Archive for the 'Cafes' Category

Old Tree Bakery – Golders Green

Reviewed on March 29th, 2015 by Dina

Old Tree Bakery is a Taiwanese bakery with displays of its buns and cakes in the shop window. This bakery is a little different in the sense that it prides itself on trying to keep their products low in salt, sugar and fat. All of their food is baked fresh every day on site. Trays of small bags of hand made cookies are also on display.

It was great to see that the baked good items were all covered on the shelves and that it was not self service. After we were seated, we went to the front of the store to choose our delights. One of the staff picked all of our items and packed them for us as we had wanted some for takeaway.

To dine in at Old Tree Bakery, the Chinese mushrooms, bamboo and vegetables in soup was ordered. The big bowl of steaming soup was packed full of the vegetables and garnished with coriander. The soup was very flavoursome with a slightly sweet and sour taste and it was also thicker than I had expected. It was a hearty soup with its gravy like broth.

Old Tree Bakery SoupOld Tree BakeryOld Tree Bakery Coffee BunOld Tree Bakery DisplayOld Tree Bakery InteriorOld Tree Bakery Interior 2

As I was not feeling adventurous to try the milky bubble tea, a decaffeinated Americano was had instead. Coffee and cake are a match made in heaven. The coffee bun was soft and had a light texture to it. The coffee paste that intertwined through the bun was just sweet enough.

Old Tree Bakery felt clean and well maintained. The cafe area is of a medium size with some comfy seating by the windows and normal tables by the counter. There are a few tables and chairs outside too. The staff were friendly and gave us good service.

There are so many cakes, buns and savoury dishes that Old Tree Bakery has on offer and it really is hard to decide which ones to choose. It is great that the products are available for takeaway. The Curry Bun that was had as a takeaway was equally delicious as the other food had at the bakery. The bun was fresh, soft and had a slight sweetness to it. The curry filling was potato based and not too spicy.

It was great to have such a wonderful first experience of Taiwanese food and it is all thanks to Old Tree Bakery!

Old Tree Bakery, 105 Golders Green Road, Golders Green, London, NW11 8HR

Rating: ★★★★☆

Old Tree on Urbanspoon

FreeState Coffee – Holborn

Reviewed on March 8th, 2015 by Dina

On the outside of the quaint Sicilian Avenue is FreeState Coffee. There is a good buzz and a relaxed atmosphere with this coffee shop.

Wooden tables and chairs, a bit like Victorian school desks are inside and there are also benches for the outdoor seating. The tables are decorated with green foliage and berries in vases. Lots of natural light comes through into the seating area.

The staff are friendly and give service with a smile. They make you feel like a valued customer. There is a counter near the entrance where you place your coffee and food order. Once your order has been made, your name is called out and you go and collect it.

An additional counter is where the V60 Drip Coffee is made. V60 Drip Coffee is a manual style of coffee brewing where the coffee flows through a cone straight into your cup.

FreeState V60 Drip CounterFreeStateFreeState InteriorFreeState Flat WhiteFreeState V60 Drip CoffeeFreeState Pastel de NataFreeState SandwichesFreeState Cake DisplayFreeState Interior 2

At the moment, my coffee of choice seems to be the Americano. The popular Latte has become too heavy and milky for my liking. It is guaranteed that at some point my drink preference will change, maybe with the change of seasons.

As FreeState only do caffeinated coffee, a Flat White soya coffee was had this time. It came in a small green cup. It was a really smooth rounded coffee. There are guest espressos and a daily brew available. On this particular day, the special brew was Caravan roasted Ethiopian and Kenyan coffee.

A perfect treat with the coffee was the Pastel de Nata. Sweet, creamy filling encased by the flaky pastry was delicious. The staff were accommodating when we asked if we could have the pastries that had not been on display. They gave us them from the fridge behind the counter.

All of the croissants, muffins and pastries are baked daily on site. There are also freshly made sandwiches, soups and salads. It is a shame that all of the baked goods and the sandwiches are on open display where the customers queue. It would have been better for the items to be displayed behind the counter or at least with covers. The food looked of a high quality. There was an interesting soup of the day, Kale and Quinoa.

FreeState is a wonderful place and it feels like a “proper” coffee shop with its quality coffee, friendly staff and a good place to come and relax!

FreeState Coffee, 23 Southampton Row, London, WC1B 5HA

Rating: ★★★★☆

FreeState Coffee on UrbanspoonSquare Meal

Coffee Dogs – Kings Cross

Reviewed on January 18th, 2015 by Dina

Trying to remember the last time that I had a hot dog made me realise that it had been many years ago. So, heading to Coffee Dogs, all the excitement was for the hot dog.

The menu has hot dogs made from pork, beef and soya. The British Bulldog was really delicious. It was a British Cumberland pork sausage made from quality meat, served in a soft poppy seed roll. Hot dogs have to have the fried onions and the British Bulldog came with onions and mustard. A small amount of ketchup was also added to make it complete.

Coffee DogsCoffee Dogs British BulldogCoffee Dogs SeatingCoffee Dogs Frozen CustardCoffee Dogs Zebra CronutCoffee Dogs Kiosk

For seating, as Coffee Dogs is a kiosk it only has a few stools on the outside. It would be nice if they could have some indoor seating. The staff gave quick service and they seemed to do their best to keep the seating area clean and tidy.

Coffee Dogs does the intriguing frozen custard from Coney Island. It came in vanilla and chocolate varieties. The two flavours were given in one cup. The frozen custard was really creamy and individually they tasted great. However, the chocolate did overpower the vanilla but then chocolate normally does that anyway!

There were also Dum Dum Donutterie products on offer. Coffee Dogs only had the Zebra cronut. This was the first time that I was having a cronut and I am not too sure if I really liked them. The Zebra was layers of plain and chocolate croissant with chocolate buttercream and it had a dark chocolate topping. The difference between the donut and the cronut is that the cronut is baked rather than fried.

The Americano was a smooth coffee. The coffee was from Rainforest Alliance farms.

Coffee Dogs is a good stop off place just to grab a bite to eat. They also have hamburgers, fries and milkshakes.

Coffee Dogs, Kings Cross Station, London, N1C 4BS

Rating: ★★★½☆

Coffee Dogs on Urbanspoon