Tastes of spring

Summer is fast approaching, and thankfully so are crazy and colorful pop-up foods, specifically catered for this season. Here are a few dishes and restaurant options to keep in mind during the warmer months.

Hotel Cafe Royal:

The year of 2016 brought the rainbow inspired food trend that spread rapidly throughout the world, with creations of rainbow bagels, cupcakes and drinks springing up everywhere. Recently, Sarah Barber, the lead baker at Cafe Royal in Piccadilly Circus, produced the ingenious concept of mixing this youthful trend with a classic pastry, the croissant. The rainbow croissant is served at the art-deco Cafe Royal. The cafe’s Jazz Era-Parisienne ambiance matches harmoniously with the contemporary dessert, as the cafe is decorated with various types of flowers, ivory colored marble and large arm chairs.

Every day, there are 20-50 batches of rainbow croissants being made. The croissants are made at a limited quantity and sell out quickly. Although the rainbow croissant was introduced to the menu a few weeks ago as a seasonal dish, if the pastry proves to be in high demand, then the croissant might become a permanent dish according to the management.

When I made my way into the cafe to try the croissant for myself, I sat down in one of the colossal armchairs and was served immediately. It tasted like an authentic croissant with the dough coming across as creamy, yet light. Nevertheless, the pastry included a slight twist with a decadent berry jam, inserted into the center of the croissant.

The rainbow croissant is ultimately an iconic pastry altered to become a modern and refreshing dish for the spring season.

Roka:

Known for their Japanese contemporary cuisine and ambiance, Roka is known as one of the many weekend hotspots in London. The contemporary restaurant’s Charlotte Street location recently went through alterations to their lounge, where the design of the room created a unified mix between modern and traditional Japanese style. The basement lounge, now referred to as the “Cherry Blossom Lounge,” is located below the original restaurant. The lounge creates a more relaxed environment for the customers who wish to still experience the food and drinks that are offered at Roka.

As I descended down to the lounge, I was transported from a chic London restaurant to an urban Japanese garden. The lounge uses primarily pink and black tones in its decor and the whole room is covered with artificial cherry blossoms and cherry blossom trees. Plush pink velvet armchairs are scattered around the brim of the room and a bar is found in the center of the lounge. The walls of the room are decorated with graffiti inspired from present-time Japanese lifestyle. The contrasting industrial sense from the graffiti and the effeminate perception of the cherry blossoms creates a unique and modern aura.

The uniqueness of the mesmerizing backdrop of the room mixed with the appetizing menu provided by Roka, definitely makes the Cherry Blossom Lounge the most entrancing scene for a night out. The Cherry Blossom Lounge is only available at Roka, Charlotte Street until June 7.

Blondies Kitchen – Selfridges:

Blondies Kitchen is featured as a temporary pop-up, located in a cramped and slightly hidden stall in the Selfridges Food Hall. Blondies is a milk and cookie bar, that transforms childhood fantasies into a reality. The stall only serves various types of cookies and milk to accomplish a child-like experience. Although the stall is quite boxy and the line can be fairly long, the staff’s fast service creates a short wait for these treats. 

Although the selection at Blondies Kitchen only consists of cookies and milk, they have many signature cookies and milk flavors that seem to be favored by the customers. Some of their cookie flavors include the “Raspberry and Coconut”, the “Classic Milk Choc” and the “Oreo and Nutella.” Nevertheless, the dish that I was anticipating the most was their signature honeycomb and chocolate mousse sandwiched between two “Kinder Love You” cookies. The honeycomb and chocolate mousse was a good complementary to the “Kinder Love You” cookie, a classic cookie with two bars of Kinder chocolate. The mousse also tasted extremely similar to cookie dough, and the smoothness of it made a perfect mix between the chewy texture of the cookie.

This appetizing and totally Instagram-worthy treat is unfortunately only available at Selfridges until June 4.

Written by Staff Writer Naz Ozturk

Photos by Staff Writer Naz Ozturk 

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