Mr. Peyton: Pastries and Coffee in Hannam-dong
It has been an inexcusably long time since I’ve made a post, but I do have a few excuses. One of them I will get into in more detail soon, but the reason why I’m suddenly posting again today is because today is the final deadline of a book I’ve been translating over the past six months, in addition to all my other work. That means I finally have some free time again. Well, I don’t really, but I’m giving myself a week off before I get fully stuck in to my next project, which should be appearing here soon.
Of course, part of the issue with being busy is not really having time to write and edit photos, but my schedule’s been so out of control for the past few months that I’ve not even really had time to do things like stop by a café for a pastry and a coffee. Hopefully, that will change soon, because there are so many great places to do that in Seoul now, and one of my favorites is Mr. Peyton, in Hannam-dong.
They have a menu that rotates fairly often, and they’re always adding new and seasonal items, and I feel like these photos don’t really capture everything they have to offer. We went kind of early on a Sunday morning, but a quick peek at their Instagram account shows strawberry cream biscuits, espresso muffins, fig and apricot mini-pies, and royal pistachio cake.
The atmosphere of the place is really nice, and it’s in an out-of-the-way location, so it’s always been kind of quiet when I’ve stopped by. A lot of the neighbors seem to drop in to pick up morning coffee and pastries for takeout, too.
This time, we went for two of the items they seem to always have on hand, the salted caramel apple pie and a giant cinnamon roll. B’s become a bit of a snob about baked goods, and since cinnamon rolls are something I make pretty often, he wasn’t blown away by this one, but as the person who has to make the cinnamon rolls, I found it to be pretty good. In other words, this is a good option if you have a craving and don’t want to go to all the trouble of rising dough and rolling it out, whereas, usually when I try to satiate a cinnamon roll craving with something bought here in Korea, I usually end up throwing it out and just making them myself the next day. Mr. Peyton’s version are soft and clearly fresh — they’re just not straight-from-the-oven warm and gooey.
The salted caramel apple pie was another story. To be fair, I struggle with apple pie here, too, because it’s hard to find good pie apples (essentially impossible, really), and so I feel like it’s kind of a pointless effort. I had hoped this pie would change my mind, but to be honest, the filling was too dry, as if it had been drained off (the apples here release a lot of water when they’re cooked, so that’s a real possibility), and I couldn’t really taste any salt or caramel. It wasn’t bad. I just would probably opt for something else next time.
The pleasant surprise of the morning was their butterscotch latte, which was really lovely except for one, little thing. The barista told me that it was only available iced, which seemed odd to me, because butterscotch makes me think of hot beverages. But then it wasn’t really served iced, either, just slightly colder than lukewarm, which is a temperature I associate with my second cup of coffee on Saturday morning when I’m too lazy to heat it up in the microwave. But the flavor was really nice — not too sweet or overwhelming, which is what I had expected.
Mr. Peyton do a lot of beverages that are different from what you find elsewhere in Seoul, which is another reason why I like them. They offer long blacks, flat whites and chocolate lattes, all for under 5,000 won, and their pastries range from 3,000 to 5,000 won as well. Right now, they’ve got Belgian chocolate and Tokyo matcha. I’m not sure the ingredients come from either of those places, but I like small cafés that at least try to do new things and offer items that you can’t find at any chain coffee shop.
Overall, it’s a nice little place to check out if you’re in the area or looking for something new. I will say, their operating hours tend to fluctuate, so it’s a good idea to call before you go, if you’re going out of your way to pay them a visit.
서울시 용산구 한남동 790-8 (한남대로 42길 23)
790-8 Hannam-dong, Yongsan-gu, Seoul (Hannam-daero 42-gil 23)
Tel. 02 792 2668
Closed Mondays (sometimes…. check their social media)
Freelance writer and editor. American in Seoul. I write about Korean food. I blog about all food. Last year I wrote a monthly column about traveling to different places around the country to explore Korean ingredients and cuisine. This ignited my interest in local foods and cooking, which I blog about regularly now. I also blog restaurant and cafe recommendations, recipes and some background and history about Korean food.