Ilsan – Junicake (Madu, Specialty Cafe)

I recently had a rare half day at work and was finished by lunchtime so I took the opportunity to check out a great area in Ilsan called Madu. Now you might be aware of Madu Station which is on the Orange (no.3) Line but the area is much bigger than that and extends out behind the station into a charming area full of boutiques, cafes, and antique stores.

The cafe on my agenda was a popular dessert cafe called Junicake (주니케이크). They have recently moved into a lovely new (and much bigger) premises and I was glad to be able to check them out. I hadn’t seen the old one in person but I saw pictures and it looked much smaller. A friend of mine recommended this cafe after she saw it online so I met her there and we shared a range of delicious sugary treats.

The building is brick and looks nice but unassuming from the outside. To be honest the inside was rather the same; it’s clean and spacious but it does not really have any character or theme. Not that that is a bad thing. I feel like there are enough places with different kinds of gimmicks so something uncluttered and simple is fine when the products are the real stars not the decor. The food is the highlight here and it’s certainly pretty enough for some good Instagram shots.

For drinks my friend got a milk tea and I was happy to find a passion fruit ade on the menu. I love to try different ades but most places just have lemonade and maybe a grapefruit or lime version. Passion fruit is one of my favorite fruits so to find it in an ade and also in some of the other menu items was exciting. The passion fruit ade was very good. It was not very sweet and had a mild taste but was still very refreshing on a hot day like it was. I would definitely get it again. 

First of we tried a couple of their macarons (one strawberry and one passion fruit). The macarons were very good and my friend thought they were just the right amount of chewy and soft. We also agreed that they had good flavors and were not too sweet. Of course my favorite one was the passion fruit one and you might notice a theme of that as we continue.

Next up I chose the MangoPassion dessert because it looked amazing (and passion fruit) and a Chocolate Cake.

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The MangoPassion dessert was chosen one, for having passion fruit in it and two, for being the prettiest of all the offerings. I had to find out what was inside. The orange outer part is a very thin but hard shell that you have to crack open (fun) and then inside is a lovely light, soft, melt- in-your-mouth mousse. This was delicious, light and fruity with a tart raspberry hiding right in the center. The biscuit base was a bit hard but it was still nice. It did just seem like it was just there for the mousse to sit on. Perhaps it was.

Lastly was the Rare (Real?) Chocolate Cake. Not sure on the name there as it was written in Korean. We thought it was ‘Rare’ but thinking on it now it could have been transliterated to ‘Real’ which would make more sense. But ‘What’s in a name?‘ really the point is that is was amazing. I think it was the best chocolate cake I’ve had in Korea. I gobbled it down so fast that I was almost finished before my friend was like ‘So it’s good then?’ and I realized I hadn’t offered her any yet. My response ‘It’s damn good!’ and it was.

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It had a nice soft texture and was one that had thin layers of cake and a mousse-like filling. I think this made it much lighter than normal cakes that can sometimes be a bit dense. It also had a glaze icing so that was very thin. All in all this was so good and it disappeared very quickly. It had just the right amount of sweetness and was super easy to eat.

The not too sweet thing was a theme that I noticed with all the items that we tried. They had just the right amount without being overwhelming. As you can see we tried a few different things but I never felt like it was too much. Sometimes all you have to do is eat half a piece of cake and you feel like you have had more than enough sugar for the day. Of course that just makes it more dangerous because it is very easy to eat more than you were planning to.

I have to say that I was very impressed with this cafe. I not usually that impressed with dessert cafes but this was a great place with amazing cakes and drinks. I would not hesitate to recommend it.

Address: 850 Madu-dong, Ilsandong-gu, Goyang-si, Gyeonggi-do; 경기도 고양시 일산동구 마두동 850

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