We were in Golders Green for lunch at Local Friends (Hunan restaurant) following a friend's recommendation. After a very filling but less than satisfying meal, we began roaming Golders Green Road to kill some calories before heading back home.
A fatal mistake. Any good intentions to walk off a heavy meal almost always certainly end up with me piling up more. It wasn't long before Wife pointed out Old Tree (老樹) to me. Located prominently at the intersection between Golders Green Road and Armitage Road, Old Tree reminded of the one of those Taiwanese cafes that popped up back home when the craze over the island's light bites hit. But unlike the cafes back home, Old Tree was not only larger but offered a wider menu as well, which ranged from, bubble tea, buns, pastries, desserts, noodles, rice dishes, not to mention the many snacks that Taiwan was known for.
Let's talk pastries and bus shall we? Because that was all we could push down out groaning stomachs that afternoon. Wife stared at me with disbelief when the orders came. It was meant to be a quick sip of tea but clearly I got over excited. As I marvelled at the display of Old Tree's offerings (roast duck and pickled buns, peanut butter buns, green bean buns, spring onion buns, cream puffs, tiramisu, simple croissant, the list just went on), I couldn't resist and any resolutions of keeping down my BMI went straight out of the window.
Wife was more taken to the salted egg puff than I did. The salted egg yolk tasted a tad bland. I thought some of the egg white, which was the really salty bit, could be added into the mix. Then again, it could very well be the way salted egg puff should be made.
I thought that the Portuguese egg tart's crust was a bit though but Wife loved the custard. If you are ordering it, always request for it to be served heated up. A minute or two in the microwave should do the trick. A warm custard is definitely more welcoming to the palate than a stone cold one.
I was evidently more of a cream and raisin bun person. Chomping on it with a silly grin, totally oblivious to Wife's glare (she thought it lacked subtlety), it was a hearty bun. Dough just dense enough to be filling, cream made it satisfying and bits of dispersed raisins sealed the deal for me.
With buns and pastries priced between £1.50 and just under £3, one could have tea at Old Tree for under a fiver. Service was delightful to boot. It was almost surreal watching the traffic went by while demolishing the last of my cream and raisin bun that afternoon with Taiwanese pop songs playing softly in the background. Pity that we didn't have the stomach for the heavier dishes at Old Tree that day.
The Toby Carvery, South Croydon
9 hours ago