Friday, November 23, 2007

Year of Eating Differently (52): Patisserie Valerie, Old Compton Street

Time to wander south again; I haven't been to Old Compton Street since the disappointment of Paul all those weeks ago. Wandering down the street, I was a little worried at the possible eating venues. Play 2 Win arcade? No. Adult erotica? No. But luckily, was enticed by the window display of Valerie's. Whatever the food tastes like, the whole wrapping up your piece of cake in a box with a ribbon on it is hard to fault - it fills me with nostalgia for the over-the-top packaging in Japan, and makes the meal feel like an early birthday present.

Sadly, in a rush to leave early today for Sweden, so couldn't sit down to eat. Instead, I've brought an artichoke tart and the cake back to the office, to consume here. Feeling the need for hot food, there's a quick excursion to zap the tart in the microwave first, and then the tasting can begin...

It's good. Could have been hotter, and would have been better if not placed in a paper bag so that some of the topping fell off on the way back, but artichoke (and olive and caper) is a good way to have lunch. Pastry not quite as crisp as I might have liked, but that seems a small quibble here. The sliced onion forms a good, slightly acidic counterpoint to the artichoke, or possibly the other way round. Could do with some pepper though, I think. Or maybe it's just an attempt at being mellow.

On the downside, you're presented with so much cake, marzipan animals and every other constituent of an afternoon well wasted, that it's a shame to have to retreat to the office.
Anyhow, will spend the remainder of the afternoon with my face smeared with cake, going 'ummgggfgrhhh?' at anyone questioning my existence, and then it's the train to LHR in the not too distant future...


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