Ole & Steen
Cutting edge. There are worse things for a blog to be known as, and at least it is not a euphemism. Like when estate agents say that a place is an established area. What they actually mean is that it is already quite expensive. When they say that a place is up and coming. They mean it is currently a dump. Some people seem to have something positive to say about everything. Or maybe it is just used car salesmen.
So in the unlikely position at the forefront of restaurant blogging this time, we managed to a make it to a restaurant so new that it did not appear on the radar of food aggregator websites. I feel youthful and ahead of the game for once, especially at this time of year when I am reminded of my age as I feel exhausted just watching the frantic activity rushing in search of A Good Deal in the Boxing Day sales.
Ole & Steen hails from Denmark where it is a wildly successful chain. Perhaps you are seeing the next wave of restaurants into London here. I need not mention at length the ubiquitous ramen shops as they have proliferated all over the UK capital. Sometimes this can be a bad thing when they leave string in your food but that is a story for another day. Ole & Steen, with a rather reasonable price and a delectable selection of pastries, is A Very Dangerous Place. It carries the risk of making me fat and happy. Happy I’m not opposed to. Fat tends to have negative consequences, especially when there is A Need For Speed during sale season.
The pastry selection, very bad for a diet. Although my stomach cried out, my mind spoke sense. For tea, it said pick two. TWO not twenty.
Cinnamon social, a dough plank with cinnamon and vanilla custard. I apologise for its half-eaten nature. As I placed the baked goods on the table, my dining companion eagerly attacked it without my go ahead. It just smelt that good. I should have guessed from the title “social” that it was going to be good as this was something worth lingering over with coffee and tea. The cinnamon layers were inter-spaced with sweetness and pastry to create a dish worthy of enthusiastic greeting.
Yet we needed to plow onwards, towards the cakes and tarts lingering longingly in the display stand. The friendly staff also add to the risk. They encouraged me to try everything. Such activity, although resulting in great satisfaction, runs the risk of making me explode. Best leave some for another time then.
Christianshavner cake, caramelized hazel nut base with strawberry mousse and fresh fruit. Looks rather ordinary. Tastes anything but. Built with a hazel nut base and a creamy mousse, it was nutty and smooth at the same time. What I was most impressed with was the juxtaposition of the hard nuts, soft dough and silky mousse. A tart worth fighting for.
I have probably accidentally walked into The Next Big Thing. At a reasonable price for a stellar ambiance, if you need to rest your weary soul from frantic shopping on Regent Street in pursuit of the post-Christmas sales, this is a place to be. Oh and the food is quite good too. Plop me down here any day while the youngsters scamper off on their buying spree. Come back after you are done, this is a happy place for me to rest my decrepit bones.
A quiet eating 8/10.
Tea (a cake and a coffee) was GBP 7 excluding service.
London SW1Y 4RN