Sarah Barber’s dessert restaurant has now closed and is now home to Cakes & Bubbles by Albert Adria (new blog post coming soon!)
Mark. Loves. Dessert. Give him anything with plenty of sugar in it and he’s a happy man. I’ve never met anyone with a sweet tooth that comes even within a mile of his. I decided to take him to the new dessert restaurant by Sarah Barber at Hotel Cafe Royal (London’s first!) on Regent Street as a belated Valentine’s Day gift.
Walking in, we were met by our friendly (and quite tall…) waiter who showed us to our table. The interior is a beautiful peach marble and you can peruse their collection of patisserie laid out in glass cases.
We went all out and ordered the 5-course menu with wine pairings – heck, we were celebrating!
I was really excited about the first dish, Milky Way. The goat’s cheese was silky smooth and creamy alongside the various beetroot elements, and the sweetness of the wild honey finished it off nicely.
Next up was the Chicken Foie with quince and brioche. I would honestly have been perfectly happy with just one quenelle of the creamy foie, but I wasn’t going to argue! I loved the slight sweetness of the little crisps that decorated the dish.
The stand-out dish for me was the Queen of Hearts with a rose cremeux, crystallised rose petals, rose dust, fresh raspberries, raspberry jelly, and champagne foam. The tang of the various raspberry elements was perfect with the floral rose flavour. How cute is that white chocolate decoration too?
Each dish came with usually a wine selected to complement it and enhance all of the flavours. The drink that came to accompany the Queen of Hearts dish was this light “Enchanted Garden” cocktail which looked as pretty as a picture with little flowers to decorate.
Next up was the Mad Hatter with black forest gateau, kirsch consomme, cherries, and a cute little white chocolate cog. It was really fun to drink the consomme through the delicate sipper.
And then for the finale, the so called “Eat Me, Drink Me”…because…well, I guess you can eat some and you can drink some…? I was really excited about trying this dish though because I’m a huge fan of a good old snickers bar. This was essentially a deconstructed snickers with a caramel cream and a malted shake. The shake tasted just like Malteasers!
I knew before even walking through the door that the service would be impeccable and that the staff would know the dishes inside out and that my every need would be met. Honestly though, I had no idea how friendly they would be?! It made such a difference to the atmosphere and made it such a lovely evening.
My only criticism would be that, although each dish was balanced in itself, overall there was just so much richness. The main element of every dish was some sort of rich cream and there weren’t any dishes that really cut through that. Perhaps having something more refreshing like a dish with a sorbet as the main element or more fresh fruit? In hindsight we should perhaps have ordered one of the 5-course menu and one of the three-course and shared so that we could still try a range of dishes.
The food was delicious though and it’s really exciting to have a dessert restaurant like this in London!