Flat White Face-off @ Old Street

It was the biggest dismay and disappointment of my recent days! A wholesaler who had been supplying yarns for my work informed me that one of the particular yarns I loved to work with was discontinued. It was Rowan’s Drift range and they were gorgeous! How could this happen?! The phone call left me speechless. I still don’t know what the range is replaced with nor what they look like. I am just praying they will not be garish and bilious…

I am still cowering behind closely shut windows and doors most days of the recent weeks due to pesky pollens drifting in full force. Even though I am limiting the time I spend outside when it’s sunny and taking antihistamine diligently every morning. my nose is still partially blocked and my eyes are easily irritated. I am very sorry to moan incessantly like this but I do hate spring & early summer!!! Next year, I will give a local honey therapy a shot instead of dosing myself with drugs, sprays & drops…

By the way, a cup of exquisitely brewed flat white is one thing which lures me out of this self-imposed seasonal exile. If a tasty treat is ensured to accompany the palm-size velvety froth with brown ripple, I am willing to come out of my den, clutching a pair of sunglasses!
Since the area around Old Street is reputed to be the Silicone Valley of Britain, the number of coffee shops, with well-trained baristas, aiming to cater for those tech-savvy folks have surged like islets of daffodils in the springtime. Shoreditch Grind, OZone, Salvation Jane, Look Mum No Hand, Timberyard, Fix…etc, you name it. There is a cluster of seriously good coffee places in my neighbourhood. And amongst them, my particular favourites are Shoreditch Grind and Timberyard.

Flat white at Shoreditch Grind


I must say, Shoreditch Grind’s flat white is the smoothest and the tastiest for me. Rich yet devoid of bitterness. The aroma envelopes my nose like a dream. I just love it.

As I savoured this amber coloured concoction, Old Street Roundabout was jettisoning cars like a pinball machine…


I also enjoyed a small pastry filled with chocolate….


The flavour of the filling was intense without being too fatty or sugary. The right amount of bitterness was there to complement the sweetness of the biscuit.

Can I taste it too?


I am afraid not, sweetie. Chocolate is no-no for doggie.

A coffee break at Timberyard with Hubbie. I had flat white and a giant cookie…


Hubbie & I both agree that our favourite flat white has to be Shoreditch Grind’s,. A counterpart at Timberyard comes very close but the aftertaste of each swig leaves a touch of bitterness on our tongues which we don’t find favourable. Therefore, it has to be our runner-up. However, their cakes, which are piled up around the serving counter, are absolutely divine though….


A slab of their breakfast cookie. I used to be not so keen on cookies. However, their scrumptious discs have swept aside my lifelong reservation.

Another coffee & cake moment at Timberyard one Saturday afternoon. We had flat white with raspberry almond slice and chocolate cherry square…


As usual, Hubbie grumbled that he was not a big fan of chocolaty treat but he was obviously lying. Because his fork was constantly landing on my chocolate cherry square and curving out a substantial morsel each time! Oh, the cake was delicious. The tangy cherry bits helped to enhance the flavour of the dark rich chocolate batter, creating this disarmingly regular-looking cake an absolute star.
I don’t think they bake their sweets on site but must have a very good supplier.

Can I have a bit of almond slice?


I shall remind Hubbie to leave some for you before he cleans the plate…

Kaori by Kaori Okumura

Marzipan Fig @ Maison Bertaux

I finally managed to taste that curious green garlic bulb lookalike by the cashier at Maison Bertaux
How did I find it?…
It was GREAT!
I should have tried it sooner.

The appearance was rather deceptive.


Not at all self-explanatory like the rest of their offerings.
A green “bulb”, dusted with powder sugar and nestled in a cupcake case.

There was a slight pang of disappointment when I found no actual fig inside.


However, the chocolate truffle filling was exquisite.
The right ratio of bitterness vs sweetness made this rich cake moreish. Despite its generous serving size, I did not feel queasy after polishing it off.
It was a hidden gem I was overlooking for a long time.
And their marzipan, what a pucker! The almond paste was divine.
What best describes the magic of this cake… Oh yes, it reminded me the famed Mozartkugel!
Ahhhh, I haven’t eaten them for years. I must hunt it down. Does Fortnum & Mason sell them? Or may be Harrods?

It was time to go home.
I glanced up and found a cockerel up in the air.


Oh, I didn’t notice you. How long have you been up there?

Maison Bertaux, you are a beacon of light in this chaotic city.
I can’t love you enough…


Well, I should walk home so I won’t get pudgy…

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