for h's birthday o & i took her to papadoms in bricklane and to albion caff for dessert. we figured we'd give her the flavour of home in banglatown ending on a note of sophistication at albion. it's funny but o and i usually wind up at the albion almost every time we are in east london. there is something quite charming about this casual eatery with its open plan kitchen, its dim custard lighting and the smell of comfort food. this is the home of hearty british staples like pot pies and rarebits and kedgeree. then there are the wonderful classic pudding the likes of crumble, poached fruit and bread and butter puddings. we also love the tea served in pots with quaint knitted colourful poises and tall enamel pots with coffee.
h chose the apple and blackberry crumble, n the warm chocolate mousse and i went for the steamed syrup pudding. both the crumble and the steamed pudding came with a jug of creme anglaise, that delightful and sophisticated pale version of custard flecked with vanilla that blunts the edges of tart and sweet, taming flavours with creaminess. my steamed syrup pudding was everything i could ask of of a classic pud. served in a rather creative manner in a tate and lyle treacle tin. i dug my spoon to the bottom to blend the golden syrup at the base knowing that if i didn't do this my last couple of mouthfuls would be painfully sweet with the edge of salt. then pouring over the creme anglaise i tucked in. if done well, steamed pudding is something that never fails to please me. it strikes all the perfect notes for a wet, rainy and cold london day. warmth, comfort, sweetness tempered by a hint of salt. it was perfection in a treacle tin.
as a side note, the crumble was good. but i'm one of those who much prefers making crumble at home only because it means that i don't cheat the topping of a much needed crunch. the chocolate mousse didn't really resonate with me much. i like my mousse to be lighter than heavy cream whipped with chocolate and served with more cream. i like it dark with fluffed egg white whisked into it and albion caff's is the heavy creamy sort. not my cup of tea.
on my next trip i am trying to bread and butter pudding.
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