Revered Spanish chef Albert Adrià – who gained three Michelin stars with brother Ferran at the wonder-restaurant elBulli before it closed in 2011 – will open his first permanent restaurant outside his home country, in London. Cakes & Bubbles at Piccadilly’s Hotel Café Royal opens on November 8, with a menu that skips the main course and focuses on desserts and sparkling wine.
The restaurant replaces the hotel’s Papillion café and its all-dessert concept follows the successful format of Adrià’s Michelin-starred Tickets tapas restaurant in Barcelona. “We want to create an experience that goes a step further than just eating dessert, where one might start with some sweet tapas for nibbling, paired with sparkling and sweet wines, before sharing a cheesecake and some of the specialities we’ve developed over the past 30 years,” Adrià says. The chef’s famous cheesecake, a contemporary hazelnut dessert with a white chocolate rind, which is crafted to resemble a cheese wheel, will be removed from the Tickets menu when Cake & Bubbles opens – ensuring that London is the only city where it can be enjoyed.
Other desserts on the menu include an egg flan topped by dark caramel (£6); waffles with caramelised banana (£7); and chocolate ninyoyaki balls (a tiny Japanese cake with sweet fillings, £7). Churros, the fried-dough pastry, are flavoured with blackcurrant complemented by yoghurt, or served sugared with dipping chocolate presented in a traditional china teacup (£7). And for those who can’t decide on what delicacy to sample, tasting experiences of four or eight miniature desserts are also available. Sweet!