Cuisine: Italian, Desserts, Chain
★ ★ ★
Food ordered [03/22/12]:
- strawberry gateaux £3.20
- chocolate mousse £3.20
- pot of tropical green tea £2.40
I had never eaten here before and stopped in for dessert with my mother before attending a musical. What first attracted us to the cafe was the beautiful window dressings. The cakes on display were definitely an attraction, but what was most impressive were these gorgeous tissue-paper confections folded to look somewhat like cakes or flowers. Its a bit of an inane description but its the best I have so you'll have to go see them for yourself!
I have to say I loved the decor of this restaurant. It was rich with colour and texture and there seemed to have been much attention paid to the finer details. Large mirrors covered the walls interspersed with elegant paintings. Beautiful chandeliers lit the space with small sets of lamps set around the room. The chairs and booth seating were upholstered in a deep red set against round marble tables.
Strawberry Gateaux.The desserts were good, but not fantastic. My favourite was the strawberry gateaux. It had layers of the most perfect white cake filled with real whipped cream. A basic white cake is one of the most difficult to make, in my opinion, and their version was stellar. I found it slightly reminiscent of the classic Chinese bakery white cakes but sweeter, as well as richer. I didn't like the mousse as much. It was rather texture-less and had sort of a foamy consistency.
There was one serious flaw to our experience here that I cannot ignore. The service was terrible. Not just in a sort of brusque European way either. It took absolutely forever to get the attention of a server to take our order, to bring anything else, and even to pay our bill. At the time that my mother and I were eating, there were perhaps two other tables occupied in a restaurant of fifteen. And at least four servers staunchly ignoring the diners.
That aside (since, really, its your company that matters-- forget the servers), my mother and I had a wonderful time here. The ambiance more than made up for the general neglect of the staff.