I can't stop smiling. I feel so utterly happy with the world after four hours of loitering around the (fairly) new Dessert Bar opened by William Curley in Mayfair in November. Between leisurely dessert consumption, good company, idly waiting on a friend to figure out her plans and whether or not she was meeting us there, and the endless entertainment of watching and chatting with a patissier at work, the late afternoon proved an idyll of sweets.
rosamicula and I started by perching at chairs by the dessert bar's cooking area and ordering from the dessert menu (as opposed to the pastry menu or ordering truffles). The dessert menu items come with a pre-dessert, a little chocolate-mint soup, tasting of fresh mint without its texture, and crowned with chantilly cream and chocolate shavings. It was light and refreshing, a palate cleanser before the main course. My tarte au chocolat was filled with a moody dark chocolate, smooth and rather bitter, dusted with gold and accompanied with refreshing raspberries and the most delicate and un-bitter of green tea ice creams, fresh from Paco Jet treatment. rosamicula's mille feuille featured elegantly thin sheets of chocolate sandwiching chantilly cream and a sponge base; a lovely little salad of skinned wonderfully ripe orange segments with yuzu syrup; a ball of orange cream ice cream; and a fluffy seed-shaped topping of chocolate mousse.
Even though we had seen the desserts being made, it was still magical seeing all their multitude of parts and pieces come together into the presentation. It really was cooking as entertainment and continued to be as we loitered. While the pastry chef practiced for a professional competition next week, we chatted about mutual friends and events. Eventually, we had after dessert drinks, a bitter coffee for her, a smooth hot chocolate for me. And a while after that, we gave into temptation and had another course from the sales counter, an excitement of fruit in the form of a tart for me, accompanied by a fresh mint infusion, and a fluff of cream for her in the form of a Mont Blanc. They were small and light and refreshing.
It grew dark, and our third person wasn't coming anymore, so we slowly wrapped up our time there. A truffle, slow-melting, flavored with Japanese vinegar, gentle and appealing, made one last treat for the road. We wandered out in a daze of sugar and delight, certain we'll be back.