When you get to travel around the world for work and play, you get to sample some of the best food around… And yet the greatest foodie finds are back at home! We’re still waiting for that next great afternoon tea to feature – will it be in Germany? Maybe Israel or Italy? – but our base of London is home to some of the best sweet surprises to be found. I know that loads of you will be visiting England for various cake shows and the Cake Masters Awards, as well as for summer holidays. Just pop over to London’s Covent Garden/Soho/ Chinatown areas, and you will be spoiled for amazing and unique sweet eats!
One of the most mesmerising desserts I was able to experience (yes, experience!) was the Japanese cult RAINDROP CAKE at Yamagoya. For a limited time only, this pop up restaurant offers this visually stunning, clear jelly dessert for just 2.30 GBP. It is as affordable as it is rare though, as this temporary Soho spot only serves 20 of these transparent treats per day. Made with special agar powder, you can watch it wiggle, see it jiggle and see through it. Served with molasses syrup and roasted soybean powder, it’s a very unique taste. I loved it as it reminded me of Filipino polvoron, but my dining companions were not as enamoured. Whether or not you dig the flavour, it’s great fun doing a foodie food shoot of these edible raindrops. (The savoury offerings were equally delicious and affordable too.)
Staying with the Japanese theme – and did you know that Japan has the most Michelin-starred restaurants in the world?! – Oliver Maki in London’s Soho creates some truly gorgeous desserts. I mean, who doesn’t want to eat an edible garden? What I loved most about the desserts here is that they were so light and flavourful. Once you’re done snapping all of the lovely little details (like the mini sugared carrots) and bite into these little works of art, you’re treated to a wonderful combination of flavours. My work date, Paul, preferred the matcha green tea tiramisu (and totally got into the foodie food snaps too), whilst I loved the deep, rich flavours of the chocolate garden. They are presented in wonderful terrarium style glasses, adding to the overall whimsical experience. At just 8 GBP each, it’s another affordable gastro experience. (Again, the savoury dishes here are divine; totally recommend the rock shrimp tempura and tacos).
Last, but not least, who doesn’t want a custom-made 3D chocolate lollipop of their own head? The geniuses at Candy Mechanics have discovered a quick and clever – and again, reasonably priced at 8 GBP each – way of scanning your noggin and mechanically sculpting milk, dark or white chocolate into a fab little likeness of you, called a LOLPOP. Your head on a stick! They had a blink of an eye pop up store in Covent Garden for a week where the live experience was on offer, but you can go to candymechanics.com and order your LOLPOP – they even give you instructions on how to 3D scan your head using your mobile phone. How cool is that?
By the way, we had to walk by the bubble waffle place in Chinatown a few times to get to/from these various spots, and the line is still around the block! I’m such a fan of these pop ups and their temporary-ness is what makes the treats even sweeter.
Read more about our exciting afternoon tea adventures here!