Posted by on Oct 15, 2011 in London Eats | 3 comments

You know, I never realized just how much I like ice cream until starting this blog and noticing just how often I’ve posted about some sort of frozen dessert now. Thinking back to our trip to London and considering how the weather was actually pretty chilly sometimes, the fact that I ordered a hazelnut gelato instead of a nice hot cup of tea or coffee clearly tells me that: I freaking love ice cream.

But really now. Just look at that beautifully served ice cream. How could I regret ordering that? If anything, the rest of my family were looking on with woe as they thought to themselves ‘Damn, why’d I order that cake/tea?’ 

Caffé Concerto seemed to be a pretty popular cafe considering how we saw one every few blocks. What really made me notice it at first wasn’t the fact that I kept seeing the name of the store everywhere, it was the display in the storefront that caught my eye. The first thing I saw was the glint of gold, but it was the peculiar shape that caught my attention. Upon closer inspection, I realized excitedly that it was actually a pyramid of golden cream puffs. Sadly, in the rush of my discovery with the addition of general laziness from being on vacation, I completely forgot to take a photo of their display. Thankfully, this is where Google comes in handy!

Do you see that? Okay, it might be a little hard to make out but the golden cone in the upper left corner of the display is what I’m talking about. Those are dozens of cream puffs that have been painstakingly layered and built up into a precarious cone of cream filled pastry and then spray painted with edible gold. Or so I believe. Obviously a cafe with such an impressive cream puff display must be the cafe to go to.

So we did. 

Because it’s awesome.

But mostly because it was around the corner from our hotel. Yea, my family basically consists of a group of lazy bums and we’re not afraid to admit it. 

While the cafe itself was stylish and elegant both inside and out, the most important thing about it — the cakes — were a complete disappointment. Contrary to the spectacular display in the window, these cakes were nothing extraordinary. In fact, the cakes were even a little on the dry side. Talk about a let down.

As for the tea? We had ordered a pot of tea, assuming that it’d be similar to ordering a pot of tea in the states. Meaning that we were going with the assumption of one pot being able to easily fill at least two cups without any refills of hot water. Thus the surprise when our pot of tea came and it was cute but most importantly tiny. These teapots were made to fill exactly one cup of tea, and while the tea itself was nothing to complain about I couldn’t help thinking that it wasn’t worth the money. Then again, we didn’t stay around long enough to find out whether we’d be able to get a free refill. 

All in all, my gelato won the spotlight that night. Smooth and creamy, the rich and nutty flavor of hazelnut kept our spoons dipping in for more. It was like taking fresh hazelnuts and concentrating the flavor so that it exploded on your tongue without being in the least overwhelming. The waffle cone was slightly stale and took away from the general satisfaction of enjoying the ice cream to the fullest, but I think I’ve complained enough for one post.

Check out Caffé Concerto’s website here. If you ever go, try going in the morning instead of at night as we did. Maybe the cakes will be fresh and soft and fluffy, maybe they won’t. But seriously, on a whole other note, why have I not found any hazelnut ice cream in NY yet? I think I’m going to have to lodge a complaint somewhere…

~ AJ ~

Photographs taken and provided by AnnMarie Hwang

3 Comments

  1. Oct-15-2011

    Ok, now that would suck. Apparently they know how to put up nice displays to keep curious people who never tried there before keep coming. But I would feel like its a waste to have such a good presentation but lack to complete the filling. But that ice cream does look really good >…< I would love to try that out!

  2. Oct-20-2011

    The ice cream WAS really good x.x

    But yea, it was overall disappointing. Though I could always give them the benefit of the doubt and say that maybe it was because we went late at night so their cakes weren’t as fresh as they would be in the morning. On the other hand, for a cafe with such a big chain, it’s still inexcusable.

  3. Nov-12-2011

    Until I found this I thuoght I’d have to spend the day inside.

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