A visit to Dominique Ansel’s latest bakery has been on my agenda for some time, especially as I haven’t had the privilege of visiting the New York store – yet.
Dominique Ansel is an award-winning pastry chef known for his whimsical creativity, and he’s also the inventor of the Cronut, a glorious mash-up combining the light, flakey qualities of a croissant and the satisfaction of a calorific doughnut. With a bakery and kitchen in New York (that offers a multi-course all-dessert menu!) and one ‘next generation bakery’ in Tokyo, the London bakery is the latest addition to the DA empire and has firmly established itself as a foodie destination, for Londoners and tourists alike.
Our first visit was an celebratory engagement brekkie, the morning after Daniel proposed. Outside the canopies are a gorgeous inviting yellow, while inside is fresh, modern and bright, but not in a remotely clinical way. If anything the minimalist interior provides the perfect backdrop to DA’s colourful, sometimes intricate, works of art. We treated ourselves to the much-talked about Cronut – the flavour changes on a monthly basis; February is Raspberry Jam with Orange Blossom Ganache and it is wonderful! Jammy and fresh is the best way for me to describe it.
We also shared a DKA (Dominique’s Kouign Amann, soft and flaky like a Cronut but instead of a sweet filling it is carefully caramelized on the outside) and the divine and aptly-named Perfect Little Egg Sandwich. Eggs are steamed with herbs and Gruyere and served in a mini brioche bun. The now-fiance also tried the Roasted Vegetable Toast; sourdough bread topped with courgettes, tomatoes, aubergines and a smidge of hummus: so good.
At DA, it isn’t just about the food; the friendly staff are so genuinely welcoming, and not only did Deputy General Manager Rachel give us a heart-shaped Palmier to celebrate our engagement, she recognised us the next day, when we snuck in again. As it was a late Sunday afternoon the place was heaving, but the service was still the same. We opted to take out our Apple Tarte Tatin – decadent, caramelised heaven on a plate – and luxurious Salted Caramel Éclair and enjoyed them later on in our hotel bed.
Weeks later, I’m still having food flashbacks, so I decide to check out the bakery’s website. The About section mentions their aim of wanting to make people smile, and I can guarantee, even on your worst day, these delicate, creative morsels will do just that.
To find out more visit http://dominiqueansellondon.com