Ever get tired of mimosas, bloody marys and free-flowing fizz? Me neither. But after a little too much indulging at a bottomless brunch banquet earlier this month, it was time to balance things out... cue Dominique Ansel. Known as the inventor of the cronut and other Instagrammable sweet treats, the chef and his eponymous Chelsea bakery are on a mission to satisfy the weekend dining crowd.
Visiting on a super sunny Saturday afternoon, the bakery was absolutely rammed. From a queue of people ordering takeaway pastries to afternoon tea indulgers relaxing in the gorgeous flower-filled terrace, busy was an understatement. Luckily for us, we had a table waiting in-between all the chaos. Ordering a latte (£3.30) and a matcha-laced take on the original (£4.60), we perused the laminated menu.
Salivating at the thought of tasting the croque monsieur (£13.80) for the second time, I made the difficult decision to try something new. Smoked salmon and scrambled eggs (£14.50) were laced with airy crème fraiche on toasted sourdough, while Basque-style shakshuka (£12.50) was a savoury slew of roasted piperade and smoky aubergine topped with perfectly baked eggs and garlic-rubbed sourdough. While a little skimpy on the bread, it definitely ticked those juicy flavour boxes.
Not usually ones for avocado toast (£10.80), we were persuaded by our waiter to give it a go. It’s not hard to see why this is a staple dish, as fresh avocado arrived carved into perfect flower-form, paired with whole-milk ricotta, pickled pink radishes and a garden salad on the side. Again, it was tasty (and pretty) but such thin bread meant that it wasn't very filling.
With talk of cronuts (£5.40) running low, we made a beeline for the seasonal special filled with layers of juicy peach jam and a creamy lychee ganache between croissant-like dough. Coupled with a frozen banoffee s’more (£7.80) made fresh to order and filled with homemade banana ice cream chocolate feuilletine on the inside and torched honey marshmallow and crunchy cookie crumbles on the outside, this was one sweet ending.
The DesignMyNight Digest
Come for the all-day brunch menu and be prepared to stay for the unique viennoiseries, desserts and gorgeous terrace. With that said, portions could do with being slightly more generous at these price points and waiters need to speed up service. Could I have done with a glass of something bubbly? Perhaps, but I definitely wasn’t thinking about it with all the sugary snacks around.
Get your brunch fix from 8am-7pm at Dominique Ansel Bakery, 17-21 Elizabeth St, Belgravia, SW1W 9RP.