Wednesday, March 22, 2017

My Top 10 Favorite Desserts in London

A quick scroll through my Instagram feed reveals that I've got quite the sweet tooth (and so do my trips to Eastman Dental Hospital for root canal treatments). And, I'm practically always the first in line to try a new dessert (as evidenced by this article in the Evening Standard).

So, I've rounded up a list of my favorite places to hit for dessert in London. That's right - I've been known to skip lunch/dinner and just head straight for the sweet stuff (just ask Shikha of WhyWasteAnnualLeave - our first meeting was at Tsujiri, the Japanese ice-cream bar known for its matcha and hojicha soft-serve, where we ordered two rounds of matcha soft-serve each, before getting kicked out at closing time. On a Monday night. So hardcore, right?).

In no particular order:

Bubblewrap Waffle's bubble waffles

The newest kid on the London-dessert-block, these waffles screamed of nostalgia when I first spotted them on Instagram. In the hawker centers of Hong Kong and Vancouver B.C., these bubble waffles are served plain and served  - piping hot - in paper bags. I'd pick at this delicious, eggy waffle and slurp my bubble tea while my parents went shopping. Bubblewrap Waffle's newly opened store in Chinatown's Wardour Street takes the original waffle to another level with its gelato filling and a copious amount of toppings, like fresh strawberries, mochi, oreos, and caramel sauce. I couldn't resist.

Milk Train's cotton-candy adorned soft-serve cones

"It looks like someone shat on a cloud," a Facebook user commented when I posted this to a local foodie group. Yeah, smartass, a shit-on-a-cloud or just the BEST THING EVER. I managed to get the cotton candy successfully stuck in my hair, my face, and even my arms, so ... yeah. Bring Wet Wipes. Try the hojicha soft-serve in the summer - it's my favorite. Delightfully refreshing and more subtle in flavor than matcha, which can come on a little strong sometimes.

Fabrique's cinnamon buns

I work near Fabrique, so I often make a slight detour during my lunch break to stop in for one of their delicious cinnamon buns and ask for it to-go. They're about as big as my face and I always get the sugar all over my hair, clothes, and keyboard back at work, but they're delicious - with a hint of cardamom. And comforting when enjoyed with a cup of tea.

Maitre Choux's eclairs

These ornate, picture-perfect eclairs need no introduction. Udita bought some for my birthday last year and I actually squealed when I saw the bag. Like, high-pitched, bounced-up-and-down-like-my-three-year-old-niece kind of squealed. And they taste just as amazing as they look. Masterpieces.

Dominique Ansel's cookie shots

In college, we had a tradition called "milk and cookies" (or M&Cs, as we called it) and each dining hall would set out a varation of milk and cookies (it could be milk and brownies, for example) every school night at 9:30 pm. It was a great study break, but also a fun way to meet up with friends and chill out in the dorms. Dominique Ansel's cookie shots recalled this tradition for me ...

Hotel Chocolat's salted caramel hot chocolate 

This is the ultimate hot chocolate: piled high with chocolate whipped cream and drizzled with chocolate sauce, it makes quite the impression. So much so, that a lady passing by in Seven Dials stopped to ask me where I got it from. Sure to leave you with a whipped cream mustache, this is one for instantly lifting your spirits when you've had a horrible, no good, very bad day. Or, you know, if you just feel like treating yourself.

Tandoor Chop House's malted kulfi

I mean, I loved (like, loved) my lunch at Tandoor Chop House recently, but if there was one thing that I could bundle up and take away with me to a desert island, it'd be the malted kulfi with caramelised bananas and salted peanuts. That first, ice-cold, rich and creamy mouthful blew me away with its intense flavor and incredible sweetness. It's one to share - I felt myself feeling a bit sick after tackling about a third!

Yolkin's macaron ice-cream sandwiches

Warning: these beauties are pretty to look at (and delicious too), but a pain to eat. I'd advise working on the ice cream in the middle until you've got a thin layer left on each macaron half, then eating the halves like a cookie

Tsujiri's matcha soft serve

Who knew that matcha soft-serve + rice krispies + sweet red bean paste could be such a magical combination? Well, Tsujiri did, and their sundaes are one of my favorite sweet treats. The houjicha milk float is just as delicious: ice-cold, refreshing, with a wonderfully creamy taste.

Pierre Herme's macarons

They're soft, with an intensely-flavored ganache - and I much prefer them to the macarons from that other, popular macaron maison with the pale-green boxes. You know the one I'm talking about. The ingenuity of the flavors is impressive: from fois gras to salted-butter caramel and apples (yes, really), there's no shortage of inventive, exciting taste-sensations in these beautiful, two-toned confections.

Do you have a sweet tooth? Have you tried any of these desserts? Sweet treats are my absolute weakness!

p.s. totally unrelated, but have you ever seen people misspell "dessert" as "desert"? It gets me every time! I can't resist making a joke about it either.

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