About Time: You Discovered London’s Best Rhubarb DishesBy Felicity Spector
The best thing about a wet British winter? The prospect of rhubarb season. We love rhubarb so much we went all the way to Wakefield for the Yorkshire rhubarb festival and the finest, pinkest forced fruit we ever did see. Luckily there are some top rhubarb desserts nearer to hand – and here is our top 10 of London’s best pies, crumbles, tarts and pastries, all pretty in pink.
Best Rhubarb in Dishes in London: For Breakfast Rhubarb
The Run-Down: The excellent newcomer Popham’s Bakery is already an Instagram darling, not least because of its many layered, perfectly flaky croissants. The spring special (which may have had a tiny something to do with me) is a rhubarb and cardamon custard croissant, and very delicious it is too.
Where: 19 Prebend St, London N1 8PF
The Run-Down: Luca restaurant has just started a breakfast menu; as well as salt cod with soft boiled eggs and a warm foccacia stuffed with spinach and smoked ricotta, there is a rather pretty chia bowl with poached rhubarb and toasted nuts.
Where: 88 St John St, Clerkenwell, London EC1M 4EH
Photo Credit: Luca
The Run-Down: 26 Grains has a special collaboration in March with pastry chef and author Henrietta Inman and it’s a winner – 3 grain porridge topped with rhubarb and a crunchy buckwheat nut brittle.
Where: 1 Neal’s Yard, London WC2H 9DP
The Run-Down: Head to Good and Proper Tea in Farringdon for this month’s crumpet special, from Kylee at Newton and Pott: rhubarb hibiscus jam on a sourdough crumpet with crumble and whipped cream. Pudding for breakfast? We heartily approve.
Where: 96A Leather Lane, London EC1N 7TX
Best Rhubarb in Dishes in London: For Rhubarb Desserts
The Run-Down: Chantelle Nicholson at Tredwell’s has produced a magnificent choux bun, the pastry crisp and light as anything, filled with clouds of whipped cream, custard, poached rhubarb and rhubarb jelly. It’s as blissful as it looks.
Where: 4A Upper St Martin’s Ln, London WC2H 9EA
Photo Credit: Tredwells
The Run-Down: Holborn Dining Room is pretty much heaven for pudding lovers. Whatever you do, order the rhubarb pie with its lattice top and pastry so tasty you could be happy eating that on its own. It comes with ginger ice cream on the side but we recommend going off menu and ordering a jug of custard. Pie and custard – not much could be wrong with a day where that happens.
Where: 252 High Holborn, London WC1V 7EN
The Run-Down: The chefs at Salon Brixton win star prize for insane rhubarb geometry with their brilliantly composed mosaic-like rhubarb almond tart. Definitely not a case of style over substance, the pastry has that perfect biscuit crunch, the frangipane is rich and the rhubarb holds its shape.
Where: 18 Market Row, Brixton, London SW9 8LD
Photo Credit: Salon Brixton
The Run-Down: Lorne Restaurant in Victoria has produced another tart which displays pretty awesome knife skills. Rhubarb and frangipane again appear in perfect harmony, a pudding so good it’s worth a detour to Victoria for this alone.
Where: 76 Wilton Rd, Pimlico, London SW1V 1DE
Photo Credit: Lorne Restaurant
The Run-Down: Nieves Barragan’s wonderful new Sabor restaurant is already winning five star reviews and for good reason – not least for the sleeper hit on the menu, the rhubarb and mascarpone tartaletta. The pastry is impossibly thin and crisp, and we honestly have no idea how it manages to contain the creamy, luscious filling and jammy rhubarb without collapsing, but – skills.
Where: 35-37 Heddon St, Mayfair, London W1B 4BR
The Run-Down: Lyles has a new bar menu. As you might imagine many good things feature on a Michelin-starred bar menu, which changes daily – but we make a beeline for the baked cream and rhubarb, an unassuming name for a quietly wonderful dessert. Rich set custard topped with a rocher of rhubarb sorbet and some shards of rhubarb which have almost been crystalised outside, yet stay juicy within.
Where: Tea Building, 56 Shoreditch High St, London E1 6JJ
Best Rhubarb in Dishes in London: 5 More to Try
The Run-Down: This month at The Good Egg the breakfast granola made to Oded’s special recipe comes with rhubarb roasted with a touch of rose, served with labneh.
Where: Ground Floor, Kingly Court, Kingly St, Soho, London W1B 5PW
Disclaimer: I am an investor in their crowdfunding project.
The Run-Down: The current dessert menu at Oldroyd features a rhubarb almond tart which is really rather special – the pastry work at this much loved Islington local is always a highlight.
Where: 344 Upper St, London N1 0PD
The Run-Down: If it’s special occasion rhubarb you’re after, the Michelin-starred dessert menu at Outlaws features a rhubarb sponge with almond cream and rhubarb, and ginger sorbet on the side.
Where: 22-24 Basil St, Knightsbridge, London SW3 1AT
Photo Credit: Outlaws
The Run-Down: For the dessert double whammy at Hawksmoor – there’s a rhubarb tart with custard and stem ginger, and a rhubarb sundae on the menu. Double the rhubarb, double the fun.
Where: Locations here
Photo Credit: Hawksmoor
The Run-Down: Swing by Lily Vanilli’s stall at Old Spitalfields Market or on Sundays at her Columbia Road bakery – and if you are lucky, you may spy her perfectly formed little rhubarb crumble tarts, as delicious as they are beautiful.
Where: 6, The Courtyard, Ezra St, London E2 7RH