hyun Kim, owner of Wasabi, Kimchee and Kimchee To Go. After what seemed like an eternity waiting for the empty unit in the Lion Yard to open, Cambridge finally has the honour of being Soboro Bakery’s very first location.
It was worth the wait. The shop is beautifully designed and well laid out. Its minimalist décor offers clean lines and muted tones. There’s a good feeling about the place: it’s bright, cheerful and welcoming.
Taking its name from the classic Korean sweet bun, Soboro Bakery is very much a reflection of its founder Dong Hyun Kim who was born in Korea, learned his trade in Japan and makes London his home. The website states that Soboro is “based on the fine traditions of Japanese and Korean bakery” but it also offers many British favourites so it’s not strictly an Asian bakery. Actually it’s not just a bakery either. It’s more like a café as it serves sandwiches, soups, salads and yogurt pots in addition to its wide selection of buns, doughnuts, cakes, pastries, muffins, tarts, danish and cookies.
My husband and I have been curious about Korean food, particularly Bibimbap, for a while now. I just so happen to have a niece who is somewhat of an expert on all things Korean. So when the opportunity to visit my family in my hometown of Montreal arose, I knew a venture into Korean fare would be on the proverbial menu.
My niece has been raving about GaNaDaRa in downtown Montreal and has introduced it to friends and family. Her parents (my sister and brother-in-law) have become converts. When this place first opened two years ago, it was an immediate hit with the student population due its big portions and decent prices. However, word has gotten out that this is not just a studenty cheap-eats kind of place. GaNaDaRa serves up some delicious Korean specialties. They do it well and they do in with great efficiency. When we popped in here for lunch last week, there was a mix of customers: students, business people on their lunch break and us (the tourists, so to speak).
The place is small but the tables turn over quickly. We were a group of 5, considered large for an establishment of this size, so we made a point of arriving at noon before the queue formed at the door. We were seated at the back near the TV that, as my niece explained, showed K-pop videos. This really added to the charming ambience and I enjoyed reading all of the cute sayings painted on the walls.