Monday, 25 March 2013

Just Desserts

Last week it was poetry and opera, this week it’s been about dessert...

I took LB out for another adventure last night, only this time I didn’t have to drag him. Probably because it involved three courses of adventurous eating all in the name of pudding.

Another find, another pop-up, After Hours Dessert operates on the premise that the two best bits of any meal are the drinks and the sweet finales. And so that’s what they do - just the cocktails and just the dessert. Hello, friends.

Taking over the Store St Espresso in Bloomsbury, an unassuming, but otherwise pleasant, airy cafe, the After Hours experience is an elegant tasting menu of three desserts with a coffee or cocktail of your choosing, all for £20.

Having accidentally gorged ourselves at Busaba Eathai beforehand, LB and I decided to share, figuring if we came to blows over who got to lick the plate, we’d just order another one. But actually, gorged as we were, it was the perfect measure of sweet and light and we left feeling inspired and not remotely ill. But that's probably because we didn't go for the chocolate option.

The "rhubarb"...
There are others more articulate than I who could do these dishes justice when it comes to describing the dance of flavours, colours and textures that appeared on the plate - so I’m not going to try really. Just look at the pictures and use your imagination, ok?

First up came the rhubarb dish, a confection of roasted, freeze-dried and pickled rhubarb accessorised with yoghurt sorbet, mint and lemon.

Then it was the blackberries dish and my personal favourite - blackberry parfait, pickled blackberries, meringue, marshmallow and blackberry puree. I really did want to lick this plate when we were done.

The After Shot.
For the Before Shot see the very top image
And finally, the honey dessert, featuring a honey and rosemary parfait, mead gelee, raisins, honeycomb, sour apple gel and bee pollen. These flavours were slightly more complex than the last and while I appreciated the skill, I'm not sure I loved it. Put another way, if the blackberries were a symphony, this was, well, this was jazz.

The "honey"...
The whole occasion felt intimate, relaxed and special in an appreciatively understated way. It was worth leaving the house for and that says volumes because not only is it cold, wet, windy and snowing outside, but we've almost nearly finished season one of House of Cards and we only started watching yesterday afternoon. 

Fruity, floral desserts are the closest thing we've got to Spring right now.

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