Cafe Aster is a bit of everything – a deli, a cafe, a cocktail bar and a restaurant all in one building. The head chef of the restaurant is Helena Puolakka, a Finnish chef, and I’ve been wanting to visit the place ever since I heard of its Nordic connection. So far I’ve only managed to try out the cafe bit though, but it’s better than nothing, right? Baby steps!
As I’ve mentioned before, I will always, always, choose a cinnamon bun over pretty much any other dessert – especially if I’m in London and missing being back home! It’s something that, if well made, transports me straight back to Finland, which of course meant that I had to try one here too. That said, I have to be honest and say that this one wasn’t up there with the best I’ve had. It started off promisingly, but towards the end it was just a little bit too dry. My boyfriend had a cookie with peanut butter filling, and unfortunately had pretty much the same problem too.
Still, I do want to recommend this place, at least if you’re in the area. With a cinnamon bun for £1.80 and a coffee for £2.10, the prices were very reasonable, rivaling the big nearby coffee chains such as Costa or Pret, and I would always much rather support an independent business. The quality of the snacks weren’t bad by any means either – I think I had just let my expectations get a bit high! I also want to applaud the service – it was very friendly and very efficient – our drinks and pastries were brought to the table too which is always a nice extra.
The decor was really cool and modern too – there was a big use of wood (Nordic inspired, I imagine!), large windows (aka a lot of light – perfect for pictures!) and all these little “glass balls” (no idea how else to describe these…) hanging from the windows full of plants – I loved it!
Aside from being slightly disappointed with my pastry, I would still gladly try out the restaurant bit of Aster – that’s where you can truly see the handiwork of the chef after all and I always love to support my country(wo)men! I’ve only heard good things about the food in there too, so it’s definitely going on my list of places to try.
Has anyone been yet? I think this one is definitely something to keep in mind for a special occasion!