Address: 17-21 Elizabeth St, Belgravia, London SW1W 9RP
For: Original creations like the Cronut, the DKA, Cookie Shot Glasses…and so much more
Average Price Range: £6
As soon as you walk into Dominique Ansel, you’re immediately met by a beautiful array of brightly coloured pastries, hand crafted to perfection.
There are also simpler delights like large pain au chocolats, croissants, brownies and cookies the size of your face.
Dan and I decided to get the classics – the cookie shotglass which you, if you want it filled with Tahitian-Vanilla Infused Milk, have to order in at the bakery. Among the other specialties that need to be prepared at the bakery are its Frozen S’mores and its banana paella – both of which I have yet to try.
We also tried the classic ‘DKA’: Like a cronut (a cross between a croissant and a doughnut) without any of the filling – I would prefer this over a cronut simply because it’s not as sweet.
Finally, we ordered the ‘Paris – London’: A twist on a Paris Brest. It’s a choux pastry ring filled with piped droplets of earl grey mousse, lemon curd and blackberry ganache.
Ok, here is where I get a little bit critical. Firstly, the service was definitely left wanting. It was slow, and I couldn’t help but feel like the servers were less than capable. Our waitress spilt the milk that she was meant to pour into my shotglass and made my cookie soggy, making it almost impossible for the milk to stay within its cookie confines.
The cookie shotglass was also warm and the milk, tepid, which is not very smart at all because chocolate lining in the cup melted. The chocolate lining is supposed to be a solid barrier to keep the milk in so obviously once that melts…milk seeps out. For something that I paid good money for (£4.80), I was not very impressed at all.
At least our waiter got Dan’s cup right so I could get a decent shot haha.
As you can see the milk has already started to seep out.
All the same, it did taste great.
The ‘Paris-London’ was a highlight for me. I thought it was creative, looked quirky and fun and tasted great. No disappointments here. A very well, handcrafted pastry.
The ‘DKA’…ahhh…what to say? It was exactly what I had hoped it would be. Buttery, flakey, coated in crunchy crystallised sugar – a real treat. Not very healthy at all but delicious.
Ok. My last piece of advice: stick to the pastries and cakes. Dominique Ansel does not specialise in savoury foods and they simply aren’t worth it. Firstly…consommé is supposed to be clear. Ask Heston..ask Ramsey…ask, well…anyone who watches Masterchef. This beef consommé was cloudy, salty and lacked depth of flavour.
Anyhow, I would like to round off this review on a slightly more positive note. While there were many aspects of my experience at Dominique Ansel that were not entirely great, I would still come back if I found myself with the time to do so. What Dominique Ansel excels in are its pastries and cakes. Its canelés are crunchy on the outside, soft on the inside and whisk you straight off to Bordeaux in the South of France.
My suggestion: take away whatever you want to try and enjoy at home. It’s not really worth paying more to sit in given the lacklustre service available and the already expensive prices. Mix in vanilla extract and maple syrup into your milk at home? You can buy the cookie shot glasses without milk in boxes of five so that’s always an option. All in all, I’d still recommend Dominique Ansel to a friend for a pastry or a cake though. Well, once in a while anyways after my wallet has had some time to replenish itself.