Taste sensations served in an enchanting treehouse. What’s not to love?
After creating the cronut—an utterly decadent hybrid of croissant and doughnut that swiftly became the most talked about pastry in history—how could Dominique Ansel possibly top himself? Well, only by creating a treehouse restaurant that realises all of your childhood dreams.
Dominique Ansel Treehouse has just opened, rather aptly, on Floral Street in Covent Garden. A sort of woodland wonderland, this restaurant is really unlike anything we have seen before.
After you climb the inconspicuous staircase you’ll be met by a magical treehouse where the atmosphere is far from al fresco. Totally tranquil, covered with plush furnishings and drenched with a with a sense of bohemian indulgence, prepare to be pampered.
The warm, wooden interiors create a soft ambience, while twinkling fairy lights dance about the room and fabulous foliage intertwines itself into unexpected places. Truly the treehouse you always hoped you would have as a child, the restaurant’s aesthetic manage to evoke a sense of mystic-charm from the moment you step inside it.
And while the interiors may be exquisite, they really have nothing on the food. Deviating from the chef’s previous offerings, the Dominique Ansel Treehouse is an all-day café as opposed to a bakery, and its menu is sophisticatedly savoury. Mercifully though, there is of course a divine selection of desserts on the menu to satisfy your sweet tooth. (And the bakery is just around the corner on Elizabeth Street if you ever fancy a little something extra.)
From handmade pasta to homey pie-crusts, flakey puff pastry to freshly baked bread, the Treehouse’s menu faultlessly delivers dangerously delicious dishes which celebrate French technique and pastry foundations.
While pretty much everything on the menu looks like something you want to stick your entire face into—picture Camembert fondue with croissant crisps and Gnocchi coated in mimolette & comte sauce—we had a few firm favourites that we thought we ought to share with you.
First up from the ‘Small Plates’, which by the way are rather generous, we recommend digging your fork into a heavenly plate of Farfalloni, covered in luscious Hazelnut and Basil Pesto Cream Sauce. Farfalloni translates to ‘butterfly’, and these beautifully precise pasta pieces come perfectly twisted into little wings.
Controversially abandoning the usual use of pine nuts and replacing them with hazelnuts instead, this pesto sauce is utterly indulgent. Creamy, slightly sweet and gently fragrant, this dish delivers decadence in its simplicity. Freshly made pasta drenched in ingenious flavours for under £10, how could you say no?
Next up is our absolute star of the show, the pièce de résistance of pastry creations: steamed brioche pudding with salt marsh lamb and baby carrots. There aren’t enough words to express how completely satisfying this is. Pillowy pastry encases rich, velvety lamb that effortlessly melts in your mouth and manages to leave a sort of sweet, sticky coating on your tongue.
Frankly, we’re surprised we managed to restrain ourselves long enough to snap a pic of it. An absolute must try for any self-confessed foodie, this is the type of food you imagine eating in front of a roaring fire on a golden autumn evening.
And finally, no dinner, evening, or childhood fantasy would be complete without something sinfully sweet to round things off. And although understandably you might be expecting us to tuck into some sort of puff pastry tower, instead we went for a bowl of chocolate mousse.
Accompanied by an army of toppings, including maldon sea salt, caramelised hazelnuts, dark chocolate shards and whipped cream, half of the fun is being about to tumble handfuls of your chosen toppings onto the chocolatey cushion beneath. Smooth and classic, this mousse undeniably hits the spot while remaining light enough to keep you from bursting through your trousers: win, win.
So, now that the doors to the Dominique Ansel Treehouse have finally opened, we recommend being first in the queue to climb the stairs up to this enchanting pastry paradise. Creative, charming and uncompromisingly delicious, it really isn’t one to be missed. More info here.
Featured image: @dominiqueanseltreehouse
Also published on Medium.