*Both Dominique Ansel shops in London have closed down since August 2020*
Dominique Ansel Bakery, the birthplace of cronuts and New York sensation, has finally arrived in London! They have opened up at Elizabeth Street near Victoria station, and this couldn’t be more exciting news for all London foodies.
Dominique Ansel is a French-American pastry chef and has risen to fame with his croissant & donut hybrid creation which we now know as cronut. He founded Dominique Ansel Bakery in New York City after serving as an executive pastry chef at a two Michelin star French restaurant. And now, he has decided to expand his footprints across the Atlantic and opened up his first shop in London.
Walking down the street towards Elizabeth Street, the shop stands out with its yellow cover as well as the unmissable queue outside. There are two separate queues in the shop – one’s specifically for its cookie shots and cronuts while the other is for any other items on the menu. As you would have expected, it is the queue for the cookie shots & cronuts that grew all the way outside the shop.
There is more seating available than I expected at the shop and quite spacious if not for the huge crowd. They also have a courtyard outdoors seating area at the back with a flower wall.
Here’s what we had at Dominique Ansel Bakery:
Their cronuts change flavour every month so keep an eye out on their website and social media to find out what flavours they are serving. Pictured is their Milk Chocolate Banana & Peanut Butter Cronut.
Slicing it open, the crunch of the pastry was absolute music to my ears. It was well-layered and was filled with both the milk chocolate banana ganache and a silky whipped peanut butter ganache plus a little sugary touch on the exterior. Flavour-wise, the pastry was good but I feel the peanut butter didn’t really stand out. Perhaps it was all the hype and expectations but the flavour in overall felt slightly underwhelming. It’s still a great piece of pastry nonetheless. Maybe other flavour combos would be more outstanding but that would have to wait for another month to see what flavours they come up with.
Another item on the menu that received all the hype is their Chocolate Chip Cookie Shot. We all know the classic combination of indulging chocolate chip cookies with a glass of milk. Now let’s take this concept to the next level by creating a warm gooey chocolate chip cookie that’s made into a shape of a cup and served with a shot of cold-infused Tahitian vanilla milk in the middle of it – genius, isn’t it?
You don’t really need me to tell you how amazing this creation was. That warm chocolate chip cookie was very rich and gooey. It’s got a soft texture and seemed to just melt altogether with the milk. The milk was no ordinary milk – it carried this subtle hint of vanilla infusion which really added a wowing factor to the whole creation. I personally think the cookie itself alone would have been too sweet and rich for my taste but when it’s eaten with the milk, it balanced out the richness and created the most luscious sensation ever. In other words, I loved it!
Dominique’s Kouign Amann (DKA)
If you peek behind the cookie shot on the photo above, you would be able to see the Kouign Amann sitting right there within frame.
In a nutshell, Kouign Amann is a Breton cake – a round crusty cake, made with viennoiserie dough containing layers of butter and sugar folded in. It is almost like a sugary and caramelised version of a croissant but folded into a cake shape. At Dominique Ansel Bakery, they call it the DKA, i.e. Dominique’s Kouign Amann.
The DKA was beautifully caramelized to a golden colour on the outside. As I took a bite into it, it revealed all these flaky and tender layers within. It was sugary but not overly sweetened – just the perfect balance to satisfy your sweet tooth. What’s more delightful was the soft gooey part in the middle, creating this luscious texture and sensation. Personally, I think this deserved the praise more than the cronut!
Watermelon Soft Serve
Dominique Ansel Bakery has later launched this Watermelon Soft Serve over the summer and caused another wave of frenzy on social media. Especially if you’re a watermelon lover, it would be impossible to resist this concept of watermelon soft-serve ice cream neatly sandwiched in between two slices of watermelon.
There was no doubt this would be an absolute winner judging purely by looks. Flavour-wise, the ice cream seemed to be more of food colouring than actual watermelon flavours. Not that I was expecting like a fresh watermelon sorbet but definitely felt that there could be more of a highlight to the flavour.
If you’re looking for just a mini sweet nibble, the Mini Madeleines are an ideal pick. You can get a box of 10 pieces at £3.75 or 20 pieces at £5.75. They are piped and baked to order, so you get them completely fresh out of the oven.
The Madeleines were very fluffy, spongy and delicate-looking. Surprisingly they weren’t too sweet which was a delight for me. This allowed the subtle lemon fragrance to shine through in the cake. It was mellow and makes a perfect afternoon tea treat.
…the opening of Dominique Ansel Bakery certainly breathes fresh air into the London market. It’s got a lovely selection of pastries and desserts, and the venue is pretty lovely (if it’s not overly crowded). While I feel some of the most hyped items were relatively underwhelming, I absolutely adored the Cookie Shot and it’s worth visiting just for that! Anyway, Dominique Ansel Bakery is a win to the London food scene and you guys should go try it out too.
Later in 2020, Dominique Ansel has opened up another restaurant, Dominique Ansel Treehouse, in Covent Garden. Read review here.
Tel: 020 7324 7705
Nearest station: Victoria
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