Mia Nonna Exterior: Mia Nonna is a warm and inviting space with tall pink beige walls and ceiling-length windows (Photo credit: Mia Nonna)
On a quiet weekday, before noon, Mia Nonna, the beloved sandwich shop that recently moved to Seoul’s Seongsu-dong, is a peaceful and inviting space.
Tall, tall walls are awash in soft, beige pink and ceiling length windows let the autumn sunshine filter in.
Several outdoor tables welcome those who want to enjoy the fall foliage while munching on sandwiches and sipping from steaming mugs of hot coffee.
“I deliberately used indi pink and wood tones to warm up the space because I was worried the high ceilings might give off a cold ambiance,” Mia Nonna owner Lee Se-rom, 34, explained in an email interview. “I feel the rich green hues of the park next door really completes the vibe.”
Lee, who traveled to Italy in 2015 to learn Italian cuisine, returned to Seoul and opened Mia Nonna in Mangwon-dong in 2016.
After four years of steadily crafting sandwiches and garnering a loyal following of regulars from her small perch, Lee said she decided to move to a larger space in Seongsu-dong this April.
Mia Nonna Carrot Hummus Sandwich: Carrot hummus sandwich (Photo credit: Mia Nonna)
At her new location, one can taste favorites like her hummus carrot sandwich.
When ordered in-house, it is served as an open-faced sandwich -- two slices of chewy baguette, layered with feta cheese, hummus, grated carrot salad and plenty of cilantro.
For her take on hummus, Lee revealed she seasons it with cumin and cayenne pepper for a slight kick and that for her take on classic French carottes rapees -- grated carrot salad -- she uses white wine vinegar.
The combination is aromatic, tangy, nutty, creamy and crunchy. A judicious sprinkling of dried cranberries adds an extra dimension of tart sweetness to this addictive veggie-centric sandwich.
Mia Nonna Sandwiches: Mia Nonna currently offers six sandwiches. (Photo credit: Mia Nonna)
Other sandwiches include Mia Nonna’s Very Italian panini.
Crafted from walnut bread baked in-house and filled with meaty grilled eggplant, enough to steal the show, this sandwich tastes like eggplant parmesan reborn as a panini.
Mia Nonna Very Italian Sandwich: Mia Nonna’s Very Italian panini (Photo credit: Mia Nonna)
Tomatoes that have been sundried at Mia Nonna into a beautiful, mouth-puckering vibrant richness, molten Havarti cheese, salami, pesto and wholegrain mustard round out this warm sandwich.
In addition to a line-up of six sandwiches, Mia Nonna also specializes in baked goods like their fragrant Earl Grey and fig muffins.
Mia Nonna Earl Grey Fig Muffins: Earl Grey and fig muffins sport a soft, buttery, tea-infused crumb and nubs of sweet, house-dried figs. (Photo credit: Mia Nonna)
These muffins sport a soft, buttery, tea-infused crumb and nubs of sweet, house-dried figs and are one of many sweet treats that Lee has hidden up her sleeve.
“Our carrot walnut muffins and cranberry chocolate chip cookies are also popular and we are getting ready to sell them again soon,” Lee revealed.
“I want this spot to be a warm place that sells delicious sandwiches and sweet cookies,” Lee said.
104 Bluestone Tower, 302-8 Seongsu-dong 2-ga, Seongdong-gu, Seoul
Open Mondays thru Fridays from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., on weekends open from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Sandwiches cost 10,000 won to 12,000 won, espresso-based drinks cost 3,800 won to 5,300 won
Everything on the menu is available for take-out
By Jean Oh (firstname.lastname@example.org)