Before you could realized what was happening, a “Ricotta Cheese Salad Craze” have swept the cafes in South Korea. Unknowingly, cafes around the country had suddenly included this particular dish in their menu — regardless of how good or bad their ricotta cheese salad taste like, unfortunately. However if you’re wondering where to get a decent Ricotta Cheese Salad, and perhaps a heart warming potato soup (Best in winter), Cafe Mamas 카페 마마스, a chain cafe in Seoul is the place you might want to check out simply because they are the ones that started this whole cheesy (ㅋㅋㅋ) craze in the land of morning calm.
Although there are competitors around, I would say their ricotta cheese salad is by far the best in town. Currently they have 15 outlets around Seoul, and business is pretty good. If you plan to visit the place on a weekend, I’ll suggest you to visit their outlet in the CBD area. For example the one nearby the Finance Center (Yeoksam Station 역삼역), and if you do not mind the crowd, you may try out their chic and stylish new outlet at the newly opened COEX mall. If not, you may have to spend sometime to queue before getting a seat on a weekend as they are pretty popular among the locals.
The restaurant offers a variety of sandwiches, panini, homemade salad, fresh juice, coffee and potato soup. Everything look fresh, healthy and wholesome here on the menu — good for any health conscious working OL. No wonder they become the hotspot in the CBD area within such short period, and is still going strong.
Operating on a self-serving system, visitors have to place order at the counter. An electronic bell will be given upon order and once the food is ready, the bell will start to vibrate, a signal for visitors to pick up their food at the counter.
Ricotta Cheese Salad 리코타치즈 샐러드
The legendary, Cafe Mamas’ ricotta cheese salad. Slightly sweet in flavour, it is fresh and soft, creamy, and oh-so FLUFFY! The cheese makes a terrific spread on the bread that comes together with the salad. The almond and walnut adds a crunchy texture, dried cranberries brings some fruity hint, and they drizzle it with some balsamic vinegar for that perfect twist of sourness… YUMS. Speaking of the bread, they are so soft and chewy, really addictive. One bite and the rest is history. A perfect match with the ricotta cheese.
The best thing about ordering this dish? Refillable bread! The cheese and veggies are generously portioned. Once you finish your bread, just bring the salad bowl to the counter and they will fill more breads for you. Best bargain!
Potato Soup 감자스프
Seriously, I have never miss a chance of ordering it. I order this every single time I step into any Mamas and it never disappoints me. It is one very rich, hearty, smooth, creamy and cheesy potato soup, simple and perfect enjoyment for any rainy/windy/chilly day, if you really need an excuse. : D
This is how I usually order my meals at Mamas if I am with another friend. Two drinks (usually one coffee and a fruit juice), one ricotta salad and one potato soup. Their food comes in large portions and usually one order (especially their panini and sandwich) is good enough to feed two. For me, I just refill my bread. kkkkkkk
Verdict: Great food if you are bored of anything Korean, and they are popular not only among locals, but foreigners as well. Other than the ones listed above, green grape juice is another must try! Cafe Mamas are almost everywhere in the downtown area, be sure to check them out when you see one here in Korea!
1. Coming out from Yeoksam Station 역삼역 Exit No.1, go straight where you’ll pass by Gangnam Finance Centre (at your left).
2. Continue to walk down the street, until you see a 4 storey building like below. Turn to your right.
3. Once turning to your right, you’ll be able to locate MAMAS on the left.