The name is going to put you on the path. In the family Adria, world-famous since the big brother Ferran, triple Michelin-starred, has been sacralized best chef in the world for four years (2002, 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2009) by the ranking of The World’s 50 Best Restaurants, I ask the younger brother, Albert. This comes in effect to open in London, within the very chic Hotel Café Royal, a tea room, Cakes & Bubbles. Until then, nothing very original, the tea and the English, it is almost a pleonasm. And in this prestigious establishment, which belongs, like the Lutetia in Paris and the Conservatorium in Amsterdam, to group The Set, the celebrities have always had their own napkin ring, Edward VII and George VI, before being crowned, much later, Noël Coward, Cary Grant, Elizabeth Taylor and David Bowie, among other headliners. That is to say, if the table has always held his rank. Except that Albert Adria is not the type of Wedgwood and apple pies and that, in its new setting, it disrupts totally the codes of the pastry.
Albert Adria presents his cheesecake Nina Sarkhel – Cakes & Bubbles
To better understand this, it is important to know that, for fifteen years, this Catalan pure juice has worked alongside his brother, Ferran Adria, at El Bulli restaurant, in Roses, on the Costa Brava. To the big time (it’s closed since 2011), the address was open for only six months per year, the booking requests came from around the world and the waiting lists dragged on for months, or even years. It is here that the two brothers had developed their molecular cuisine, with great blows of nitrogen and additive, concocting amazing dishes such as mussels spherical in bacon, caviar of olive oil to the juice of anchovy or other caramels to pumpkin seed oil. The shadow surreal of the nearby Dali seemed to hover over the creations, often controversial. In this adventure, four hands, Albert Adria took quickly to the commands of the sweet party. And after the closing of El Bulli, it has developed its own institutions, under the name El Barrio (The Neighborhood) all six are concentrated in the historic heart of Barcelona. Today, four of them are starred, with the last one, Enigma, indefinable with his clothes futuristic and its plates mysteries, presents itself as a multi-sensory experience, a parenthesis gourmet off the track some four hours…
“Our approach and our map will be at the crossroads of classic and contemporary”
In 2016, the pastry chef, himself elected the previous year “best pastry chef in the world” by the World’s 50 Best Restaurants, had spent 50 days in the Cafe Royal to discover within a “pop-up” its desserts to Londoners. But already, he is planning his future Cakes & Bubbles. “This is a project which excites me as a pastry chef. I have yet to open a place specifically dedicated to the world of sweet. Our approach and our map will be at the crossroads of classic and contemporary,” he said. It is in majesty that he has now opened on the 8th of November last, the tea room with independent entrance on the street, guarded by a porter, very British in coat. The frame is sumptuous. Beautiful marble bar with the platter pedestal tables, comfortable leather chairs, a wall of bottles, backlit and, the icing on the cake-star, a showcase of a call with dozens of copies of the famous cheesecake signature. Designed “for the adventurers, a new concept in cheesecake cheese coulommiers, hazelnut and white chocolate”, says the board. A very personal creation, in fact, rather inflated, even if, in the land of the peas and mint and sandwiches at the banana, the bet was not so risky. And against all odds – chauvinistic, it is true, the cake works very well.
A new concept of cheesecake to the cheese, coulommiers, hazelnut and white chocolate François Bouchon / Le Figaro
Outwardly, Albert Adria was reproduced resemblance the appearance of a cheese with the rind slightly kiss on the cheek and in the mouth, the texture is smooth, almost creamy, the flavor of the cheese, the subtle, the finishing on the note of chocolate. “Our customers love it or hate it, recognizes the young woman in the service. A cake that is cleaving!” But risk-taking is under control, the chief had already developed the recipe for the Tickets, his tapas bar revisited at the heart of Barcelona, it has to export. Necessarily, aside from this curiosity, the other sweets are more pâlottes, even if the marshmallow with strawberry and chocolate “after eight” or even the flower, chocolate and coconut ice have personality. Three weeks after the opening, customers are at the appointment, especially as the bubbles promised by the brand are present. On the walls as well as in the flutes.
Cakes & Bubbles, Hotel Café Royal, 68 Regent Street, London, W1B4DY. Tel.: 44(0)20 7406 3310. Every day from 10 hours to 20 hours.