What a short memory the food community in London seems to have. There has been a huge amount of press trumpeting the arrival of ‘London’s first dessert restaurant’ as Café Royal on Regent Street prepares to relaunch The Café in March as a venue for sweet treats only.
Does nobody recall the Pudding Bar on Greek Street in Soho? It’s closed now we grant you, but still it was a dessert-only restaurant and it opened long before (2014) The Café’s image overhaul. Perhaps it is just us old timers at Harden’s, where the openings and closures of London dining destinations have been measured for 25 years, who care about such finicky details.
Not that we don’t like the idea of Café Royal launching a dessert-only restaurant, we do. It’s just not London’s first dessert-only restaurant.
The Café will arrive under its new guise on 3 March with dishes created by exec pastry chef Sarah Barber. It will even feature a selection of tasting menus, from £26 pp, served with optional wine pairing and available from 6-10.30 pm daily. The Sarah in Wonderland menu will feature five courses, starting with savouries such as the Milky Way, with goat’s cheese, wild honey and beetroot snow; and Chicken Foie with quince and brioche. Guests will then experience a journey of Alice in Wonderland inspired desserts: Queen of Hearts (raspberries, Champagne and roses); Mad Hatter (BFG, kirsch and cherries) and Eat Me, Drink Me (Snickers, chocolate malt shake).
A three-course Childhood Memories menu will also be available, comprising Sarah’s take on nostalgic favourites such as Rhubarb & Custard and Jaffa Cakes. There’s even a Pick n Mix menu which allows guests to make their selection of four dishes.
The opening of the evening dessert restaurant will run alongside the launch of Sarah’s new day food and drink menus in The Café, with breakfast, light lunches, and afternoon teas available 8 am-6 pm daily. An in-house PÃ¢tisserie will offer petit gÃ¢teau such as Pistachio & apricot mille feuille; Strawberry lemon candy cane; Raspberry rose sphere; and Strawberry crispy mousse with almond sponge and lemon curd and Black Forest gteau with chocolate mushrooms.