I’m sure you’ve all heard of the famous Dominique Ansel Bakery in London and that it is already on your bucket list! If you are following their instagram page, you would know what I’m talking about. This bakery makes food, especially desserts, that are pure art.
I’ve had this place in mind for a while now, so I finally decided to visit it and see what the fuss was all about.
First walking into the place, the setup is refreshing and well-designed. Although it’s a bit noisy and crowded, you can always try to find a table in the back little garden, which, for me, had a nicer quieter setup. I believe the reason for this rushed atmosphere is the fact that customers have to find tables for themselves, which results in people staring at you while you’re eating and judging you if you take a bit longer to finish your bite. Not the best situation to enjoy your food, but I was willing to go through it in order to finally tick this bakery off my list.
After finding a table, we went to the till to order our food, and had to spend an average of 15 minutes in line and that’s only because we were lucky (As we were leaving the place, the line was twice as long). I understand that that’s the price you pay when visiting famous places. This wasn’t very convenient as it meant someone had to still be seated at the table for 15 minutes while others went to order their food, and then they had to leave again for 15 minutes, while the others are enjoying their dessert. I am not saying this is the worst experience, but just setting up clear expectations for anyone looking to visit Dominique Ansel’s Bakery anytime soon.
As for the food and its presentation; these were simply amazing! We were lucky to be visiting around Valentine’s Day, so all desserts were dressed in pink. There was also a selection of Valentine’s goodies that you could purchase as gifts – all creatively named too! So selection and variety are 10/10! Desserts are fairly priced and, most importantly, they have gluten free options!
We visited a bit earlier than 3:00 pm, therefore they weren’t offering the famous Chocolate Chip Cookie Shot. We did, however, ask if they would serve it and they said that it’s not possible before 3:00 pm, only to later realise they were serving it to some people around 2:30 pm as we were walking out. Oh well…
Below is a picture of what we ordered – Americano, Hot Chocolate, Raspberry Mini-Me Cake (Gluten Free), Paris Je T’aime, Cupid Religieuse, and the Flourless Chocolate Pecan Cookie (Gluten Free). I have to admit that the desserts taste amazing! I really liked the Choc Pecan Cookie, whereas the Mini-Me Cake was a bit too sweet. As for the options that weren’t gluten free, Cupid Religieuse definitely beats Paris, Je T’aime.
After enjoying our desserts, I decided to go through the journey of standing in line again and ordering a cup of coffee (yes, I really needed one). I ordered the large Americano, and 10 mins later I was served the small one and I kindly notified staff about the mistake. At first, they ignored it, saying this was the large one. Luckily, my friend’s mugs were still there and the difference in size was obvious. After they admitted, they took it, and came back with the bigger cup, but filled with the same amount as the small one. I am sure all they did was take the cup and transfer the coffee into a bigger one. I ignored it because we were in a hurry, but no Dominique Ansel staff, that didn’t go unnoticed.
All in all, it was a good experience, and I have to admit that it’s a must-try if you’re in London. But don’t have high expectations; this is not a high-end restaurant, but more of a commercial bakery.