Albert Adrià Opens Dessert-Only Restaurant in London
Albert Adrià—one of Spain's most celebrated chefs (he owns Tickets in Barcelona), younger brother of elBulli's Ferran Adrià, and one-time "World's Best Pastry Chef" (according to The World's 50 Best Restaurants)—is opening the doors to his London cake shop and sparkling wine bar early next month. The aptly named Cakes and Bubbles, located inside the Hotel Café Royal on Regent Street, is the chef's first permanent establishment outside of his home country. (The November 8 opening follows a two-month pop-up Adrià ran at the hotel back in 2016, which featured 30 courses, one of which was served in an elevator. Talk about a journey.)
Cakes and Bubbles was inspired by La Dolça, the sweets-only area of Tickets, where fruit and flowers hang from the ceiling and the chef serves his famous cheesecake (soon to be removed from Tickets' menu and made a Cakes and Bubbles exclusive)—a delicate dessert with notes of hazelnut and a white chocolate rind.
“I believe London is the capital of the world, and I’m looking forward to this new challenge,” Adrià said in a statement. “It’s a project that excites me as a pastry chef—I’ve never opened anything specifically related to the sweet world. Our approach and menu will be a cross between the classical and contemporary." In addition to his signature cheesecake, these "classical and contemporary" desserts include egg flan with dark caramel, "airwaffles" with caramelized banana, chocolate ningyo-yaki cake balls, and a selection of homamade doughnuts and pastries.
A dessert tasting menu will also be available, with the choice of four or eight sweets sized for sharing (or enjoying solo, depending on how hungry you are). Oh, and about the "Bubbles" part of Cakes and Bubbles—guests can choose from a wide selection of champagnes and sparkling wines, sold by the bottle or the glass. “We wanted to go a step further than just eating cake and a dessert," Adrià said. "We want to offer an experience that will start with some sweet tapas for nibbling, combined with sparkling and sweet wines, then sharing a cheesecake and some of the specialities we’ve developed over the past 30 years, which are what make us truly unique.”