THE TRANSATLANTIC MAGAZINE
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I always enjoy a wander around Seven Dials. In its labyrinth of back alleys and courtyards, there is always something new to be discovered. Last week I added Apple Butter to my list of Seven Dials delights. Conceived as an east meets west fusion café, it’s another fine example of the world coming together on our London doorstep.
The cheery, colourful café is dominated by a wonderful apple tree in its centre. Naturally, I sat directly underneath and was pleased to note there were no birds in the life-like branches. In the middle of winter, I could almost feel the breath of spring.
At a glance, the menu seems simple. It is in fact very inventive. All day breakfast, lunch and dinner have lovely bits of Middle Eastern fusion throughout. Everything we sampled was fresh and well executed. I didn’t have a single beef. Actually, I did have beef, but more about that later.
I was with a dancer friend and as we are both training like mad at the mo, we opted for still water. What can one say about still water? It was wet! 750 ml of Princess Gate at a royal £5.50.
We started with 3 dips with warm pita (£7.50). Beetroot moutabale combines the earthy sweetness of beetroot with lemon and tahini. A nice variation of this trendy root veg. Pesto hummus added basil to the classic but bordered on a dressing rather than a dip. More successful was the truffle hummus. I would never have thought this would work but it absolutely does. The humble chick pea never had it so good!
I wanted lunch but my guest went for breakfast. Sometimes you get lucky! Eggs Florentine with spinach, salmon, classic and beetroot hollandaise (£16) was a treat. The addition of beetroot boosted both taste and color, the earthy sweetness giving good contrast to the salty salmon.
And now my beef. Beef brisket salad that is! (£15.50) Another winner. Delicious shredded beef with greens and veg in a super fresh mustard dressing. Thank heaven veganuary is over!
While a tasty side of truffle parmesan fries (£6.50) could have been crisper, the zucchini fritti (£6.50) were exceptional. The delicate threads were perfectly fried. I didn’t even know I was eating a vegetable!
We had already surpassed our allowed caloric intake (for the day!!!) so in a great show of restraint …we shared one dessert. Heroic! After much deliberation and suggestions from our lovely waitress, we settled on The Apple (£7.50). Visually, it’s just wonderful. A lovely replica of the fruit nestled on a bed of chocolate soil. The apple itself is a shell of white chocolate filled with apple mousse. The shell, a tad thick, cracked open to reveal the sweet creamy filling. In spring, the mousse will change to granny smith, giving a better contrast to the sweet.
A latte brûlée had me singing, “Don’t sit under the apple tree, with anyone else but me!”
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